STEWARDSHIP AS A WAY OF LIFE
“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace”
1 Peter 4:10
CATHEDRAL STEWARDSHIP MISSION
Our mission is to continuously strengthen the culture of stewardship as a way of life at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament by:
Assisting our brothers and sisters to live a Christ-centered life and serve as disciples of Christ as a way of life,
Nurturing a family of God within the Cathedral home,
Connecting with parishioners, and
Reaching out to visitors and community.
WHAT IS STEWARDSHIP?
Stewardship is the grateful response of a Christian disciple who recognizes and receives God’s gifts and shares these gifts in love of God and neighbor. The U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship states “As Christian stewards, we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.”
Three “T’s” of Stewardship—Time, Talent, & Treasure
Stewardship of Time: Using my time on earth wisely; making time for personal prayer, family prayer and quality time with friends and loved ones.
Stewardship of Talent: Using my God-given abilities to strengthen the Church and help others, especially through parish ministries and activities.
Stewardship of Treasure: The wise and just management of my financial resources; giving an appropriate amount of my income to the parish.
The Four Pillars of stewardship
Building a Stewardship Parish on Four Pillars: Hospitality, Prayer, Formation and Service
Hospitality – Christian Kindness
“When I was a stranger, you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35). The Gospel 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
Prayer – A Heart-to-Heart with God
Every great saint has taught that prayer is the most essential component in the life of the Christian. Through prayer, we nurture our most important relationship — the one that will last for all eternity.
Formation – Continuous Conversion
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.
Service – Love in Action
“Amen I say to you, whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40). While we may not view ourselves as saints, we too are called to such heroic service within our own community.
Stewardship: A Disciple's Response
The US Bishops' pastoral letter was published in 1992 as a challenge to embrace a way of life with the "power to change how we understand and live out our lives."
It contains 3 Primary Convictions
1 CHALLENGE - Mature discipleship requires a decision to follow Jesus Christ no matter the cost.
2 CHOICE - This commitment leads to a way of life, not just a series of actions.
3 VISION - Then, with the first two being true, stewardship is transformational.
The letter is organized in 5 sections that reflect on the reality and source of the above convictions:
1 The Call: a) the call to stewardship is personal and with a purpose in mind for each individual; b} the
call is never made in isolation, with the community assisting in the discernment process. We are asked to respond to the call, knowing the cost may not be small.
2 Jesus' Way: Jesus himself is the primary teacher of stewardship. His parables especially show us a true image of a good steward. This way of life is not followed because of reward, although it is a source of great joy. Our activity as stewards is valuable because it is bringing about a Kingdom of God that exists here and now as well in the hereafter.
3 Living as a Steward: We are called to collaborate with God in the work of creation, redemption, and
sanctification. This is a stewardship in a profound way. In this manner, human productivity on any scale is seen as God's work.
4 Stewards of the Church: Each member of the Body of Christ has an obligation due to baptism to build up that Body. A stewardship way of life leads the member to evangelization, human solidarity, social justice, ecumenism, and the Eucharist. The members are called to bring these fruits into all spheres that they work in: the diocese, the parish, the domestic church, and the world.
5 The Christian Steward: Good stewards see the evidence of God in all things, small and large. This
leads to fruits of love, trust, accountability, and generosity. Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary serve as their examples. They give without measure.
Four years after the 1992 publication, an appendix was added to future printings. This was an attempt to deal with criticisms from the traditional development side of the Church who felt that finances were too de-emphasized, and also to offer further clarification of key terms and concepts. Several characteristics of stewardship are discussed in the initial two sections.
Stewardship 1) is collaborative 2) involves trust in God 3) calls for a commitment to formation and resources 4) is a lifelong process 5) needs a comprehensive approach on all levels of the Church 6) is for all ages.
The third section focuses on development and finance. It focuses on key elements of the stewardship of treasure, including capital campaigns, planned giving, and endowment funds. The fourth seaion includes a basic outline of seven key steps for overall stewardship success in promoting all forms of gifts.
Those 7 key steps are:
1 Personal witnessing
2 Commitment of leadership
3 Hospitality, Evangelization & Outreach
4 Communication & Education
5 Recruiting, training & recognizing gifts of time and talent
6 Encouragement of gifts of treasure
This appendix ends with a glossary of key stewardship terms. An additional appendix was also added of stewardship resources. At this time, many of the resources listed are out of print or outdated. Also, not all the resources are of a Catholic nature. Still, the list offers the reader a chance to find further discussion materials and practical resources for stewardship.
