Stoked: A Pastoral Address on Stewardship by Fr. Jarrod Lies
1. Last year: The Portrait of a Christian Steward
a. Make a lifelong commitment to practice stewardship as a way of life.
b. Participate at Mass on Sunday’s and Holy Days, ideally in your parish.
c. Practice the faith in the workplace, the home, the classroom, and in civic life.
d. Support and cooperate with the religious education programs of the parish.
e. Participate in parish ministries, activities, and organizations through your contribution of time and talent.
f. Support the ministries of the Catholic Church by pledging and tithing sacrificially to the parish.
2. Stoked: Pyromaniacs and Parishioners
b. Complacency is the enemy of stewardship.
3. “Does it still work?”
a. Word fatigue. “You say stewardship, I shut down.”
b. The repetitious push for more faithful stewardship.
c. Pressures of life collide with the pressures of parish commitment
d. The feeling of being always found “wanting” - The budget is constantly behind
e. The sense that some stewards take on more pressure than others,
4. If we were not a stewardship parish…
a. All rooms on campus would be for rent.
b. The average cost per student at SFA and BCCHS would be $5,100 per student per year.
c. PSR/Youth Ministry/Confirmation would cost $200 per youth per year.
d. We would not have the staff nor the number of ministries we currently have.
5. Not “more” but “trust”.
a. God will not be outdone in generosity. Our God is a lavish giver. “Name one thing you have that you have not received” (1 Cor 4:7). The God who gives lavishly will provide lavishly.
b. Juggling: key your eye on the apex.
c. Put your faith first and your life falls into place.
d. And act of imitation… an act of gratitude:
e. not about giving to a need… it is about our need to give.
6. Active stewardship is our participation in the mission of the Gospel.
a. Stewardship is about sharing the message of the Gospel while the message of the Gospel responds to our individual needs.
b. What is the purpose of a parish: the proclamation of the Gospel.
c. “Go and make disciples, baptize and teach them” (cf. Matt. 28”19).
d. What is the purpose of stewardship: providing the benefits of the Gospel to those
e. And that Gospel is the love of God for the forgiveness of sins so that all who believe in Jesus Christ will receive the Holy Spirit unto salvation.
7. Benefiting from stewardship
a. Elderly and homebound: Legion of Mary – praying 4 rosaries a day.
b. Single parent households.
c. Families who have lost loved ones.
d. Young families: low funds, high bills, student loans, overworked/underpaid,
e. Large families: a collision of schedules
f. Families in crisis: loss of job, breakdown in communication, divergent faith expressions
g. Grandparents: grandchild who served a funeral
h. Young adults: finding persons for Faith Forward process.
8. Yes, stewardship works!
a. Five seminarians – two to be ordained deacons.
b. 30 years of Perpetual Adoration.
c. 56 persons enter the Church through RCIA this year alone.
d. Highly successful youth ministry, grade school, high school PSR, truly engaged young adults.
e. Testimonies of families who move to Wichita or families who move back to Wichita.
9. Life-long stewardship:
a. The way in which we participate in this mission changes according to the various seasons of our life. Young or old, healthy or sick, rich or poor, proficient or disabled… all of us are called to participate in one way or another. In certain seasons of life some persons have less resources or greater pressures; while in other times of life other persons have greater resources or less demands. For this reason, mission must be life-long. One person’s surplus in one season of life makes up for another person’s lack, and visa-versa. As St. Paul teaches us, “At the present time, your surplus will supply another’s need; in turn their surplus also may supply for your need” (2 Cor 8:14). Life-long stewardship is the way the machine works… What a person could not give when they had less resources, they are able to give when they have more. Older stewards could probably remember a time when they could not give as much as they can now. For this reason their current giving is an act of gratitude for all that they received in their earlier years.
10. Accountability: three quantifiable markers
a. Are you going to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation?
i. Time: the great equalizer.
ii. The most important aspect of Stewardship: worship of the living God and praying for one another.
b. Are you participating in stewardship opportunities in the Church?
i. Talent: the generous gift of self for the needs of others.
c. Are you making and keeping an honest pledge of your treasure?
a. To the degree that any portion of persons does not play their full roll in stewardship – to that degree it fails.
b. Whatever you have to give: give. Give what you can – not what you can’t.
c. Be the steward you can be, not the steward you can’t… but become the steward that is possible for you.
d. If you prioritize your role in the Gospel then the Gospel will be Good News for you too.
12. Three approaches to giving
a. Biblical Giving: 10%
b. Percent Giving: slow increase over time
c. Sacrificial Giving:
13. Threats to giving
a. The give-get mentality
b. Putting sport’s involvement prior to educational or religious responsibilities
c. Purchasing luxuries prior to the tithe.
d. Overextending loans without reference to your part to play in the benefits of a stewardship parish.
a. How are you going to leave a stewardship legacy?
b. Stewardship is life-changing for you and your family.
c. I invite you to a full-commitment to life-long stewardship.
a. Take the parish survey! Parish Stewardship Forms.
b. Fr. Shawn Kilkawly
c. Year end contribution statements