My own story of involvement in stewardship began in my younger years growing up in Ireland. My mom and dad both lived out stewardship in our parish, but, of course, nobody called it such back then. One simply did what was expected in taking care of the parish. Even so, it wasn’t without some real wrinkles, which later caused me great grief and concern.
The way stewardship worked back in my father’s time was very simple and undefined. Each year at harvest time, my dad would bring his sack of potatoes to the parish priest as part of his gift to the upkeep of the pastor. He would do likewise with the newly harvested turf (he saved peat for the fire). On occasion, he was known to steal one of mother’s hens or turkeys, (mother called him “The Fox”) and bring it to the priest’s house. When grass and shrubs were to be trimmed, or cleaning was needed in the parish hall, the parish priest would ask the men of the parish to come and do this for the church. Dad and my brothers were always part of that effort. When dinners or events were planned for the hall, mother was always involved in that. That was how “time” and “talent” was practiced then.
The part that caused me to wonder then, and gave me grief later, had to do with how they managed the “treasure” part. [Read more…]