This step is extremely valuable for any parish on their stewardship journey. In fact, this is exactly how Msgr. Thomas McGread — often referred to as the “Father of Catholic Stewardship” — helped transform St. Francis of Assisi in Wichita, Kansas, into one of the world’s best examples of a stewardship parish.
If there are only a couple of Masses each week, and the pastor is the only preacher, then delivering stewardship-infused homilies is easy. But what about for parishes blessed enough to have associate priests, retired priests, or deacons on staff?
All too often, the pastor begins incorporating the message of stewardship in homilies, but the other preachers in the parish don’t incorporate it at all.
To develop a solid understanding of stewardship throughout the parish, the pastor must communicate with the other clergy and make sure they have a solid foundation in the spirituality of stewardship and begin to incorporate it into their preaching on a regular basis. Reading the U.S. Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, and also this blog for weekly homily guides and stewardship reflections would be a good starting point. Click here for a PDF version of Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response.
I realize this is generally the last thing that is done between priests and deacons — giving direction on what they should or shouldn’t preach about. But it is a necessity. Too often, this is an opportunity lost.
A basic and foundational principle for developing a stewardship parish is that every parish priest or deacon needs to incorporate the spirituality of stewardship into their homilies on a regular basis. If this is not done in your parish, it’s an area you need to improve in order to continue to increase the practice of stewardship.