Mission: Centered in the Eucharist, stewardship as a way of life nourishes our love of God through Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and calls each one of us in this faith community to make an annual commitment to our own spiritual growth by sharing our God-given gifts of time, talent and treasure.
How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me? -Psalm 116:12
Pursuant to the 2015 Pastoral Plan, Our Lady of Guadalupe has committed to be a Stewardship Parish.
The following represent the five action items identified for Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in the Pastoral Plan for Stewardship: A Living Faith – Effective Administration:
A Stewardship Way of Life
Stewardship is acknowledging God as Creator and Giver of all gifts. Stewardship is living each day in gratitude for all the blessings that God has given to us. As Catholics, we are called to understand and recognize that we do not own the gifts God gives to us but rather we are only the earthly stewards of those gifts. We receive them so that we can do God's work here on earth. Stewardship is the responsible management of our God-given resources of time, talent, and treasure.
Stewardship is being a disciple of Jesus who "Receives God's gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others and returns them with increase to the Lord.” As true disciples of the Lord, we are motivated to share our time, talent and treasure with the Church and with other worthy causes from a deep sense of gratitude and in a planned, proportionate and sacrificial manner.
Stewardship is not a new parish initiative or program that will soon be replaced with something else. Stewardship is a way of life that enhances our relationship with God and with one another.
Prayer is the beginning of Stewardship. Only when we spend time with God in prayer are we spiritually prepared to offer ourselves in service to others. As it says in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Prayer and Christian life are inseparable.” For Catholics, Stewardship of time should include setting aside periods of personal and family prayer, for the reading of scripture, for visits to the Blessed Sacrament and for participation at daily Mass whenever possible. Prayer can be a formal devotional type or one of a simple conversation with God. No one would go through a day without some type of communication with those they love. Whatever the format, the important thing is to make a conscious effort to spend time with our God whom we love most.
“Could you not watch with me even one hour?”
Returning with Increase our Gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure
Begin by taking a moment to reflect and thank our Lord for the many blessings in your life. Ask and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you consider how you can return to God with increase your gifts of time, talent and treasure.
The Gift of Time: How do I spend my time? Do I use my time in a way that enables me to have a closer relationship with the Lord and with others?
Time should be spent with God in prayer and Sacrament; then time spent in service to others – the Church, our community, volunteering at school, in religious education or ministries. It could involve time spent in Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, attending daily mass, praying the rosary as a family – whatever form of prayer is most comfortable - we must reserve time each and every day for it in order to be a living disciple, a steward of the Lord.
The Gift of Talent: What talents or skills has God given me to offer for the good of others? Do I have a career or occupational skill or even a hobby that might benefit the parish, school or others?
We have all been blessed by God with unique, individual talents that we are called upon to share with God and with others. In sharing our God-given talents, we serve God, strengthen our parish and school and help one another as we build up God’s Church and each other in Christ. Gifts are never meant for oneself, they are meant for the good of all.
The Gift of Treasure: Do I really want this? Do I even need this? Am I using this gift in a way that is pleasing to God? Is there a better way I can be using my treasure in service to the Lord and my neighbor?
The gift of our treasure may be the most challenging for us to share; perhaps even testing our faith. Our secular culture holds wealth and possessions as symbols of our independence, power and success yet fails to recognize or measure our spiritual growth and effort. As disciples of the Lord, we are called to prayerfully consider what God is calling us to give acknowledging that we are only returning to Him what he has given to us. It is then not so much the gift, but our intention to give that is most important. Remember, “Not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice.” See “Why Give?” Section..
As a follower of Jesus Christ we find that things and money are no longer as satisfying. The Second Vatican Council reminded us that we are called to build up not only our world but the Kingdom of God. We work in partnership with God, sharing in a divine human collaboration in creation. This is central to our lives as Christian stewards. (USCCB: To Be a Christian Steward, 2013)
He has created us, and this wonderful world. We have the skills and knowledge to make more of this creation.
The joyful appreciation for the God-given beauty and abundance of our lives and everything around us is the heart of being a faithful steward. This abundance, these fruits of our labor taste so much better when we have the chance to share them with others.