According to the recent study, Unleashing Catholic Generosity: Explaining the Catholic Giving Gap in the United States, the University of Notre Dame Institute for Church Life states that American Catholics are less likely than the rest of the population to report giving 10 percent, with only one in six Catholics even doing that.
As stewards, we should be concerned why our fellow Catholics – and perhaps ourselves – are not giving more generously. After all, if we believe that all we have is given to us by God, shouldn’t we eagerly return a portion in thanksgiving?
Notre Dame researchers investigated how culturally-shaped orientations towards money impacted giving. The study found that Catholics were no more impacted by a tough economy than other denominations, nor were Catholics earning less across the board than their fellow Christians.
The study also uncovered a key cultural difference in giving trends. Catholics tend to separate our faith lives and our wallets, which actually decreases our generosity. Those of us who view our finances as belonging and coming from God – and not our own efforts – give more generously.
This distinction is critical for promoting a stewardship way of life. As stewards, we should see our finances as God-given gifts and use that money faithfully.