The University of Notre Dame recently published a study titled, Unleashing Catholic Generosity: Explaining the Catholic Giving Gap in the United States. This study confirms what we at Catholic Stewardship Consultants have been committed to doing as we help Catholic parishes and dioceses across the country to further develop stewardship.
The study notes that one of the key reasons why there is a giving gap between Catholics and other Christians is due to a lack of “spiritual engagement with money.” In addition, the study recommends that in order to improve financial giving in Catholic parishes, “discussions of money… should not center on meeting basic organizational needs, but rather on spiritual growth and personal and world transformation.”
Throughout the past 17 years, CSC has helped hundreds of parishes do exactly what this study recommends. And, as a result, our client parishes have not only seen significant and consistent financial increases during these rough economic times, but they have seen parish life transformed in many ways. Why have they seen this transformation? The answer is that they have focused on developing stewardship as a way of life. They have put the spiritual needs of parishioners ahead of the basic organizational needs of the parish. And they have implemented the services we provide, focusing on the spirituality of stewardship and it’s practical implementation.
The authors say there is a lot of potential out there in Catholic parishes. We could not agree more, and the parish clients we serve see this potential realized every day.
The following link will take you to a short article in the Notre Dame News and there is a link to the full study on that page, as well. This study has the potential to open the eyes of many pastors, parish staff members, lay leaders, finance councils, pastoral councils, etc., and I highly recommend that you distribute this to all the leaders in your parish or diocese.