"...there is a fundamental obligation arising from the Sacrament of Baptism
that people place their gifts, their resources, their very selves,
at God's service in and through the Church..."
Stewardship: A Disciple's Response - US Catholic Bishops 1992
What is the Meaning of Stewardship?
The theology of Stewardship is biblically based. Each of us has been entrusted with gifts, in the form of our time, talent and resources. God asks us to return a portion of these gifts to support His work on earth. Someday we will be called to give an accounting of how we used those gifts to advance the kingdom of God. Stewardship is a way of life based on gratitude for all God's generous gifts.
- Stewardship involves our need to give, rather than giving to a need
- Stewardship is a total way of life, a conversion of mind and heart
- Stewardship is not something we do, it is about who we are, and Whose we are
- Stewardship is about asking ourselves, "What do we own, and what owns us?"
- Stewardship is an act of worship, rather than an obligation
What is a Christian Steward?
A steward is someone who takes care of what belongs to someone else, like an administrator or trustee, not an owner. Christian stewards recognize that everything really belongs to God - everything we are and everything we have - and that God will hold us accountable for how we use the many gifts He entrusted to our care. If we truly believe this and experience a conversion of heart, we can’t help but respond with profound gratitude. This gratitude is expressed in our celebration of the Eucharist (the very word means "thanks") and in the way we live our everyday lives.
The American Bishops describe a Christian steward as:
“One who receives God’s gifts gratefully,
cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner,
shares them in justice and love with others,
and returns them with increase to the Lord.”
What does it mean to live the Stewardship way of life?
Living each day as a good steward means answering our own personal call from Jesus Christ to be his disciple; following his example of loving service to others. Gifts from God are not meant to be kept only for our own use, but to be shared with others so everyone has a share in God’s abundant graces.
To support the mission of the Church to proclaim and teach, to sanctify and serve; the Orange Catholic Foundation Parish Stewardship Education ministry fosters the practice of good Christian stewardship throughout the Diocese of Orange. Individuals, families, parishes and the diocese itself are called to model Christian stewardship, wherein individuals more fully live their baptismal call to discipleship. The OCF promotes Stewardship through ongoing formation, programming and invitation to the Stewardship way of life, and by providing practical support and tools to assist clergy and laity as they facilitate conversion of heart and the sharing of individual gifts with the Body of Christ.
Parish Stewardship Education Coordinator
Phone: (714) 282-3026
The Orange Catholic Foundation and Diocese of Orange are members of the International Catholic Stewardship Council www.catholicstewardship.org