This plan is proposed by the St. Catherine of Siena Stewardship Commission and is humbly presented to our Pastor, Msgr. Morris and the Parish Pastoral Council for consideration as the Parish’s initiative to promote and offer an invitation for the members of the parish to adopt a spirituality of stewardship.
Everything we do will be based on the knowledge that all we have and all we are comes from God. Everything belongs to God and we are merely stewards of his great gifts. As stewards, nothing belongs to us. Rather, it is entrusted to us for as long as God wills it and we will ultimately be called to give an account of our stewardship.
As a commission, we propose a threefold approach to stewardship by emphasizing the following activities: Prayer, Service and Sharing.
The Stewardship Commission of St. Catherine of Siena Parish has established the following objectives:
- To help all members of members of St. Catherine of Siena Parish to grow in stewardship awareness, understanding and commitment.
- To nurture faith-filled household and personal prayer and parish worship.
- To foster and affirm greater parish, household and personal involvement in compassionate service within the parish and in the greater community.
- To promote increased levels of generous material sharing by the parish, households and individuals.
This plan is merely a starting point. We must all realize that our Stewardship Plan, just as our overall Parish Plan is a changing and evolving effort. We hope to outline the ways we suggest in going about the promotion and implementation of a spirit of stewardship within our Parish and the lives of all parishioners.
For the Year 2014-2015:
The Stewardship Commission plans to dedicate a year to educating the parishioners on the meaning of Christian stewardship and the lifestyle changes that it demands. By living of a life of stewardship, each and every member of our parish will enjoy the blessings and peace that comes from a deeper and more genuine relationship with God from whom all good things originate.
As a commission, we propose the following initiatives:
Stewardship awareness, understanding and commitment
The Stewardship Commission will promote among parishioners an increased awareness, understanding and commitment toward living as Christian stewards of God’s manifold gifts by:
- Sending two members of our Stewardship Commission, Elaine Petit and Karen Bosso, to the International Stewardship Conference held in October 2014 in Orlando. It is our expectation that they will return with a greater understanding of their own commitment to stewardship and better ideas of how we can promote the spirituality of stewardship to all parishioners.
- Enrolling the aid of the clergy of St. Catherine and encouraging them to periodically preach on the subject of stewardship and the power that the practice of it will bring into the lives of those who embrace a life of stewardship.
- Publishing regular articles, photos, and reminders of stewardship principles in our parish bulletin and on our parish website.
- Collaborating with our Coordinator of Faith Formation to sponsor poster, essay, and/or poetry contests for the children and youth of our parish. Entries will be displayed and awards will be given for the best and most original submissions.
- Working with ministry leaders to generate annual stewardship reports detailing the parishioners’ dedication to prayer, service and sharing. The reports will be submitted to the Finance Council to distribute and publish. We envision that the reports will be distributed simultaneously with the annual financial report.
- Making recorded witness talks and printed testimonies available on the parish website. New stories will be posted regularly. These testimonies will reflect the difference that stewardship has made in the lives of parishioners who practice it.
- Promoting evangelization by meeting with the Faith Formation Commission to explore possibilities of distributing dynamic Catholic books to all parishioners at Christmas and/or Easter. Examples of such books include Matthew Kelly’s Rediscover Catholicism and Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.
We will seek to accomplish these objectives within the budgetary guidelines of our Commission budget which is attached at the end of this Plan.
Prayer and Parish Worship
The Stewardship Commission will promote a deeper commitment to prayer and worship among parishioners by:
- Inserting copies of the Stewardship Prayer inside the back cover of the missalettes.
- Working together with our parish Faith Formation leadership to encourage students to pray for an increase in stewardship. Deacon Fred Kunder has offered to provide Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction on a Sunday evening for students.
- Promoting parish retreats such as days of reflection for participants of That Man is You and Our Fiat.
- Supporting regular prayer for vocations. The Stewardship Commission is willing to assist our parish Vocations Commission by advertising the Vocation Chalice/Vocation Prayer/ Marriage Encounter DVD, etc.
- Instilling a sense of gratitude among our whole parish by publishing a Thanksgiving prayer and distributing it to all parishioners in the November 23, 2014 bulletin and encouraging them to use it at their family gatherings on Thanksgiving Day.
The Stewardship Commission will encourage parishioners to increase their commitment toward compassionate service by:
- Sponsoring our annual parish Ministry Fair during the weekend of January 18-19, 2015. During the fair, we will highlight all parish ministries and invite more parishioners to participate.
- Organizing and promoting participation in the CRS Helping Hands Project. This year’s event is scheduled for February 28, 2015.
- Consulting with ministry leaders to assemble a list of all the ministries in order to compare parishioner participation from year to year, subject to review and input from parish staff responsible for these ministries.
- Working with our Justice Commission and others on formative service projects such as FAST and ministry to the High Point community.
- Regularly listing service needs on the parish website and in the parish bulletin.
The Stewardship Commission will promote even greater generosity throughout our parish community by:
- Asking the parish Finance Council to consider modeling generous giving by sharing a percentage of the parish income to other charitable organizations. We would encourage them to evaluate where we are and set a deliberate course over several years to reach an annual level of 10 percent.
- Partnering with our parish Faith Formation leadership to implement the use of envelopes by our children and teens.
- Encouraging participation in annual fund-raising walks to benefit Kimberly Home and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
For the Year 2015-2016:
The Stewardship Commission proposes to be more specific in calling our brothers and sisters to practice a spirituality of stewardship in their individual lives. 2015-2016 will be a year dedicated to stewardship throughout the parish. We plan to accomplish this by an implementing a deliberate schedule of preaching on the subject, a more developed program of catechesis for parishioners of all ages and intentional invitations to embrace a lifestyle of stewardship. We plan to involve all parish ministries and leadership to actively and intentionally promote stewardship. During this year, we intend to:
- Schedule a Commitment Sunday, where families will be asked to complete commitment cards with their family’s commitment to increase their stewardship of prayer, service and sharing. They would then come forward during the Mass to place their cards in the basket. The cards will be burned at the end of each Mass to ensure that their commitments are between them and God.
- Demonstrate the parish’s commitment with an annual stewardship report, disseminated by members of the finance council, along with the annual parish financial report.
- Request that all ministries schedule at least a portion of one meeting during the year to discuss how they can promote stewardship at St. Catherine of Siena Parish. Members of the Stewardship Commission would be available to help or make suggestions, while allowing each ministry to be free in choosing how they will promote their ideas.
- Continue all initiatives begun in 2014-2015.
Additional programs and initiatives will be planned for next year during this year as we identity the strengths and challenges in our parish with respect to our understanding of stewardship.
It is our belief, through experience and the Word of God, that the practice of stewardship as a way of life will benefit each and every individual who chooses to practice it and will help us to grow stronger as a parish, building the Kingdom of God in our homes and throughout our community. God is faithful, God is true and he promises that his generosity cannot be outdone. May the parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena be even more conformed to Christ by their willingness to “store up treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20).