What is Stewardship?
Stewardship is a complete lifestyle, a life of total accountability and responsibility acknowledging God as Creator and Owner of all. Stewardship is responsible management of our God-given resources of time, talent, and treasure. It enhances our relationships with God and one another. Stewardship is living out a commitment to be Christ-centered rather than self-centered and involves a conversion of the heart. Stewardship is a lifelong journey with each person at a different place on the path.
Stewardship is not just a program, a fund-raising scheme, or about money and donations. But stewardship can have some programmatic elements. For example, every year parishes teaching the stewardship way of life will have an annual renewal or pledge. This opportunity allows parishioners to prayerfully discern and reflect on how much of their time, talents, and treasure they can commit to their parish and/or community over the next year.
It is essential for parishes to continually educate parishioners about stewardship, not just during the annual renewal time, but all 12 months of the year. Our Sunday Visitor offers many resources to help parishes in that education.
Matthew 6:31-33: So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.
Luke 12:33-34: Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
1 Peter 4:9-11: Be hospitable to one another without complaining. As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace. Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Philippians 4:19-20: My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen.
International Catholic Stewardship Council
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
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