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Pastor's Page 2021-11-07

Dear St. Gabriel Parishioners:

TODAY IS the Annual Winter Bazaar (All Day Saturday, Nov. 6 and Sunday after Masses on Nov. 7).  Please stop by the Religious Education Wing before and after Mass to visit and purchase something for a good cause (All proceeds are for Share and Care Ministry) to help the needy and the unfortunate of our faith community and the larger community of Port Orchard and beyond

  • Scripture Readings this weekend present to us the lives of two remarkable widows who challenge us by their conviction, generosity and faith. They force us to reexamine our understanding of the poor and poverty, and look at our own ways of being generous with others.

Please read the story from Elijah (1Kings 17:10-16), the prophet, who was told by God to arise, go and stay to a certain widow in Zarephath, during a famine time in the first reading.  The second story come from the well-known Gospel story (Mark 12:38-44), Jesus praises the poor widow's offering, and makes it clear that the standard measurement for assessing gifts is not how much we give to the works of God or how much we put in the collection basket, but how much we have left for ourselves.

Jesus never condemns the rich but simply says that they will find it difficult to enter the kingdom. What matters is not how much money is stored in bank accounts or kept in stocks and bonds, but rather for what that money is destined.

    • Will the money be used to assist others, to make the world a better place?
    • Will be it used to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, provide for the homeless and destitute poor?
    • Will it be used to build a culture of life?
    • Do our lives revolve around the money or are we dependent on God who truly makes us rich?
    • Do we behave as owners or live as stewards?

The widow tossed her only signs of independence into the collection basket, but she maintained her complete dependence on God and neighbor.  Her example of faith is grounded in the love of God:  her love for God and God's love for her.  She was a steward and not an owner of her meager possessions.  This poor widow teaches us that dependence can really lead to a life lived in deep joy and profound gratitude.

  • In the month of November, all the parishes in our Archdiocese of Seattle are conducting the annual tradition of Christian Stewardship.  Let me first say a “big word of THANKS” to all of you who had generously given to our parish this past year, even in this difficult time of Coronavirus.  These gifts confirmed this reality in term of the gifts of Treasure, Time and Talents available for our parish Ministries.

Let’s be mindful of what Christian Stewardship is all about:

 "God give it ALL and then call us to SHARE”.  Everything we have and everything we are, indeed are gifts from God.  So, Stewardship is the ability to share our gifts of life – Time, Talent and Treasure – with others; with no strings attached and no conditions.  We share these gifts out of our love for God and gratitude to God.

Therefore, Christian StewardshipReceives God’s gifts gratefully; Cherishes and tends our gifts in a responsible manner; Shares them in love with others; and Returns them with increase to the Lord

Please read the material in regard to “Stewardship of Treasure” that you receive in the mail and make a pledge to the parish in returning the Stewardship Card in the collection basket or mail it to the parish office.  Thank you for your renew financial commitment in support our parish. 

  • At the main entrance, there is a Prayer Book – Labeled For the Deceased that you could write in the names of your loved ones whom you want our parish community to pray for them in this month of November.  Also, it’s not too late to send in the All Souls’ envelops with the names of your loved ones who have passed away and wanting our parish to pray for them. 

Christ’s Peace, 
Fr. Phuong Hoang

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