St. Philip Neri existed as a mission since 1883. The Parish elementary school was started in 1928. The Parish was named Blessed Trinity in 1922. The Parish was always highly respected for its outreach to the poor and for its excellent Catholic grade school.
The subsidy from the Parish to the school in 1991 was $120,000.00. A dispute over the magnitude of this subsidy arose at a Parish Council meeting. One member had heard of the Wichita Stewardship Story and had seen the Parish Stewardship video St. James. We reviewed the video.
Fr. Pat and our Deacon at the time, Vernon Krajeski, spent three days at St. Francis in Wichita and, under the wise direction of Fr. Tom McGread, got a good insight into the total Stewardship Way of Life as preached and lived at St. Francis.
We learned any parish that was centered on the Eucharist, had a good outreach ministry beyond itself and cultivated hospitality was bound to be successful in the Stewardship Way of Life.
We selected, and the Pastor invited, six couples to form a Stewardship Commission. The three-fold purpose of this Commission was and still is to:
- Prepare for carrying out the Annual Parish Stewardship Renewal in November.
- Ongoing and continuous Stewardship education.
- Annual evaluation of the Parish and its ministries.
At the first annual presentation of Stewardship we pledged the following to the Parish:
- To start Perpetual Adoration as soon as possible.
- Never again to pass the baskets a second time at Mass all causes would go into the first and only collection. The meditation time after Communion would be respected.
- The Parish to give 10% to Charities over and above School and Parish budgets.
- All ministries of the Parish, including Catholic education in grade school and high school, would be free for all families who committed, in writing, to the Stewardship Way of Life. That pledge consisted of:
- Worshipping at Mass as a family each weekend.
- Committing Time and Talent to Parish Ministries.
- Giving 10% of gross family income, 8% to the Parish and 2% to charities of your choice.
This Stewardship Way of Life called for a number of changes computer programs, etc. but most notably was a revamping of the Parish Council. We grouped all Parish Ministries under six Commissions and each Commission would send one representative to sit on the Parish Council for 3 to 6 years. The Hispanics would also send one representative and there would be three at-large members one elected each year by the parishioners.
Since the Convention in Ft. Lauderdale in 1992, apart from the 9/11 cancelled convention in San Diego, a group of us have come each year to this International Convention. We have learned a lot each year and contributed some.
The success of the Stewardship Way of Life in our Parish is due to the leadership of a host of people, but most especially the members of our Stewardship Commission. The following web pages will give you a good insight of who we are as a parish.