February 11th is Commitment Sunday for our Catholic Faith Appeal…
Commitment and conviction (strong personal beliefs) are paramount to a lively and living faith. We all have various commitments in our daily lives: Marriages have a commitment between spouses; parents have commitments to their children; children have commitments to their families and education; commitments made in careers and business agreements. And we all have strong personal beliefs: our Faith Tradition, country, certain values, and a moral code. So, commitment and convictions are not foreign or strange to our lives.
On February 11th, I am asking neither you or myself to commit to a goal or a dollar amount. I require from myself and invite you to consider that we commit ourselves to our conviction in Christ Jesus’ Gospel, mission, and ministry. I participate in the Catholic Faith Appeal because, as a former lay minister and seminarian and presently as an ordained priest, I realize that my faith must be a faith that works towards justice, setting right my relationships with ALL my sisters and brothers throughout the Diocese of Venice. It is not about “unholy and unhealthy” guilt or shame, and it is far from a “condescending pity” on the blithe of others. It is trying to live my Baptismal commitment to Jesus’ conviction that God comes to comfort, heal, and restore, and to grow in making that my conviction.
I only invite each of us to pray as to what ways we can/may live out our discipleship to Christ Jesus in our lives and in participating in the CFA. I want to thank each of you for your continual prayers and support to St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church and School, the Diocese of Venice, and to one another by the gifts of your talent, time, and treasure. Always be assured of my commitment to and prayers for you, especailly in that I become the steward and spiritual father that you all deserve.
Peace and grace, Fr. Russell