Why did God make you?

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  02/11/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

Parishioners of a certain age may remember the Question 6 from The Baltimore Catechism Why did God make you?and its answer “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” A young person asked me last week this very question - from his own curiosity, not from a catechism class - and I thought of this answer. We exist because God desired (and still desires now) that we exist, and so we are born. No one is an accident or superfluous.

Yet, present in our hearts from the very beginning of our lives is a restlessness and searching for happiness. We all know some of the ways we can choose to calm our restlessness or grasp at to fill the holes in our souls. Ultimately the question of “why God made me” is asked in today’s language as:

  • What is the purpose of my life?
  • What will make me happy?
  • Why do I feel incomplete or still restless so often?

St. Augustine famously wrote “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” It’s true. Nothing in this life - stuff, experiences, control, pleasure - nothing will satisfy us or cause us to truly rest. Only God can do this. How? He lives among us in our families, our vocations, mission, and the love we feel and share.

So… if I were to ask you, “what are you searching for?” how would you answer? Be honest…

Our 2024 SJV Parish Mission (in English) will be offered over three evenings - Feb 25 / 26 / 27 - in the Centro Santa Cruz and led by the Steubenville Parish Mission Team and leaders among our fellow parishioners. I cannot tell you how excited I am and sure that this will be a life-changing experience for many. The title of the Mission is The Missing Piece: What are you searching for? There will be beautiful praise music, testimony, Eucharistic Adoration, personal prayer and afterward opportunities to socialize.

If you’re on the fence about attending, take the risk. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! You’ll be very glad you did, I promise.

Some exciting news about our parish team:

  • Maribel Miranda will serve as the newly created Marriage & Family Life Minister, and
  • Esmeralda Avila will serve as Youth Minister.

Maribel and Esmeralda are each currently serving the Lord in ministry at SJV and have demonstrated deep commitment to our parishioners. They have shown professionalism, thoughtfulness, and integrity in their current roles and give me every confidence they will be excellent in their new positions.

The Marriage & Family Life Minister is the pastor’s primary assisting minister for the specific formation, catechesis, and enrichment of marriages and family life activities in the parish. These responsibilities require the MFL Minister to assist the pastor in catechizing the faithful regarding holy matrimony and holy family life, preparing engaged couples for the sacrament, enriching current marriages, supporting troubled families, accompanying the divorced, separated, and widowed and generally supporting family activities in the parish.

The Youth Minister is the parish’s dedicated assisting minister for the evangelization and spiritual formation of young people. The YM coordinates with parents and all other parish ministries, particularly the School and Religious Education, to ensure children and young people know ways to deepen their personal and social relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church. From this collaboration flow relationship-building, catechesis, social activities, service work, spiritual reflection and retreats. The objective of youth ministry is to ensure young people encounter Jesus and know His love for them.

Personally, I am very excited to begin collaboration and work with them in these roles. I have assured them each of my prayers and hope you will also pray for Esme and Maribel.

Have a great week and enjoy many blessings!

In Christ,

Fr. David