“Gratefully acknowledging that God gives us all, we each willingly offer our unique gifts to one another and all creation in the Spirit of Jesus Christ”. St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish’s Call to Stewardship.
This past Sunday through Wednesday members of our Stewardship Committee, including our Pastor, Fr. Ronan, attended the 56th Annual International Catholic Stewardship Conference in Nashville, TN. This is the third year in a row that several members of our Stewardship Committee have paid their way to join nearly 1,000 other attendees from around the globe to learn how to make our parish a true “Stewardship Parish”.
The days were long but inspiring, with sessions starting early in the morning and continuing through the late afternoon, ending with an early evening Mass each night. There were 80 separate sessions at the Conference, covering topics such as “Making Stewardship a Way of Life in Your Parish” and “Practical Ideas to Empower Young Adult Stewards”. The common thread running through all of these sessions was the core principle of Stewardship. We began our Stewardship journey just a few years ago. Hopefully you’ve seen evidence of the progress we’ve made so far. We’ve increased our efforts on welcoming both new and existing parishioners; we’ve added a Fellowship Time with coffee, tea, and muffins after the 8 am and 10:30 am Masses; a couple of intentional listening sessions were conducted with more to come in an effort to gather your input on how we can more effectively serve our community; a formal Welcoming Committee to facilitate and coordinate our welcoming efforts
has been established; and we’ve incorporated our new Stewardship Prayer at the end of each Mass.
Our goal is to create a true stewardship community in our Parish in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, where everyone feels welcomed, valued, and included in the life of our Parish. A community in which we recognize that everything we have and everything we do is a result of the gifts that God has placed into our hands; and out of this recognition, feel an emerging desire to take the time every day to be grateful to God for the gifts we’ve been given and choose to dedicate our time, talent, and treasure to carrying out God’s work here on earth. A community in which the desire to be generous with our lives emerges from within and not from any external pressure or reward. A stewardship way of life deepens our relationship with God, changes the way we live, love and work, and influences every decision we make.
It will take time to complete this transformation and it will involve not merely members of various committees, but each and every one of our members. For it will be all of us working together that will make St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena a true Stewardship Parish.
Dennis Hanson, Stewardship Committee Member