What is Stewardship?
Stewardship is a way of life, a way to give back what God has blessed us with. A rich description is found in the 1993 pastoral from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops entitled: "Stewardship: A Disciple's Response." The bishops call us to: receive God's gifts gratefully; cultivate them responsibly; share them lovingly with others; and return them with increase to God. Stewardship is wisely and justly using our human and financial resources. It is frequently expressed as a call to give our time, talent and financial resources to God, especially through the Church. Stewardship calls us to nurture our relationships with God, our families, our church, our workplace, our environment, our suffering neighbors, and our world.
Stewardship is a personal response as Christians to the Gospel call to conversion of mind and heart. Stewardship is a faith response to share all we have and thus participate fully in God's plan for our world. Stewardship is an expression of discipleship - how we understand and live our lives. Whatever we are and possess is in actuality God's gift that we hold in trust. God calls us to be collaborators in the work of creation, redemption and sanctification. Jesus enjoins us to live in witness to His love with such an enthusiasm that we freely and gratefully share our gifts with others.
Stewardship is part of our Catholic tradition and who we are as Church. God is the source of all we have and are, and we can learn to see ourselves as caring in the work of God by the way we live, by the way we use our time, talents and financial resources. Stewardship calls for commitment and, for some of us, that might mean a radical conversion. We need to avoid the temptation to make giving an end in itself - it is part of something much larger.
Society sends messages to all of us about money but it does not teach the responsible use of the resource. Rather, what is promoted are ways to spend and borrow more and more money. We are constantly asked to extend our credit farther, buy bigger and better products, and keep up with our neighbors in the materialism rat race. Rarely do we hear a call to give more of our money. Because of these constant messages from the media and society, it is our duty to talk about the responsible use of money. This includes direct conversation about sharing it and giving it away to others.
As people are bombarded with the message to spend and borrow, it is the Church's responsibility to let its members know that what they give makes a difference. Money is needed to accomplish mission and vision and the Church is every bit as important a place to put money as the shopping mall.
People are not going to change their spending habits until they are challenged to do so. They need to learn that when money is asked for, it is because it is needed, that it has an importance and will have an impact on lives. Our message should be, "Just think what we could do if…" or "Do you realize what would happen if your giving increased…" There should be joy in helping someone to give of their resources to an important mission, to fulfill their lives as a faithful steward.
To truly realize our potential as a Church and as a people of faith, we must consider money, for it has the potential to affect change -- especially at Warhawk Catholic!
The planned giving materials on our website are not presented as legal or tax advice. Warhawk Catholic provides support for a full range of charitable gift planning options and services. Warhawk Catholic, its employees or representatives, do not offer legal or financial advice. We strongly urge prospective donors to consult with their estate planning attorney, financial advisor, accountant or other appropriate professional before making any material decisions based on information we provide through this Web site, printed materials, or other sources. The purpose of this website is to provide general gift, estate, and financial planning information. Watch for tax law revisions. State laws govern wills, trusts, and charitable gifts made in a contractual agreement. Advice from legal counsel should be sought when considering these types of gifts.