Stewardship 2022

Wills and Trusts

There were a few people, members of this parish, who before they died created a will or trust for Blessed Sacrament Parish.

Please remember our deceased benefactors in your prayers. May they be in bliss with our Father in Heaven.

If you are considering remembering Blessed Sacrament Parish in your will or creating a Trust for the parish, contact Fr. Bob Tywoniak. He will direct you to those who may assist you and insure all is properly arranged.

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. “For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.” Philippians 2:13
Continue your purpose. Make a gift today!

2. Your will and estate plan are important because they benefit your family, friends and favorite charities after your lifetime. Maximize your options by seeking the help of an estate planning attorney who can ensure that your goals are accomplished and advise you of the implications of any contemplated moves. If you are considering a gift to us, we can help you choose a method that maximizes your money and satisfies your wishes and our needs. Email us today

3. “Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you." Luke 14:13-14

Jesus invites us to be humble and warns us not to give in to hopes of repayment, but to give openhandedly to the poor and needy. That sort of giving mirrors the bountiful giving of God, and Jesus assures us that the faithful steward’s efforts will surely be blessed.