Almighty God, my parish is composed of people like me. I help make it what it is. It will be friendly if I am friendly. It will be holy if I am holy. Its pews will be filled if I help fill them. It will do great work if I do the work I’m called to do. It will be prayerful if I pray. It will make generous gifts to many causes if I am a generous giver. It will bring other people into its worship if I invite and bring them. It will be a parish family of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, of compassion, charity and mercy if I – who make it what it is – am filled with these same qualities. Therefore, with your help, my God, I will dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want my parish to be. Bless my journey, Lord God, that I might follow Jesus and build the Church for your glory. Amen.
FOUR PILLARS OF STEWARDSHIP
Hospitality - Christian Kindness
"When I was a stranger, you welcomed me." Matt 25:35
Jesus Christ teaches that whenever we welcome one of the least of our sisters and brothers, we welcome Christ Himself. Parishioners of a stewardship parish seek to see the face of Christ in one another. A stewardship parish is a welcoming parish regardless of the parish demographics: large or small - urban, suburban or rural
Prayer - A Heart to Heart with God
"Prayer is as necessary to our souls as food is to our bodies." from Characteristics of a Christian Steward
Prayer and the sacraments dispose a soul to receive God's abundant graces, which are necessary to grow in holiness. It is through prayer that we nurture our personal relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Formation - Continuous Conversion
"Being a disciple is not just something else to do, alongside many other things suitable for Christians, it is a total way of life and requires continuing conversion." from USCCB's Stewardship a Disciple's Response - Pastoral Letter on Stewardship
Formation is a formidable task, involving education of the mind and conversion of the heart. To know the "stewardship way of life," does not make one live a "stewardship way of life." Ongoing Catholic education is important if we are to grow in our lives as stewards.
Service - Love in Action
"...Amen I say to you, whatever you did for the least of my brothers, you did for me." Matt. 25:40
Members of a stewardship parish are ready to minister to varied needs of their own parish family as well as the needs of the wider community and Church. Just as the members of a family come together to help one of their own, a stewardship parish family serves those who are hurting or in need, doubting or seeking salvation. The parish family also comes together to celebrate, thank and return God's gifts.
Stewardship is more than signing up for something. We are called to exercise stewardship in all that we do.
- Be a courteous driver.
- Hold doors for others, especially those who have their hands full.
- Greet salespersons kindly.
- Thank the waitress or waiter.
- Move to the middle of your pew so others don't have to climb over you.
- Say an encouraging word to a harried parent.
- Invite a single person to join you when you go to a movie, dinner, concert, or even on vacation.
- Get to know your neighbors.
- Sunday (or Saturday evening) mass is a must. It’s through the liturgy that God feeds us with is word and the Eucharist, nourishing us for our mission, and sending us forth with his blessing. We cannot be good Catholics and stewards if we miss mass (except for illness or other dire reasons).
- Devotions: Way of the Cross (prayed as a community during Lent, but available any time for private devotion inside or outside the church building), rosary (prayed in community during specific times of the year – see website – but always available as private devotion), Eucharistic adoration and/or Benediction (every Wednesday following the morning mass until Benediction at 6:15 p.m.), novenas, chaplet of Divine mercy, etc.
- Personal prayer: Morning Offering, bible reading, Angelus, other formal prayer, spontaneous prayer, etc.
- Attitude of Gratitude - give thanks to God in all things.
- Pray always - give glory to God in all your actions, and make a prayer of all that you do for others.
- Watch the parish bulletin for other prayer opportunities.
- Diocesan and parish workshops, speakers, etc. Watch parish bulletin for information on upcoming formation events. See the diocesan website as well.
- Bible reading
- Formed.org (Parish Code 150485): Audio presentations, e-books, videos, family films, etc.
- Personal reading of faith-based books and periodicals
- Help a neighbor.
- Comfort a friend.
- See those who interrupt your day, not as inconveniences, but as opportunities to serve God through others.
- Help one of the many social service agencies in our area. Examples:
- DCCH: The Diocesan Catholic Children's Home Flea Market takes lots of preparation. This fundraiser endevors to make money for the children and services at the DCCH right in our neighborhood. They need help organizing, sorting and cleaning donations. If you have a few hours to spare this summer, your help would be greatly appreciated. Both adults and "willing and able" students are needed!!! Any questions: Call Mary Beth Connelly 859-331-6244. Sign up: http://signup.com/login/entry/5869925598972360107
- Madonna House (many ways to assist – see website):http://www.madonnahousenky.org/difference/
- Matthew 25 Ministries (many ways to assist – see website): http://m25m.org/
- Rose Garden Mission (many ways to assist – see website): http://www.exclusivesoftware.com/RoseGardenMission/Volunteers/default.html
- Henry Hosea House: (many ways to assist – see website): http://www.henryhoseahouse.com/volunteer.html
- Parish Kitchen, Ministry of Catholic Charities (many ways to assist – see website): http://www.covingtoncharities.org/parish-kitchen/pkvolunteer Parish Kitchen currently has a special request: Looking for service hours and/or summer projects for your children? Parish Kitchen needs volunteers, and some of these projects can be done at home:
- Make PB&J sandwiches and put them in sandwich bags for guests to take with them.
- Make cookies, brownies, and cupcakes that Parish Kitchen can serve for desert.
- Make “friendship fruit salad:” Invite each friend to bring a different fruit to your home, cut up the fruit, and fill gallon Ziplock bags with each fruit. Volunteers at Parish Kitchen will combine the fruits at serving time. Pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon are great choices.
- Ask anyone you know who is traveling to save their little soaps, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion bottles, and use them to make “blessing bags.” Add some snack items for extra kindness.
- Do odd jobs to earn money, and buy socks, deodorant, razors, sunscreen, and bug repellent to donate – much needed items!
- Fund raisers or collection drives for charitable organizations may be organized by small groups. Contact specific charities for lists of needs.
When does giving become investing, and when does investing become ministry?
Supporting what we value is an investment in the future. Investing in your parish helps ensure that our ministry will continue to serve the spiritual needs of this community.
Blessed Sacrament provides several ways for you to invest your time and talent in your faith. See the ministry pages within this site for suggestions. You can also invest your treasure through Faith Direct. Please visit the Faith Direct links, found below, and see where you would like to apply your investment.
If you have interest in exploring options outside of Faith Direct, please contact Rick Schwab to begin a dialogue about what is very meaningful to you and how that may align with the needs of our faith community.