Stewardship is for more than just the individual. It is something that we as a Universal Church should strive to bring into our own parishes. We invite you to reflect and ponder on how your parish can become a Stewardship Parish. Listed below are the Four Pillars of Stewardship. How can your parish live out these pillars to respond in thanksgiving for all God has done for you?
“When I was a stranger, you welcomed me.” (Mt. 25:35). Jesus Christ teaches that whenever we welcome one of the least of our sisters and brothers, we welcome Christ Himself. Parishioners of a stewardship parish seek to see the face of Christ in one another. With special vigilance, parishioners must seek out and welcome new members to the parish family. A stewardship parish is a welcoming parish regardless of the parish demographics: large or small - urban, suburban or rural.
A stewardship parish strives to nourish the soul through prayer. “Prayer is as necessary to our souls as food is to our bodies.” Prayer and the sacraments dispose a soul to receive God’s abundant graces, which are necessary to grow in holiness. It is through prayer that we nurture our personal relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As the steward grows in the life of prayer, God reveals Himself more intimately in this personal relationship. The steward also sees that the gifts received from God are to be shared and not buried. The steward remains deeply rooted in humility, recognizing that the gifts one has been given come not from self, but from God. Those gifts are to be shared with others. Here lies the heart of the steward’s personal response as a disciple – to share what one has received and to share with a generous, grateful and loving heart.
Members of a stewardship parish are ready to minister to varied needs of their own parish family as well as the needs of the wider community and Church. Just as the members of a family come together to help one of their own, a stewardship parish family serves those who are hurting or in need, doubting or seeking salvation. The parish family also comes together to celebrate, thank and to return God’s gifts—all are needs of parishioners.