I was digging through some old history at the parish and I found some documentation that shows that somebody, in the first year of our parish history, went shopping at Boutell Brothers in Minneapolis. Here is what was purchased:
10 sheets – $23.90
1 yellow spread – $8.06
10 flour sacks – $10.80
1 chenille spread – $11.66
6 bath towels – $6.97
1 casserole – $ .72
1 emerald blanket – $13.46
1-93 pc. set china – $79.50
What a splendid evening that must have been – a few parishioners having dinner with Father Larkin, the founding pastor, eating a 72-cent casserole off their fancy new china in the new priest residence. What a moment. Can you imagine the prayer of blessing before the meal and the toast that was raised (no doubt, somebody stopped by the wine store too)! What an exciting and joyous time it must have been knowing that because of the love and generosity of these founding families God was beginning something new in Bloomington that would be a blessing to people for generations to come.
We continue our annual time of stewardship renewal here at Nativity of Mary. That is what stewardship is about. God calls us and then gives freely to us all that we need. We share what we have been given in gratitude and love. As we do, we become filled with joy. We are transformed to become more like Christ. Others are blessed.
We all face challenges and trials in life. The solution to all of them is the same – we must seek God. We must draw ever nearer to God. We must deepen our Communion. We must trust and know that we can never out-give God. Our joy and peace will increase the more we, like Christ, can offer all that we have in love to God.
May our hope be the same as it was at our parish founding – that God will begin something new so that our parish and school can be a blessing to others for generations to come. Thank you for turning in your stewardship forms and for the many ways you offer yourselves in love and faith.
Next time I pop a cork, I will raise a toast and a prayer for all of the good people of Nativity of Mary – past, present, and future!