Steward Of The Month
This month's Steward is Rev. Msgr. Chris Heller
St. Louis de Montfort, Sound Beach
For more than 40 years, Rev. Msgr. Christopher Heller has been a good steward of his flock; evangelizing others in our faith community.
Father's path began as a deacon at St. Sylvester in Medford. He also served at St. Lawrence in Sayville and for 14 years as a co-pastor of St. Gerard Majella in Port Jefferson Station, after which he was appointed Pastor at St. Joseph in Babylon.
Today, Fr. Heller is pastor at St. Louis de Montfort in Sound Beach, where he still continues to plant the seeds of stewardship.
While at St. Gerard Majella in Port Jefferson Station, Fr. Heller worked side by side with Fr. Bill Hanson to foster a stewardship way of life at the parish. Fr. Heller knew that everyone has God-given gifts that could be discovered for the benefit of the individual and the parish.
The two pastors realized that personal invitation was the best way to have their parishioners understand the gifts they have been given. Fr. Heller always had keen insight into what a parishioner's gifts were and what would be a perfect match for the ministries in the parish.
"I would approach parishioners and invite them to serve in ways that perhaps they themselves didn't realize they could. Many times the ministry fit the person like a glove, other times it did not. God calls us out of our comfort zone often, but He does not call us to every ministry; we were not made for every single ministry."
Fr. Heller and Fr. Hanson created "Sessions for You," which were days of enlightenment, enrichment and refreshment for the ministers in their parish. "All of us need to be refreshed and enriched - these sessions remind us that even our most loyal ministers, catechists and volunteers need to be refreshed and sharpened so as to give forth the best they can."
Recognition was also a way to give ministers a boost of energy to continue to go forth and spread the Good News. During Pentecost, after Mass, a reading of all the ministries was said aloud so that the respective ministers could stand up and be recognized. At the end, Fr. Heller reminded the remaining seated parishioners that they too should stand up as they play a huge role in the life of the ministries - their prayers are what made the ministries go strong.
His stewardship story is one that can inspire all of us to contemplate our lives and see the gifts God has given us. Whether it was with young couples preparing for marriage, young parents preparing to baptize their child or just a regular Mass-goer, Fr. Heller is ready to sit down with them and help them realize the awesome gifts God has given to them. Fr. Heller has spent a lot of one on one time with his parishioners throughout his vocation.
"I feel so blessed to be able to minister to each and every one of the people that I have met throughout the years - they are an inspiration to all of us."
We thank you Fr. Heller for all the work you have done in our Diocese. Stewardship is active across Long Island largely in part because of the seeds you have sown in all of your assignments.
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