TMIY (That Man is You) is an opportunity to strengthen your knowledge of yourself and our faith through a weekly interactive discussion. We have broken the group up and are meeting in a safe , comfortable socially distant setting following Diocesan guidelines and allowing members who are uncomfortable meeting live to join via a Microsoft TEAMS link. TMIY has resulted in dozens of our parish men in growing stronger for themselves, their families and their Parish. If you would like more information, please text 813 -334 9156 or send an email to MenofSTL@stlawrence.org
The group meets on Wednesday mornings in Higgins Hall at 6AM. No prior activity is needed. TMIY has transformed and strengthened the lives of many men in our Parish. The engaging weekly speakers and the insights and knowledge of the other TMIY members help build a platform to take on the Challenges of our world.
An invitation to join our Altar Server ministry at St. Lawrence
The altar server ministry at St. Lawrence encourages the young to fully engage in their faith through service to the Church as ministers of the altar. Serving at the altar gives the young a hands on, personal experience of God’s work in the liturgy. It also can be an opportunity for them to work alongside other children and adults and be edified by their witness of faith. Through their service, altar servers provide the parish with an example of service, they witness to the seriousness and solemnity of the liturgy, and they inspire those who come to Mass with hope for the future of our Church.
Our parish will be doing a training in March, at an exact date to be determined. Click the link below to express interest!
The 10am Sunday Mass may look a little different next week (10/18)! Please carefully read details below on what you can expect, and why. Your St. Lawrence staff is continuing our commitment to keep everyone in attendance safe and unified as one family in Christ.
When John Fitzgerald Kennedy was asked if his Catholic beliefs would interfere in the discharging of his presidential duties if he were to be elected, he responded with this now-famous quote:
“… I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.”
Religious “litmus tests” in politics picked up speed in the second half of the twentieth century and are currently at the fore as they pertain to Supreme Court nominations in the twenty-first century. Certain beliefs and stances, informed by Christian dogma, are routinely called into question as they pertain to objective civil governance and decision making. Attempts are repeatedly made to expose religious bias and its threat to the rule of law and the Constitution. Ironically, Article VI of that document states “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
The necessary coexistence of church and state, in one form or another, has been around for centuries, and the tension between the two has posed varying degrees of difficulty in balancing religious beliefs and civic responsibility. The articles of faith in a particular religion can potentially “tip the scales” in the weighing of civil matters. Living a life that is informed by faith and conscience while paying the proper deference to civil law and authority is possible, as illustrated in a “religious test” posed in scripture:
The “litmus test” involving Caesar, courtesy of the Pharisees, was designed to elicit an “either/or” answer from Jesus. Much to their surprise and dismay, Jesus presented a middle path that could not be refuted. Determining what belongs to God and what belongs to “Caesar” can be challenging in certain situations but can be achieved through prayer, deliberation, and reliance on Divine Providence. From a Christian perspective, the First Commandment can set the tone and order of our fidelity to church and state. Putting God first while sorting through the “strange gods” of civic governance and politics, requires sober prayer and thought. Paying taxes on our hard-earned income is a burden in and of itself and becomes more oppressive when spent to fund concerns to which our beliefs are opposed. St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, has this to say:
Negotiating daily life within the spheres of family, church, and civil obligations can easily tilt out of balance in modern life. Careful discernment and deliberation, especially involving the weightier issues of human existence, require the divine assistance that God is ready and willing to offer.
In the general election of 2020, the division among the electorate is more pronounced than ever. Voting blocs, once fairly monolithic, are undergoing shifts that are seismic in many cases. Gone are the days when a given group could speak with one voice. The polling methods of the past, once fairly accurate, have been replaced with algorithms and a plethora of computer programs. The political landscape has become something akin to the Wild West, with a lot of unsettled lands to be plowed. The fastest gunfighters of the past have been replaced by those most adept at slinging commentary across the landscape of social media.
Let us pray for ongoing discernment as we balance faith and citizenship in casting the nets of our faith in evangelization, and our votes in the upcoming elections.
Cuando se le preguntó a John Fitzgerald Kennedy si sus creencias Católicas interferirían en el desempeño de sus deberes presidenciales si fuera elegido, respondió con esta frase ahora famosa:
“… No soy el candidato Católico a la presidencia. Soy el candidato presidencial del Partido Demócrata, que también es Católico. No hablo por mi iglesia sobre asuntos públicos y la iglesia no habla por mí.”
