May – Gifts Given – Gifts Received

During the coming year, our reminder to be stewards of Saint Andrew Parish will comen in the form of monthly reflections on the words spoken at Mass and witnesses from parishioners on the gifts they share with the parish and the gifts they have received. Read more…

When we worship…gifts-given-logo

From the Mass at the Preparation of the Altar:
“Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink.”

These words aren’t heard very often by the congregation any longer unless you go to a daily Mass. They are spoken under the hymn of the Preparation of the Gifts. Even if you don’t hear them, you can find the words in our worship hymnals. Though often not audible, they are some of the most important words in the Mass, especially if we observe the Mass through the lens of stewardship.

Does God really need a sacrifice? What could we possibly give him that he doesn’t already have? He has the mountains, the oceans, the stars, the universe. The one thing he doesn’t have is the gift of a grateful heart from his children. That’s why anything we give to God begins as Gods (which is why we say “fruit of the earth”) but for us to give it to God, it also must be something that we have taken from him and transformed (“the work of human hands”). Therefore what we offer to God at Mass is a commingled gift, both originating from God and transformed by us.


Gifts Given – A story of why Andrea Keefe chooses to give…

My husband Kevin and I have felt a connection to St. Andrew from our early days as parishioners ten years ago. As a newly married couple, we wanted to find a place of worship where we would not only feel welcome, but also feel like we could give back. God has blessed us abundantly in our lives and what a better way to show our gratitude than by sharing our talents and gifts with our faith community. By serving in various ministries and supporting St. Andrew, we feel like we are on a journey to become, as author Matthew Kelly puts it, the “best versions of ourselves.” We have met wonderful families at St. Andrew and, as our children begin their early years at our school, we believe that we’re setting them up for success as faith-based and service-based lifelong learners. We are grateful for our parish and school! Please join us in sharing YOUR gifts to continue to make this community even more vibrant in the years to come because as Saint Peter says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).

 


Gifts Received – A story of how Sarah Bruno has received…

I am so thankful to be part of the Saint Andrew Parish. When I first became a parishioner at Saint Andrew, I wasn’t expecting to find anything more than a place of worship, but what I received instead was much more.  I was welcomed into a community.  A place where I could learn and grow in my faith while being surrounded by amazing friends. When you live in a city as large as Chicago it is a true gift to be part of Saint Andrew family.  When you look across the pews at mass at a familiar, smiling face while listening to inspiring words from our clergy you realize what it truly means to be part of a Parish.

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