“In recent years a great deal of attention has been focused on pastoral planning, as you well know. Much has been discussed about parish consolidation, pastoral collaboration, parish and diocesan indebtedness, fiscal accountability, strengthening our Catholic schools and communication. All of these conversations are significant and must continue.
However, what has largely been overlooked is the implementation of “a stewardship way of life.” It is my hope that our diocese will continue to move forward to become a stewardship diocese, and that we will begin to see ourselves as forming stewardship parishes and schools. Dozens of dioceses and thousands of parishes across our nation have discovered a renewed spirituality and pastoral vitality through stewardship”.
Definition of Stewardship
According to the 1992 U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter, Stewardship: A Disciple's Response, a steward is defined as a disciple of Jesus who "receives God's gifts gratefully, cultivates them responsibly, shares them lovingly in justice with others and returns them with increase to the Lord."
Stewardship is a way of life and is best understood within the context of conversion and evangelization. The disciple is motivated to share his/her time, talent and treasure with the Church and other worthy causes from a deep sense of gratitude and in a planned, proportionate and sacrificial manner.