Las “pruebas de fuego” religiosas en la política se aceleraron en la segunda mitad del siglo XX y actualmente están en primer plano en lo que respecta a las nominaciones a la Suprema Corte en el siglo XXI. Ciertas creencias y posturas, informadas por el Dogma Cristiano, se cuestionan rutinariamente en lo que respecta a la gobernanza civil objetiva y la toma de decisiones. Se intentan repetidamente exponer los prejuicios religiosos y su amenaza para el estado de derecho y la Constitución. Irónicamente, el artículo VI de ese documento establece que “nunca se requerirá ninguna prueba religiosa como cualificación para ninguna oficina o fideicomiso público de los Estados Unidos”.
La necesaria coexistencia de la iglesia y el estado, de una forma u otra, ha existido durante siglos, y la tensión entre los dos ha planteado diversos grados de dificultad para equilibrar las creencias religiosas y la responsabilidad cívica. Los artículos de fe en una religión en particular pueden potencialmente “inclinar la balanza” en el peso de los asuntos civiles. Es posible vivir una vida que esté guiada por la fe y la conciencia mientras se presta el debido respeto a la ley y la autoridad civiles, como se ilustra en una “prueba religiosa” planteada en las Escrituras:
Esta “prueba de fuego” que involucra a César, cortesía de los fariseos, fue diseñada para obtener una respuesta de “una o la otra” de Jesús. Para su sorpresa y consternación, Jesús presentó un camino intermedio que no podía ser refutado. Determinar lo que pertenece a Dios y lo que pertenece al “César” puede ser un desafío en ciertas situaciones, pero se puede lograr mediante la oración, la deliberación y la confianza en la Divina Providencia. Desde una perspectiva cristiana, el Primer Mandamiento puede dar la pauta y el orden de nuestra fidelidad a la Iglesia y al estado. Poner a Dios en primer lugar mientras clasifica a los “dioses extraños” del gobierno y la política, requiere oración y pensamiento sobrios. Pagar impuestos sobre nuestros ingresos ganados con esfuerzo es una carga en sí misma y se vuelve más opresivo cuando se gasta para financiar asuntos opuestos nuestras creencias. San Pablo, en su carta a los Romanos, dice lo siguiente:
Negociar la vida diaria dentro de las esferas de la familia, la iglesia y las obligaciones civiles puede desequilibrarse fácilmente en la vida moderna. El discernimiento y la deliberación cuidadosos, especialmente en los asuntos más importantes de la existencia humana, requieren la ayuda divina, la cual Dios está listo y dispuesto a ofrecer.
En las elecciones generales de 2020, la división entre el electorado es más pronunciada que nunca. Los bloques de votación, que alguna vez fueron bastante monolíticos, están experimentando cambios que son sísmicos en muchos casos. Atrás quedaron los días en que un grupo determinado podía hablar con una sola voz. Los métodos de sondeo del pasado, que alguna vez fueron bastante precisos, han sido reemplazados por algoritmos y una gran cantidad de programas de computadora. El panorama político se ha convertido en algo parecido al viejo oeste, con una gran cantidad de tierras sin colonizar para arar. Los pistoleros más rápidos del pasado han sido reemplazados por los más expertos en lanzar comentarios en el panorama de las redes sociales.
Oremos por un discernimiento continuo mientras equilibramos la fe y la ciudadanía al echar las redes de nuestra fe en la evangelización y nuestros votos en las próximas elecciones.
This year at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, we will be doing three things during the 40 Days for Life campaign, which runs from September 23rd through November 1st.
• Praying at Abortion Center. 40 Days for Life involves pray for an end to abortion, fasting and a 40 Day Vigil in front of a local abortion center. The Vigil will be held in front of All Women’s Health Center located at 2010 E. Fletcher Ave, Tampa. St. Lawrence parishioners will be at the Center for two days: Friday, October 2nd and Saturday, October 3rd from 7:45am-12:00pm. Due to COVID-19 and safe social distancing regulation, there will be a limited number of parishioners in front of the abortion center to pray. In place of the sign-up in the piazza, we will reach out to parishioners that have participated in the past to cover these days and times.
• Praying from the Chapel. If you cannot pray with us at the abortion center, you can still help! We are asking if some St. Lawrence parishioners can please pray in the chapel (in the main church building) to intercede for those on the sidewalk and for those considering having an abortion. Suggested time and dates align with those praying in person: Friday, Oct. 2nd and Saturday Oct. 3rd from 7:45am -12pm
• Donations for childcare supplies. Throughout the 40 Days for Life, we will be collecting baby diapers and supplies to stock the shelves of Foundations of Life Pregnancy Center’s “Baby Boutique”, which helps babies and their mothers who have chosen life. If you would like to give gift cards, please drop them off at the church office with “Foundations of Life” written on the envelope. Last year, Foundations of Life was so grateful for St. Lawrence’s generosity.
