As a pastor, I’ve tried to articulate my vision for our parish to our parishioners. Essentially I get my vision from the old Baltimore Catechism question: “Why did God make me?”
The answer is, “to know, love and serve Him in this life and to be happy forever with Him in the life to come.” Knowing, loving and serving God in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ must be our common vision and each one’s personal goal and relationship.
Primary to this vision is the celebration of the Liturgy of the Church. Our celebrations must equal in majesty the splendid beauty of our Church’s architecture. The architecture of the Church was built for the liturgy. The two must compliment one another. We must commit ourselves to understanding what the Liturgy is all about and how the Mass unites us as Catholics not only in this parish, but with Catholics throughout the world as we enter into the one Sacrifice of Jesus which unites us to the Church in heaven.
The Mass on Sundays is where God touches the majority of our parishioners. Everything else we do flows from the liturgy. Absolutely nothing else we do touches more people than the celebration of the Mass. We must put our time, talent and treasure into the Liturgy to assure that our celebrations are inspiring and worthy of the God we worship. Our celebration of the Mass must form us as Catholics who leave Mass inspired to bring the Good News to our world.
Catholic Stewardship flows from the liturgy. It is at the liturgy that we hear God speak to us not only words of comfort but words of challenge. Following in the footsteps of our Divine Savior is not easy, but made possible by the Holy Spirit. The moral and ethical teachings of the Church are not easy either but by God’s grace we can embrace them with an uncomplaining heart.
Being a Catholic Steward also means forming a strong Catholic community. Flowing out of our liturgy should be the desire to spend time with one another in fellowship, Bible study and other catechesis. Parish dinners and receptions are one way in which Catholics can come together in a casual way so that we might get to know each other on a deeper level.
Finally, we must realize that from Catholic Stewardship flows our love for life and protecting life and the good Earth God has given us. We should especially strive to protect the innocent unborn through persuasion and pro-active politics. We must continue to reach out to our youth. We must do more to catechize our high school youth and young adults through activities that bring them together for a purpose — to know, love and serve Jesus Christ as Roman Catholics.
Dedicating our time, talent and treasure to the Church and world will enable us to enter into the ministry of the Church, which is the ministry of Jesus Christ. All three Ts of stewardship — time, talent and treasure — enables your parish to be what God calls us to be, Catholics united in the Faith, evangelizing ourselves and the world through our word and good works.