CATHOLIC STEWARDSHIP at Saint Elizabeth Parish

What’s it all about ?” (It’s not what you think!)

A community committed to stewardship of our time, talent and treasure.

The idea of stewardship is not new, but many still ask the questions, “What is stewardship, and even more importantly, what is Catholic Stewardship? How and when did it all start?” The Bible makes numerous references to stewardship, and Jesus Himself describes a disciple’s life in terms of stewardship (see Matthew 25/14-30; Luke 12/42-48).  Unfortunately, stewardship is frequently misunderstood to be simply another term for financial donations, more in the collection baskets, or church fund raising. Although the stewardship of treasure is certainly real and includes monetary support that individuals and families provide to the church and the public community, in the broadest sense, stewardship is a way of living as a disciple of Jesus Christ and involves a real conversion of mind and heart to a new way of understanding one’s life and its responsibilities. It truly is a way of life.

In 1992, the American Bishops issued a pastoral letter entitled Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response. Since the founding of Saint Elizabeth parish in 2000, our founder, Father Thomas Mullin, and a team of dedicated parishioners have worked countless hours to design, refine and introduce a comprehensive and dynamic program of stewardship specifically tailored for our parishioners. The plan is intended to deepen the spiritual foundation which motivates and encourages parishioners to make a personal commitment to a stewardship way of life. This is done through cherishing our beliefs and living them out by our actions in everyday activities.

Stewardship begins with the recognition that everything we have is a gift from God and that God expects us to return a fair portion of these gifts by sharing our time and talent, as well as our treasure, with others.

“Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127/1)

Stewardship of Time and Talent

Living a stewardship life means acknowledging that we are called to be stewards of the gifts that God has entrusted to us. We must receive these gifts with gratitude, cultivate them responsibly, and share them lovingly and unselfishly with others. In his first letter to Saint Timothy, Paul writes,

“Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, and ready to share.” (1 Timothy 6/18)

Personal responsibility in the use of our God-given gifts is inseparable from genuine stewardship. It entails a full accountability for one’s life and one’s gifts, acknowledging that God is the true owner and the creator of all. It is a life-long journey of following in the steps of Jesus Christ who loved us so much that he laid down his life for us. How can we not return his love by sharing with others in his name all that we have?   Here are a few practical examples:

 sing in the church choir

 visit someone in a nursing home

help to greet parishioners at Sunday Mass

participate in a Good Works project

No God-given talent is too small to share, and examples of personal stewardship are virtually endless. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta expressed it this way,  CLICK HERE for additional ideas on how to get involved.  There is something for everyone. 

“We cannot all do great things,  but we can do small things with great love.”

Saint Elizabeth offers dozens of ministries and activities for parishioners of all ages to share their time and talent, including a variety of youth programs, liturgical ministries, community support activities, social fellowship events, and many more.

Stewardship of Treasure

Stewardship of treasure starts with the understanding that we are not isolated individuals, but rather that we live in a community called the “Body of Christ.” Living in this community incurs a financial commitment in support of the community not unlike the financial commitment to support our families. It starts with one’s prayerful reflection about the contribution that will be allotted in support of the church and its activities. It involves an up-front budgeting decision to contribute this amount on a consistent basis—not simply to drop in the collection basket what is left over at the end of the week. Ask yourself, “Do I give to God first, or do I give to God what is left over?” Give until it feels good! Saint Luke advises,

Much will be required of the person entrusted with much; and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Luke 12/48)

What can I do?

As you contemplate how you plan to share your time, talent and treasure--God’s gifts to you--imagine that Jesus himself is sitting across the table helping you decide what to do. After all, he is there spiritually. What would you do for him if he were there physically?

Saint Paul shared the following thought,

Whatever you do, in word or deed,  do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 4/16-17)

As members of God’s family on earth, we must remember his absolute love for each of us every day of our lives. Stewardship is a wonderful reminder of how we can give back to him what he has given to us by sharing with others around us.  CLICK HERE to browse through the various opportunities.