Christian stewardship did not begin in 1992 with the US Bishops' Pastoral Letter, Stewardship: A Disciple's Response. It did not start with the formation of the International Catholic Stewardship Council in 1962. It is not a current trend in the Catholic Church or the latest pop theology. Real stewardship has its origins in holy Scripture, from David's longing to repay his God for all his blessings in Psalm 116 to Jesus' command to love God with all one's heart, mind, and soul. God has entrusted us with so many gifts and talents, the breath of life, and the means by which we can sustain our existence. As disciples of Jesus we are called to use these things to build the Kingdom of God; to make the Body of Christ strong; to change the world. Stewardship is an extremely difficult reality to sustain. However, the concepts and processes we use do not need to be complicated. Simple principles can be the seeds for tremendous growth. This is the mission of Everyday Stewardship.
A Steward is Grateful
Gratitude is the necessary response to a gift. The heart of the Christian steward is gratitude. As Christian stewards, it is of utmost importance that we see God as the great gift-giver and thank Him for all He has given us. In fact, that is where our lives as Christian stewards ought to begin, because without Him, we have nothing. This is the basis of our stewardship way of life: a thanksgiving. Just as the Eucharist (thanksgiving) is the source and summit of our Catholic faith, our gratitude to God is the foundation of our stewardship way of life.
What is Stewardship Renewal?
This is a spiritual endeavor. Stewardship Renewal is a positive and formational time during which parishioners put all of their trust in Christ and take concrete steps in their faith, by making spiritual commitments of time, talent, and treasure. This is a grace-filled time for spiritual growth, both for you as an individual and the parish.
Why should I make a commitment?
During this time you will reflect on making commitments to prayer, parish ministries, and offertory giving, or what we call “time, talent, and treasure.” There’s a reason to make this commitment. It is an excellent opportunity to move forward spiritually and personally in your relationship with Christ.
Spiritual Journey of Renewal
United in Christ, we are on a journey to become a true community of disciples. Pray and reflect on your deep connection and commitment to Christ, the source of our strength and the inspiration for all that we are called to do.
To truly discern what He is asking each of us as individual Christian stewards — and our parish as a whole — you must be intentional in listening to His call. That means listening everyday, of course. Focus your prayer on deepening your relationship with Christ. Every day, God calls each one of us to follow Him, to put Him first in our lives.
Prayer for Commitment Sunday
Trusting in Jesus,
You have given me your whole being,
for all that I am and all that I have has its origin in You.
I think to be alive you need to give it all back.
Help me to commit myself completely to You.
My mind and heart really fail to see and hear.
Please enter my mind with your divine thoughts.
Guide me to think beyond my own worries, needs, and desires.
Direct my thoughts to You and to the path that reveals Your glory.
Please enter my heart with your divine heart.
Remove the dark thorns that run through me.
Heal wounds that react with anger, impatience, and offense.
Please give me a mind and a heart to relax my fists.
and, with open hands, reveal the wounds of your love.
Oración de corresponsabilidad para el Domingo de compromiso
Confiando en Jesús,
Me has entregado todo tu ser,
porque todo lo que soy y todo lo que tengo tiene su origen en Ti.
Creo que para estar vivo es necesario que te lo devuelva todo.
Ayúdame a comprometerme completamente a Ti.
Mi mente y mi corazón realmente fallan en ver y escuchar.
Por favor entra en mi mente con tus pensamientos divinos.
Guíame a pensar más allá de mis propias preocupaciones, necesidades y deseos.
Dirige mis pensamientos a Ti y al camino que revela tu gloria.
Por favor entra en mi corazón con tu divino corazón.
Quita las espinas oscuras que me atraviesan.
Sana las heridas que reaccionan con ira, impaciencia y ofensa.
Por favor, dame una mente y un corazón para relajar mis puños.
y, con las manos abiertas, revela las heridas de tu amor.
CATHEDRAL STEWARDSHIP ADVISORS
Father Michael O’Reilly
Carmen De La Rosa
Ernesto De La Rosa
Joseph (Joey) Martinez
The Cathedral Parishioners are on a Stewardship journey, walking along with Jesus who is always there accompanying us on the road,
whether we recognize Him or not.