A few weeks ago we presented you with the opportunity to re-affirm your membership as an active part of the community of St. Austin Catholic Church. I am deeply appreciative of those willing to literally “sign on the line” and step up to claiming their membership in our parish.
If you did not have the opportunity or were reluctant to do so, you still can sign one of the forms found in the folders in the pews, and in the information racks near the entrances of the church. University and college students are also invited to be formally a part of our community by filling in the orange section near the bottom of the page.
Once you declare you are a member, the next step is to get involved. We have a new tool to help you! This weekend we introduce (drum roll please) our 2011-2012 Ministries Brochure. In addition to helpful information about our times and hours, it also lists ways to participate in parish life. Our Parish Mission Statement (conveniently found on the lower left-hand corner of the front page of our weekly bulletin) proclaims that “we strive, through prayer, education, and service to others, to manifest God’s transforming love in the world and to deepen our relationship with God, one another, and the universal Church.” Listed under the headings of “PRAY – LEARN – SERVE” you will find all sorts of activities and ways to get involved. I urge you to take one of the brochures, read it over, give it serious, prayerful thought, and respond to become an active member of our parish community.
It is important to note that these ways of involvement, good in themselves, are not the final ends. These are to train and motivate you to more fully live your Catholic Christian life in your home, your neighborhood, your school or workplace, the marketplace and the civic square. Our goal is not to simply have you become more involved in church. That is not the true objective of your Baptismal call to ministry. The vocation of the laity is to take the message of the Gospel into all strata of society and change it from within. According to the teaching of Vatican Council II, the Church does not exist for its own sake, but rather for the sake of the world. So our ultimate goal is not to get you to be more focused on church, but through your church activities to be empowered and emboldened to live more fully your Christian vocation in all the rest of your life. As our Parish Mission Statement states “to manifest God’s transforming love in the world and to deepen our relationship with God, one another, and the universal Church.”
So please take a copy of Ministries 2011-2012 and participate. The members of the parish staff are willing and eager to assist you in any way we can. The call to more fully live out your Baptismal call is there. All you need to do is respond. You will be glad you did.