Stewardship 2022

ABCD
Beyond Our Own Parish

We naturally have to support our parish. But we are a larger community than the boundaries of our local area.

Sometimes we do not see all we Roman Catholics do. That is OK. When I was a child, I was taught, “You put up and shut up!” That meant we do what is right and good and do not expect special recognition. People are in need, and we simply serve the Lord through them.

The ABCD addresses needs and projects for the care and service of others that no one parish can do alone. Surely, most parishes do many service projects in their own areas as we do. But, there are things to be done in the three counties of our Archdiocese that needs the combined work of all parishes.

You will note there are many projects and service institutions the ABCD supports. There is the preparation of the clergy, parishes and missions that are in poor neighborhoods that cannot support themselves, and all kinds of social service agencies. As Church we render service to people out of many locations and agencies of our Church in South Florida.

Then there is what is done here at home in our parish that the ABCD has funded.

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Archbishop’s Charities & Development Drive

Over the years I have been pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish I have appealed to the ABCD funds. Yes, there have been members of this parish that needed specialized assistance that we and our St. Vincent de Paul Society could not handle on our own. At times one of our Agencies funded by the ABCD provided the help. At other times I wrote a grant that directly aided the family!

Therefore, besides our 6% tithe (donation) to the parish we tithe (donate) 2% to the ABCD. We go beyond our own needs and desires to help others.

Soon you will receive information and pledge documents in the mail. Or, you will receive documents we will give out next weekend. We each will make our pledge to the ABCD and pitch in to help beyond our parish.

Please remember to designate
"BLESSED SACRAMENT PARISH"
when making your gift to ABCD so we get credit toward our goal of
$62,000!

Are your ready to make your ABCD gift now?
Click the button below.

Stewardship Recognition, 2022
Damien and Olga Priestman

Each year we recognize someone for his or her Stewardship. It is NOT an award. We do not get awarded for doing what we ought to do. Rather, the person or persons, in humility, stand before us as examples of what we all may do to serve the Lord and His Church.

This year we recognize the Priestman Family. The family is led by Damien and Olga. They have four children.

Damien and Olga came to the U.S. seeking asylum from the Russian Putin regime. They were daring to become Roman Catholics and then practice the faith boldly. Furthermore, they espoused and worked for Democratic reform in Russia. When their work and practice of the Faith so threatened Mr. Putin, they found it best to come to the U.S. and ask for asylum.

Already, they had traveled to the U.S. to give birth to each of their children. With the exception of the fourth child they would return to Moscow. They knew they had to do something to protect their children. All along since the birth of their first daughter Blessed Sacrament Parish has been their spiritual support. Being aware of their needs the parish has quietly provided what was necessary along the way.

There was a moment in recent history democratic reform looked good in Russia. Originally it was President Carter who brought the Catholic Church, under St. Pope John Paul II, together with our governmental efforts to change the Soviet Union. President Reagan then continued this alliance with the Church that eventually “brought down the wall”. At that moment Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership was making strides to bring Russia into alignment with the West. A greater freedom of Religion and Rule was on the move. Actual members of the Priestman family who had been jailed for the practice of the Faith were freed. As young people Damien and Olga were involved in organizing democratic reforms. Both became lawyers in their system. Damien specialized in Civil Rights. His theses was “Religious Civil Family”. However, Damien and Olga were still not “aware” of one another.

In 2002 Damien explains the most important thing happened in his life. He made the move from being a Baptist to entering the Roman Catholic Church. The next most important thing was he met Olga.

Olga and Damien met in 2010 at a meeting of TAIZE. They married February 12, 2013, in Israel at the Church of the First Miracle in Cana. In their young marriage they participated together in many protests. You see, when Vladimir Putin come into power in 1999, before they had even met, things were already changing for the worse. “Security Services” returned to public management of the country. Russian foreign policy became more isolationist. Democratic institutions were banned. Corruption and bribery became the norm.

Religious freedoms were not what one would expect or hope for. There was toleration of only certain religions. The Russian Orthodox Church became the overt State Religion. The Roman Catholic Church was not tolerated. The organization that Damien worked for was now in big trouble and the only thing to do was to permanently move his family back to the U.S. in October of 2015. Given the support the parish was giving the family in the past the Priestman’s joined Blessed Sacrament permanently.

In recent years our nation pivoted to a stance that people wishing asylum were not so favored. At one point it was proposed people seeking asylum should do so while still in their home country. Needless to say, such would be very dangerous to such families as ours.

While Damien and Olga have worked at any job available their goal professionally is to study Law in the U.S. Mostly, they wish to raise their American born children to be responsible faithful Roman Catholics for which Damien and Olga fought so hard to be.

All of this parish should know the Priestman’s are not the first family this parish has sponsored. Surely, they will not be the last. All of us born in the U.S., especially we Roman Catholics, must be vigilant to be sure all people of Faith may be able to practice their faith not only in this country but around the world.

We give respect to this family for the witness they give to us of Faith in a most loving God.

Archdiocese of Miami Development Corporation

1. Giving isn’t just about donating. It’s about making a difference. Be a part of the difference by making a gift today! isupportabcd.org

2. One of the easiest ways for you to support the mission of the Church, is to leave Blessed Sacrament Parish a bequest. A bequest is a gift made to charity in your will or trust. For more information, contact Sabrina Paul-Noel, MPA(305) 762-1112, or our office.

3. “…He said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none.’” (LUKE 13:7)

Sometimes we can all be like the barren fig tree. We have everything to bear fruits, but we don’t! How will you respond when God asks you what you have done with all the gifts, He has given you? Remember, not only are we called to be generous, but we are also called to develop and nurture our gifts, and return them with increase, especially the one that means the most to us.