November’s Embers

I can’t recall a November in Kansas City like this one in which leaves hold on to tree branches for so long, displaying such a magnificent array of autumn colors for us to behold well into the heart of the eleventh month.  Like embers burning slowly in a fireplace, they seem resistant to dying out, determined to hang on a little longer.  Their beautiful shining status reminds me of the gracious giving that is often associated with this time of year.

November is a month of remembrance.  In our church and country, from All Saints Day to Veterans’ Day to Thanksgiving Day, we call to mind saints, heroes, and nobodies.  These times are not just about the popular saints listed in the Roman canon or Vatican calendar—for they already have their days.  Instead, we recall lesser-known holy ones, perhaps known only to us by their inspiration and encouragement for our earthly journey.  We don’t just honor war heroes and historical giants, either, but the unknown soldiers and silent champions who fought the good fight in battle or kept the faith in seeking terms of peace.  November is also a month of gratitude.  It is a time to give thanks for the sacrifices and generous offerings that selfless people gave to us and give to us still.  Here at Saint Charles Parish and Borromeo Academy, as with other churches, schools, and social agencies, we are grateful to those who turn our direction and remember us while preparing end-of-year giving.

People give with varying attitudes.  There is grudge-giving in which we feel forced or pressured to do so; like losing a bet, we hate to give yet we fork it over with reluctance.  There is duty-giving in which we think we ought to give, like when someone invites us to a party for her/himself; we aren’t necessarily excited about it yet feel obligated.  There is also thanksgiving in which we give joyfully, with no pressure, obligation, or resentment; it is an act of love.  Even if we might have a mixture of all three giving attitudes within us, God’s giving reminds us of the still more perfect way.  God so loved the world that He gave Himself, He created us, and has a divine purpose for us to become one with Him eternally.  This should inspire us in giving what has been entrusted to us here on earth for His greater glory.

I invite you and your extended family to consider donating to Saint Charles Church or Borromeo Academy as the embers of this year’s fire fades and the marvelous array of foliage sparkles in the autumn sky.  We focus this November on our fifth and final Prayer Luncheon to provide scholarships for low-income families to attend our school.  A gift of $100 would be combined with other contributions to assist families in general, while larger gifts of $500, $1,000, or $2,000 could sponsor a child for a quarter, semester, or year.  We hope to reach our goal of $100,000 by Giving Tuesday at the end of the month.  Then, we will turn attention to our Diamond Jubilee Capital Campaign to honor the heritage of our forebears who founded this faith community nearly seventy-five years ago, while we also pave a path for the future by renovating our Early Childhood Center, installing a school elevator, and beefing up our food pantry and other social outreach ministries.  If you are willing and able to assist us in this Giving-November effort, simply send your check to us at Saint Charles Borromeo Parish, 900 N. E. Shady Lane Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64118.

As we contemplate what it means to join the unsung heroes, unknown soldiers, saints in the shadows, and those who quietly, lovingly, beautifully give of themselves, imitating the sacrifice of Christ and reflecting the glory of autumn, I thank you for your generous support through the years.  Let us greet the years ahead, too, with the attitude of gratitude taught by our Lord.