Questions on how to get involved? Contact Linda Scrofani at (813) 597-6531
Jesus said: “Going out about five o’clock, [the landowner] found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’” (Matthew 20:6-7 NABRE)
One of the hardest aspects of being without a job is finding gainful employment, especially in a new career path. Even if you stay in your field, you face formidable competition from others vying for the same position. These days, finding work between jobs might be accomplished in the realm of what is termed as the “gig economy.” Driving passengers and delivering various items pay a fixed rate per delivery or trip. Working in this way still requires customers to “hire” you. The stability that a full-time job provides gives way to the tentative aspects of sporadic work for hire.
Another approach to employment involves taking on a part-time job with reduced hours that often come with no benefits. Temporary employment, usually through an agency, is another option. Day labor, perhaps the least desirable way of finding work, involves showing up for the possibility of being chosen to work for that day. Oftentimes, after being ready, willing, and able, being passed over is a common occurrence in the life of a day laborer.
The Willingness to Work Waiting for hire in any of the above situations is stressful and can easily be construed by others as “standing idle.” In the parable of the tenant farmers, we find a group of workers waiting to be “called.” Some are called right away, while others are called later at various times throughout the day. There is a “call and response” between the employer and the worker. The terms for the day are presented to each individual and agreed upon. According to the parable, everyone who is called goes to work in the vineyard, albeit at different times.
At the end of the day, as the workers are called from last to first, each receives their agreed-upon wage. A certain sense of fairness comes into question among some of the workers, and the parable ends by emphasizing the owner’s generosity over any subjective view of entitlement. A willingness to work, along with patience and tenacity, makes a powerful combination to have while waiting to be hired.
It is important to note that once a full-time job is obtained, the requirements of the job must be met and hopefully exceeded. Once employed, it is incumbent on the employee to readily adapt to and embrace ulars of the job they have obtained. While apparent idleness might be excused during unemployment, it is not well tolerated in the workplace. Directives are issued and goals are set to ensure the health and well-being of the company.
Go and Work in the Vineyard In biblical terms, it could be said that the head of a given company represents the “father”, and the employees are the “sons” in the following illustration:
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders:] “What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.” (Matthew 21:28-31 NRSVCE)
Doing the Father’s will, both in ancient Palestine and today, involves a willingness and readiness to respond to particular directives (commandments). A paraphrase of a quote from St. Teresa of Calcutta, “Be where you are supposed to be, and do what you are supposed to do,” applies to work in general, and especially to work in the vineyard of ministry and evangelization.
Conclusion While it is true that you “can’t put the cart before the horse” in terms of finding work, once employment is secured, the resolve that was once used to get a job can be channeled into the productivity and loyalty necessary for the mission at hand.
During this time of pandemic and economic downturn, let us pray for the grace to discern God’s will, the patience to wait on the Lord for employment in the workplace as well as in the vineyard of ministry.
La Comisión Hispana anuncia la Misa Hispana Diocesana anual en honor a Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, patrona de Cuba. La Misa será presidida por monseñor Gregory L. Parkes el sábado 10 de octubre, 2020, a las 10:00 a.m. en la Catedral de St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 5th Ave. North, St. Petersburg. Este año no habrá procesión de banderas pero rezaremos el rosario a las 9:30 a.m. antes de la Misa.
Debido a las limitaciones de espacio resultantes de la actual pandemia COVID-19 las personas interesadas en asistir a la Misa tendrán que inscribirse aquí por orden de llegada. De llegar al cupo te invitamos a ver la Misa en vivo en nuestros canales de Livestream, Facebook o Youtube. Para obtener más información, llama a Mercedes Cedeño al 727-344-1611 ext. 5471.
The Hispanic Commission announces the annual Diocesan Hispanic Mass in honor of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, patroness of Cuba. The Mass will be presided by Bishop Gregory L. Parkes on Saturday, October 10, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 5th Ave. North, St. Petersburg. This year, we will not have the procession of flags but we will gather at 9:30 a.m. to pray the Rosary before the Mass.
Due to spacing limitations resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic, persons interested in attending the Mass will need to register here on a first-come-first-serve basis. Space is limited. If registration is full we invite you to watch the Mass via our Livestream,Facebook or Youtube. For more information contact Mercedes Cedeño at 727-344-1611 ext. 5471.