Dear Lord, teach me to be generous;
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil, and not to seek for rest;
To labor, and not to ask for any reward –
except that of knowing that I am doing your holy will.
~St. Ignatius of Loyola
Stewardship is a far richer, more profound and more important topic than fund raising.
In their 1992 pastoral letter, Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, the bishops of the United States define a Christian steward as “one who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible manner, shares them in a responsible manner, shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord.”
Consider what the bishops meant by “God’s gifts”. Were they talking about financial wealth? Yes indeed, because our wealth along with our ability to create our wealth is a gift of God’s grace! All that we are and all that we have are gifts to us from the Father. But it matters very little if we are talking about gifts of time, gifts of talent and ability or gifts of treasure. The bishops make no distinction in their definition. The same measurements are applied to all stewardship, all gifts. Those measurements are: gratitude, responsibility, charity and accountability.
From One Spirit, One People of God
Office of Stewardship, Archdiocese of Atlanta
- Parish Offertory, Mortgage Reduction, and Annual Appeal Reports
- Archbishop’s Annual Appeal
- St. James Time & Talent
The promotion of the practice of stewardship is important for the mission of the Church and for the spiritual well-being of each individual Christian. Everyone benefits from the sacrificial gift one makes of his time, talent, and treasure.
Pope Benedict XVI