“You can do something I cannot do. I can do something you cannot do. Together let us do something beautiful for God.” – Blessed Mother Teresa
The words Time, Talent and Treasure became the buzz words for healthy parish stewardship, and led us to better focus on the God-given gifts and talents of every parishioner, not just how much money they could donate. We recognize that our parish, and the Catholic Church as a whole, need so much more than money, and that our parish community members actually need to give us so much more than funding. Great joy and peace can be found within a multitude of parish ministries, and ministering to each other is the greatest gift of all.
With those thoughts in mind, we are shifting our focus to the four pillars of parish stewardship, described by the so-called Father of Catholic Stewardship, the late Msgr. Thomas McGread. As the stewardship director for the Diocese of Wichita, he was instrumental in teaching stewardship as a way of life.Pillars of Parish Stewardship
“When I was a stranger, you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35). Jesus Christ teaches that whenever we welcome the least of our brothers or sisters, we welcome Christ himself. That is why the first mark of a stewardship parish is hospitality.
Being friendly is one of the first ways we can be Christ-like toward others. Parishioners seek to see the face of Christ in one another. With special vigilance, parishioners must offer a warm, hospitable and loving welcome to visitors and new members of our parish family, as well as foster a sense of belonging for our entire parish community.
A healthy prayer life includes communal prayer such as Mass, as well as personal prayer and family prayer. Don’t get so caught up with parish projects and outreach efforts that you forget to spend time with God in prayer. Every great saint has taught that prayer is the most essential component in the life of a Christian. Prayer and the Sacraments strengthen our relationship with the Trinity and focus our lives on the Holy Eucharist as central to our spirituality.
Prayer is necessary to our soul as food is to our bodies. It is through prayer that we nurture our personal relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Prayer is at the heart of a faithful steward’s life.
From childhood through adulthood, our whole life must be a process of drawing closer to God. He never stops calling us forward to learn more and to examine ourselves more deeply. We must develop and nurture our gifts and acknowledge that everything we have has been bestowed on us by God.
We are one body, the body of Christ. This makes the formation, education and growth of each person even more important. God calls us as disciples to share what we receive, and to be generous, grateful and loving in our giving.
Continuing lifelong Catholic education is important if we are to grow in our lives as stewards. Faith formation comes through a multitude of programs, including the parish school, RCIA, Little Saints, youth group, Bible studies, Small Christian Communities, homilies at Mass, various church ministries, and many other on-going opportunities. It is in this collective effort and with the grace of God at work in our lives that faith formation thrives. Educating the mind and forming the heart are necessary steps in our growth process. Faith formation of the individual and the parish is critical to living a life of stewardship.
“Amen I say to you, whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).
This scripture was one of Mother Teresa’s favorites. Each time she picked up a poor and hungry child, she knew she was ministering to Christ. While we may not view ourselves as saints, we too are called to such heroic service right within our own community. As Mother Teresa said, “To be a saint is not the privilege of a few, but the duty of everyone.”
We have many service opportunities right here within our own parish, everything from landscaping, providing childcare during adult faith formation classes, serving the hungry, offering emotional support, preparing funeral dinners, supervising youth activities, and bringing Holy Communion to those who are homebound and in nursing homes. If you have the willingness to serve and take the initiative to find where you are needed, you’ll find that there is no end to the families and individuals who truly need help.
How can you reach out to them in love? How can you serve compassionately to those who are hurting or in need, lost or alone, or suffering in any way? As faithful stewards we must be ready to minister to the varied needs of our own parish family as well as the needs of the wider community and Church.
Did you know about Online Giving?
As with every Catholic Church, we’re 100% driven by you and without you we cannot exist! We encourage you to utilize our Online Giving site as a low maintenance way to contribute regularly to the Church and various other Catholic initiatives. As Mother Angelica once said, “Keep us between your gas and electric bill!” Get Started!