A Few Foundational Principles
The goal of St. Martin of Tours Parish, and the Catholic Church as a whole, is to make each and every individual a saint. While keeping this ultimate goal in mind, we also recognize the state of the average Catholic today. A few foundational principles for Catholic Renewal (as set forth by the Archdiocese of St. Louis):
- "The number of indiviudals attending Mass on Sundays is
the most important metric. If you are not currently attending Mass, we
encourage you to do so this week. There are 168 hours in a week, which
means that Sunday Mass takes up less than one-half of one percent of the week.
If you have a conflict, there are Masses throughout the day, as well as
Saturday vigil Masses. Click HERE
for St. Martin of Tours Mass schedule or HERE
for Mass times throughout the Archdiocese.
- Once an individual is going to Mass every Sunday, it is important to
embrace the remaining Precepts of the Church: observing days
of fasting and abstinence, going to confession at least once a year, partaking
of the Eucharist at least once a year, contributing to the support of the
Church, obeying and defending the Church's teachings on matrimony, and
participating in evangelization.
- All Catholics should strive to make 1 degree of spiritual
progress this week. If not currently embracing all of the
Precepts, progress should be ordered to this end. If all of the Precepts are
embraced, then this is a prudential decision made in the heart. Examples of 1
degree of progress include memorizing the Mass responses, remaining to pray
for a few minutes after Mass, or picking up a spiritual or theological
book. You're either moving forward in the spiritual life, or you're
moving backwards. Make a conscious effort to MOVE FORWARD this
- The laity will be essential to the New Evangelization
since 99% of the Church's members are lay persons. All Catholics have both a
right and a duty to build up the Church. The laity are called to bring the
light of the Gospel to the secular spheres, while always thinking and acting
with the heart and mind of the Church. We encourage you to read the following
documents: Vatican II's Decree
on the Apostolate of the Laity and Blessed John Paul II's Christifideles
- Finally, this may be the simplest concept, but it may make the biggest difference: we have to be assured of the fact that it is okay to be Catholic. Not only is it okay, but we should make the faith central to our lives and strive to share it with others." (archstl.org/evangelization - italicized text added)
Changing the World
God wants our parish to help people of all ages and walks of life build a strong spiritual life so He can build and refine us in His image.
A few ways you can evangelize:
- Share Catholic books and CD's
- Invite people to Catholic events
- Include God in your conversations
- Learn the Church's teachings and share them
- Help others discover answers to questions about their faith (Don't be afraid to ask! Our Parish staff is here to help you!)
- Demonstrate the love of God through faithful and generous friendship
The Evangelist's Twelve Tools
- The Sacraments, especially, the Eucharist, which is the "source and summit of the Christian life," (CCC 1324) helping us to love and be loved by Christ, and Confession, where the weight of our sins is lifted, allowing us to evangelize with new energy.
- Daily Prayer, because without God all we can do is fail. One hour at Sunday Mass is not going to be enough.
- Joy, which attracts people to Christ.
- Hospitality, by not only welcoming people as guests but helping them to use their own gifts to become active members of our Parish Family.
- Acts of Love for our brothers or sisters in Christ, which are crucial to witnessing to Christ.
- Acts of Mortification, united to the Cross, which allow us to be more merciful and loving, to die to our own selfishness and weaknesses.
- Family time, because evangelization begins in the home and reaches out, promoting faith and virtue in the family and beyond.
- Strong friendships, which can help us build up our faith and strengthen us in love and good works.
- Study, which gives us the tools we need to engage others intelligently and with sensitivity.
- Humility, which strengthens us to say not only, "I am a sinner," but "I am a loved sinner.
- Mary, who is our greatest advocate, bringing us to her Divine Son.
- One another, to encourage each other to become stronger disciples of Christ.