From Father's Desk

Dear Parish Family,

The Fall Season is underway. We held a workshop on Mission and Vision for all our volunteers on Saturday. We are preparing for Family Catechesis this week. This weekend is Catechetical Sunday when we commission all our catechists. Lots of different meetings and projects happening. The lull of summer is over, and we are in full swing.

Last week we began our message series called 8th Grade Faith. The main idea is our faith is a life-long journey with God. Our faith is a treasure that gains in riches with each passing year, as we continue to appreciate our beautiful relationship with God. Faith is not (only) a bunch of facts or rules about God that we learned in the 8th grade; although for many of us, our faith had been presented that way, primarily as regulations to be adopted. And we may have adopted them, or we may have chosen to ignore them, and move on with our lives. God wants so much more for us than that; he wants that new and abundant life that comes through living our faith, which is first, our relationship with God.

As we approach our faith anew and seek to renew our faith in God, we can appreciate how faith is about growing with God. There are several aspects of this growth, sometimes summarized with the word S.T.E.P.S. We take S.T.E.P.S. to grow in our faith. S.T.E.P.S. stands for Service, Tithe, Engage, Prayer, Share.

Our leadership team and Pastoral Council has been praying and discerning about how as a parish we need to get out into the community more. We are feeling the call to share our faith and tell others the Good News of what is going on here at OLPH. We would like to increase our presence beyond the corner of Fellowship and Main.

We had a beautiful Maple Shade night out in August. This weekend there is another beautiful opportunity for you to share your faith. We have 150 signs ready to go that say: I love my church! Please take a sign and place it in your yard. Share with your neighbors that you love your church. These signs are small but beautiful reminders that will be sprinkled throughout town and beyond. Once you have your sign in place, snap a photo, and send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Keep the signs up through the Fall until the Christmas season. And thank you for sharing the love, for sharing your faith!

The Gospel this week is full of intrigue when we learn about a wily steward who cuts deals and networks with the debtors of his master in order to try and arrange for a soft landing as he gets booted from his job. Really! It is a super interesting parable and is often misunderstood. Jesus says, “Make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Lk 16:9) This sounds like atypical advice from Jesus.

But the main point of the parable is to acknowledge that all of us are merely stewards. In the parable, God is the master. Everything that seems to be ours: our talents and possessions and even the time we are given on this earth, are really a gift from God, to be rendered for his service. In one place, Paul asks “What do you possess that you have not received? (1 Cor 4:7) It is a good question. The answer is that we have been entrusted with many blessings; our first responsibility is to make a return to the Lord. This reality falls into S.T.E.P.S. with the T for Tithe. We return to the Lord a percentage of what He has shared with us, and that return, that tithe, or gift is an act of worship.

So, what S.T.E.P.S will you take this week in order to grow with God?

In Christ,
Fr. Wilson