Pastor’s Perspective: Don’t go along for the ride; be an active participant

Most of us live our lives within the wider and blessed life of a Catholic parish.
Even if there was not the experience of Catholic school days, the sacraments and special moments such as baptisms, weddings, funerals and saints’ days — as well as seasonal celebrations and feast days — fashion our identity in faith, family and friendships.

What we sometimes forget, or choose to set aside, however, is the fact that the life of every Catholic parish depends on and revolves around the heartfelt and generous participation of volunteers.

If the presence of the Risen Lord and the working of the Holy Spirit is the engine that drives the parish, then the role of the parish volunteer is the transmission.
As with any operating vehicle that needs an engine and transmission, so the same is true for the operating and functioning and life-giving Catholic parish — especially these days when people of every age are stressed out and pulled in different directions, it is easy and most tempting to say, “Let someone else do it.”

Like a cancer that invades the body and brings with it deterioration and death, so, too, the “let-someone-else-do-it” way of thinking can bring the failing and even the eventual death of a parish community. We all know of Catholic parishes that no longer exist, due to many various causes, but usually one of them is the lack of persons doing their part.

There used to be a rule on old-time stagecoaches that the price to ride was set by whether or not you would just sit inside while others fixed the broken wheels or tended to the horses, or if you joined in the task at hand.

It is critical these days to consider if you’re going to be just along for the ride — or with a generous spirit and some time and effort take up the task at hand.
God bless our dedicated parish volunteers.