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ST. ALPHONSUS' BELIEF STATEMENT
At St. Alphonsus we believe that life in our parish is centered in the Eucharist. The altar is the focal point. Here we congregate and celebrate who we are, renew our commitment to Jesus whom we believe is present and active in our midst, and listen again to that Word which is always "Good News". It is a Word that is at once revealing and life-giving, a Word that calls us and at the same enables us to become loving persons.
We believe in people- that people generally are good and try to do the best they can. We believe that we ought to accept ALL people, be forgiving to them and love them unconditionally because they are made in God's image and likeness, have been redeemed by Jesus, and are therefore signs of the Lord's presence.
We believe that authority in a parish is a call to serve - all according to their gifts and the movement of the Spirit with no one "lording it over" anyone. Responsibility in the community will be shared because the Spirit speaks in all the members who are called to minister, to contribute and to speak.
We believe in faith development for the total congregation with special emphasis on adults because it is our conviction that the act of faith is an adult act. Faith is a process into which children are initiated in baptism. Their growth in faith will depend largely on the quality of faith they experience and assimilate in the adult community, especially in the home. The faith development program for children, especially where parents are very much involved, can help greatly in the children's religious upbringing. While the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist is geared primarily to adults, we believe it is the single most formative ingredient in the faith development of both adults and children. Once monthly, the youth have their own Word Liturgy for children as part of their faith development sessions, while the Liturgy of the Word is celebrated in the Assembly.
We believe in the effectiveness of small (primary) groups working and leavening within the larger framework of the congregation. Originating from the people, these can minister to the needs of a segment or to the need of the larger community. Liturgical ministries, support groups, committees, parish council, and the like are called not to wield power but to serve. New groups can be formed as needed just as old groups should be disbanded when their functioning is no longer effective or needed.
We believe that as a congregation we are responsible to the larger community we live in and ultimately to people everywhere. Social action which includes the constant pursuit of justice and peace will always be for us a chief concern. As individuals and collectively we need to listen to the Spirit who calls us to share our money, our services, and our buildings in a spirit of genuine outreach and service. We want our doors to be open and our arms outstreched. As disciples of Jesus we are called to be ever ready.
We believe that financing will be no problem in our parish as long as the parishioners are well served. We believe the members will support what they love and believe in. As a policy we refrain for high-powered pulpit -pounding for money. We solicit people's free offerings because" the Lord loves a cheerful giver". We do not believe in over burdening our parishioners with a multitude of appeals, raffles or bingo. We believe in parish socials to bring people together for congregation, not fund raising. We do ask for and need the weekly offering envelope as it is our sole means of financial support.