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Beacons of Light: Foundational Principles #5: Stewardship

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This article is the fifth in a series covering each of the six foundational principles of Beacons of Light, the pastoral planning process of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

“My need to give is more important than the parish’s need to receive.”

A few years ago, I heard a priest share this statement when describing “stewardship as a way of life.” It was a stark contrast to what we normally hear as stewardship oftentimes gets associated with campaigns or financial updates, or at best, it is viewed as a program that promotes time, talent and treasure in the parish.

But true Christian stewardship is not a program; it is a primary way we live out our call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Through stewardship, we recognize that everything in our lives is a gift from God: our personal talents, skills, wisdom, and expertise, our family and friends, our life circumstances – every morning that we wake up to a new day is a gift … and so much more!

In thanksgiving for everything God has blessed us with, we respond by generously giving of ourselves in how we live. “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pet. 4:10). Gratitude becomes central when stewardship is a way of life and leads us to live out this scripture, sometimes without even thinking about it!

God gave the greatest of all His gifts: His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died so that we may live. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16).

Part of living stewardship is caring for and building up the Church (also a gift from God) in the world. From the pastoral letter on stewardship written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “Because its individual members do collectively make up the Body of Christ, that body’s health and well-being are the responsibility of the members – the personal responsibility of each one of us. We are all stewards of the Church.”

Through Beacons of Light, our sincere hope is that Families of Parishes will be communities of grateful disciples where parishioners are actively involved in the Family’s life – using their talents, skills and resources to build up the Church and live as Christ’s Body in the world. Families of Parishes have a vital role in bringing people to a deeper understanding and practice of stewardship.


To make this possible, these are goals for each Family of Parishes: Everyday Stewardship & Vocation: The Family of Parishes forms people to hear and respond to God’s call in their lives – from each day’s individual moments to the overall purpose of living out their vocations.

Way of Life: More than a program or once-a-year report to the parish, stewardship is fostered as a spiritual way of life and becomes an expression of discipleship.

Gratitude & Giving: Parishioners are formed as disciples who grow in gratitude and become willing to share their time, talents, faith and resources within the parish and beyond it.

Invitation & Engagement: The Family of Parishes actively invites and engages people in all ages and stages of life and faith to contribute in ministry, service and giving.

Hospitality & Welcome: The Family of Parishes is a community that warmly welcomes newcomers and offers hospitality to everyone.

Meaningful Involvement & Leadership: The Family of Parishes seeks to meaningfully involve people as contributing members of the community; parishioners are encouraged to take leadership roles, as appropriate, and are offered formation to equip them as leaders.

Beacons of Light provides a prime opportunity for a renewed focus and commitment to live stewardship as a way of life.

This article appeared in the June 2022 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

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