29th Sunday in OT/ C / 2019 / Stewardship
Msgr. Patrick S. Brennan
This is the third and final week of our focus on parish finances.
The first week we had a personal witness from one of our parishioners about the importance of St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in her life and the life of her family. That week we included a short financial statement in the Bulletin with an explanatory letter.
Last week, two members of our Finance and Pastoral Councils walked us through the financial statement and also gave a personal witness about the importance of our faith and our parish—and the importance of our worship and supporting the mission of the Church.
This week I want to focus on stewardship—showing our gratitude for the gifts that God has given to us, through time, talent, and treasure.
I’m not going to speak about numbers today. We’ve seen enough numbers, and we know that our numbers fall short of our need. I hope my words today will be a sort of "pep talk" to get you thinking about the parish and stewardship—the time, talent, and treasure that we might contribute.
In this week’s Bulletin, my column focuses on the meaning of stewardship in the life of a Christian. I want to emphasize just a couple of things from that column.
First of all, we need to change the way we think about giving. I suspect that most think about "giving to the church" as paying the bills—to keep the lights on, pay the staff, repair the leaking roof. Yes, your giving does accomplish those things.
But the primary purpose of giving is to say "thank you." We say "thank you" to God by returning to Him some of the blessings we have received. This is called stewardship: it benefits US before it benefits the Church.
Stewardship arises from a sense of gratitude. The great saints (St. John of the Cross, for example) say that gratitude is the beginning of the spiritual life—the first movement of the soul in knowing God. Gratitude is a response—a response to God’s grace that awakens us 1) to the wonder of life, 2) to the goodness of God’s people, and 3) to the beauty of creation. We say "thank you" by offering our time, talent, and treasure.
Giving to the parish, then, is something much more than keeping the lights on. It is an essential part of our spiritual lives. It is living the Gospel.
Okay. Now, let me be practical for a moment. As you consider time, talent, and treasure, I want you to consider e-giving as a way to offer your treasure. If you prefer using envelopes, that’s fine. But e-giving is easy: just go to our website, click the WeShare button, and sign up.
I am happy to report that since we started this campaign two weeks ago, we have six new WeShare donors, and 10 donors have so far increased their giving. Sixteen donors may not sound like much, but the total increase to the parish amounts to $3,250 per month!
Can you make a difference? Yes. Do we need you? Yes. Be a good steward—return to the Lord the blessings you have received.