Our Faith, Our Parish, Our Mission
Dear Members and Friends of St. Gabriel Parish,
This year, 2019, we have been blessed to celebrate our 21st anniversary! This milestone gives us the opportunity stop and reflect more deeply on our mission and ministry as disciples of Jesus Christ. We also take this opportunity to consecrate our church and ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and placing our parish in her hands so that she might help us as we continue to grow and thrive as a faith community.
Consider for a moment how far we have come in just a few short years. The countless number of people who have worshipped and celebrated the sacraments with us is amazing! If you can, try to imagine the thousands of hours offered by members of our parish family to help design and build our church, welcome newcomers, proclaim the scriptures, teach, assist the Mass, have visited the sick, and who offer their prayers daily for needs of others! Consider the tremendous amount of time and energy spent reaching out to those in need through our monthly Food Bins and other Christian Service ministries. And then there are the “behind the scenes” folks who care for our facilities inside and out, help with the day-to-day business, and those who always find a way to contribute when there is a need.
And all of these things are accomplished through a true love of our community, nourished through prayer and a willingness to allow the gifts of the Holy Spirit to work through us. Without such a spirituality we would be unable to spread the Gospel and be true witnesses of the Gospel as we are.
However, while a prayer is a significant piece of the mystery that brings the community to life and allows it to flourish, it is not the only piece! We must also strive to be good stewards of the gifts that God has given, so that the human element of the Church will have the resources it needs to accomplish its mission. So, as we strive to be disciples, we must also remember that things like paying our mortgages and other bills, building worship spaces and sustaining staffs, is also a part of doing the work of Christ!
Over the past 21 years, our parish has continued to grow, expand, offer new programs, had to hire more staff, build facilities, maintain those facilities and plan for future growth. It is an exciting time for our parish given that so many parishes, especially in the Eastern United States are finding their communities growing smaller as demographics are changing and are having to close.
We, however, are now entering a very important phase when we must look forward and secure our financial future and face the challenges that our growth presents. For example, our current timeline will have us breaking ground on our new parish hall facility this fall/early winter! Not only is this exciting, but we are also very aware that with the new facilities will come greater expenses. And, while we hope not to need to further burden the parish with construction debt, there is currently a shortfall that the sale of our land and our original capital campaign may not meet. So, with things like this in mind, our energy now needs to focus on preparing our parish for these things, while at the same time continuing to evangelize and meet the varying needs of our growing community.
With this in mind, I’d like to introduce you to our “Work of Our Hands” program. Please review the contents of the accompanying brochure and consider how you and your family will help our St. Gabriel family to continue the work of Christ. Our goal is a simple one: to substantially increase our Sunday offertory contributions by asking each family to prayerfully consider a 5% increase of your current offertory, and to encourage those who do not give to lift their faith to a more committed level by helping those who already contribute carry the financial load. I am looking forward to your prayerful and generous responses on our commitment Sunday.
Thank you for whatever you can do to help our parish continue to thrive!
Your Servant in Christ,
Rev. Kirk Slattery
As this is a time to consider our many blessings, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for this parish community. Especially thankful for all the people who are committed to this parish and who continue to support its growing mission of evangelization. Since our humble beginnings in a school gym, many sacrifices have been made. The founding parishioners believed in God’s goodness to bring the dream and vision of a parish in this part of Colorado Springs to fruition. Today, because of their faith, hard work, and willingness to make the necessary sacrifices, we now have this facility which overlooks Pikes Peak and serves as our gathering place as we worship God.
St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, however, is not just a place of worship. It is a place where generations of families gather to pray and pass on faith traditions. It is a place of solace for those seeking God daily at Mass. It is a place where the weary and tired come and sit quietly in prayer waiting to feel God’s healing touch, filling them with hope so that they can go back out and face the world again. It is a place where our children are being taught about God and His love for us; a place where young lives are formed and the roots of our Catholic faith are embedded even deeper in each one of us. It is a place where many freely give of themselves through their leadership and service to others. Above all, it is a place where the work of salvation is at hand in the world, and for the world.
