God has called each of us as parish leaders to help build the Church. The call and challenge for each of us is just as real, just as important, and just as total as the call on the life of any other Catholic leader, including the earliest disciples. When Jesus walked along the Sea of Galilee, He called to some fishermen, “Come follow me.” He promised that if they laid down their nets and followed Him He would make them fishers of men. These men were some of His original disciples, and they knew Christ’s call was so important that they left their secular occupation to follow Jesus. In much the same way, Jesus calls each of us to follow Him today. He is not necessarily asking us to leave our secular occupations like he asked those fishermen so long ago, but He is asking us to put Him first in our lives and to busy ourselves with building the Church. In many cases, in fact, God wants us to serve Him, to build His Church through the secular occupations we have chosen. [Read more…]
A feature film production based on the life of William Wilberforce titled Amazing Grace was released three years ago. It got its name from a real-life friendship between Wilberforce and John Newton, who wrote the words to that famous Christian hymn, “Amazing Grace.” The film, however, told the story of one of the most amazing figures in British history. Mr. Wilberforce was born in 1759 in Hull, England, and in 1780 secured a seat in the House of Commons as a Member of Parliament. For over 20 years, he persisted in trying to end the slave trade in Britain. He persisted because his faith told him to do so, and it was right to do so.
Msgr. Thomas McGread is a renowned stewardship pioneer. Beginning in the 1960s, Msgr McGread built St. Francis of Assisi in Wichita, Kansas into one of the most vibrant parishes in the country by teaching parishioners how to use their personal gifts. Msgr. McGread, now the Director Emeritus of Stewardship for the Diocese of Wichita, was influential in drafting the U.S. Bishop’s pastoral letter: Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, which adopted his terminology and theological vision. For him, stewardship is a biblically-based principle that begins with conversion of heart and translates into a lifestyle of service.
The Catholic Steward sat down with Msgr. McGread to discuss his personal experience. During the conversation, Msgr. McGread shared his personal journey with us as well as how and why he implemented the stewardship way of life at St. Francis of Assisi. You will find that Monsignor offers tremendous insight and encouragement for all parish leaders who are charged with the great task of forming Christ’s disciples. [Read more…]
Welcome to The Catholic Steward. As a service to Catholic parishes everywhere, we have created this blog to assist in sharing best practices around developing Stewardship within parishes. Here you will hear from individuals who have worked on implementing stewardship within their own parish and diocese. These individuals bring together a wealth of knowledge and experience. [Read more…]