It Takes a Community
The resources needed, both financial and volunteered service, to operate a vibrant parish like ours are many. Because our parish population continues to grow, we are constantly looking to expand our mission and ministries in new ways, Our continued commitment to our mission also honors the sacrifices of all those who came before us and helped establish our community of faith.
To do this, we want to highlight all of the many ways that are available to help support our mission and leave a lasting legacy of faith to those who come after us. We call this effort The Work of Our Hands, and it will be an ongoing invitation for all of us to consider anew how our gifts to this parish community are more than just “donations.” Our gifts are acts of faith and gratitude to God for what He has done for us. In addition, our gifts directly support our mission of proclaiming the Gospel, as we seek the salvation of souls. These two facets are nothing more than what we express each time we worship together in the Sacred Liturgy of the Mass (CCC#1083).
So, during the weeks and months ahead, I would humbly encourage you to:
Pray and ask God for guidance. Ask Him to help you to consider a gift of faith, as an expression of gratitude, and based on your ability to give or volunteer.
Pray for St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, that God will help reveal to all our hearts the true importance and meaning of our gifts.
Remember the widow’s mite (Mark 12:44). The parable which teaches us that though we know that some have the ability to give more than others, no amount of time or treasure is too small. No amount is too big. Anything, given in gratitude, has worth beyond measure and will be received with praise and thanksgiving!
A Response of Faith
When we come together as a community of faith to celebrate Mass, it is by the urging of the Holy Spirit. And when “the Spirit encounters in us the response of faith which he has aroused in us, he brings about genuine cooperation. Through it, the liturgy becomes the common work of the Holy Spirit and the Church” (CCC#1091). May the same Spirit help guide us peacefully and joyfully to consider the profound importance of our gifts to the work and mission of the Church.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What needs does this effort address?
Many of St. Gabriel parishioners are already very generous in their support of our parish both financially and through generously offering of their time! The Work of Our Hands is intended to highlight the spiritual meaning behind gifts like theirs, and invite others who have yet to encounter the grace of thankful giving into a deeper understanding of it. We aren’t trying to meet a specific goal, but are working toward a spiritual way of life that will help ensure the daily operations of the church, now and into the future.
How do I make a gift?
If your prayer leads you to respond by more actively participating in the mission of the parish through your time or talents, we can assist you in finding a ministry or group to get involved with! You can find contact information for specific ministry groups that may interest you through our website (www.saintgabriel.net), or call the parish office for assistance (528-8407). If your prayer leads you to respond in other ways, we will have specially marked The Work of Our Hands offering envelopes, which will be available in the pews at all masses. With the envelopes you can make a gift of your treasure and/or offer a gift of prayer! Just fill out the envelope and drop your gift into the offertory basket with your usual tithe, during Mass. Or, take an envelope home, fill it out and then drop it into the offertory basket when you are ready to do so.
Do I have to make a commitment or pledge?
The Work of Our Hands is an invitation to consider a faith-giving commitment between you and God.
You decide through prayer and respond as an expression of your faith and gratitude to God for what He has done for you, whenever you want.
How often can I give to The Work of Our Hands?
That is entirely at your discretion. It can be once a month, twice a month, monthly, a large gift once a year, etc. Whatever your prayer leads you to. Our hope is that your gifts will be meaningful, and joy filled. In addition, your gifts as a volunteer can have many expressions and times that you work into your schedule as you are able.
Are there other ways that I can give?
You can always give by check or cash. However, you can give by credit card or directly out of your checking account by setting it up through our secure Online Giving Portal on our website.
Plus, some of these ways of giving are also tax deductible!
Monetary gifts which are trackable through the use of the specially marked envelopes, will be credited to you just as your usual offerings. If you have any questions on ways of giving, please contact the parish office for more information.
Why should I give?
We give because:
- We are grateful for what God has done for us and all the blessings He continues to provide on a daily basis.
- It is a privilege to give back to God what is His, in order to continue the work of salvation through the various church programs and activities.
- It is an honor to store up treasures in Heaven instead of the fruitless materialistic things of this world.
- Our giving ensures our legacy of faith for future generations! Remembering that this work was sacrificially started many years ago when others built this church.
- We are all called to be good stewards of the resources that God has entrusted to each of us.