Diocese of Saskatoon

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Yearlong Stewardship Education

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Best Practices in Parish Stewardship

Be a welcoming parish that takes community building seriously.

Parishes need to warmly welcome all members. Everyone has something to contribute. Everyone is needed. Communities known for their hospitality to all members, for the vitality of their faith, and for the depth of their service to people in need invariably inspire others to participate in ministry and to be generous in their financial support.

Appoint a Stewardship Committee. Parishes that have an active and involved Stewardship Committee are more successful because the parishioners take an active role in planning and developing a stewardship program. They do more than focus on the renewal and commitment season; they help to plan a yearlong effort of communications and accountability.

Be accountable to your parishioners. Those parishes that focus their efforts on being accountable to their parishioners have more successful stewardship programs. Showing parishioners where their treasure gifts are used and how their time and talents are being managed can lead to a broader understanding of the message of stewardship. One way to share this message is by developing and communicating a Parish Stewardship Accountability Report.

Seek annual stewardship commitments. Stewardship requires a commitment on the part of parishioners. The annual commitment/renewal process should encourage parishioners to: prayerfully discern how God has uniquely gifted them (time, talents and treasure); reflect on what priority God and His Church play in their lives; decide how they plan to share these gifts with God and His Church; and make an intentional, planned and proportionate gift to God and His Church.

Set goals. Vibrant parishes have a shared vision and goals that support the vision. Goals should be set for all ministries. They should be challenging, yet realistic and, when possible, measurable. It is important to note that goals should be communicated clearly to the parish. The parish also needs to report on the progress made toward reaching their goal.

Communicate with parishioners on stewardship. The message of stewardship should be communicated many times over the course of the year - utilizing many media sources. Parishes that have been successful in the past have a comprehensive and informational stewardship presence on the parish website, include updates in the bulletin on a regular basis; include stewardship messages in the liturgy (General Intercessions), and provide parishioners with a Parish Stewardship Accountability Report. Most communications should thank, inform and invite continued involvement.

Identify lay witnesses. An important part of stewardship education is the testimonies presented to the congregation by individuals whose lives have changed as a result of stewardship. These lay witnesses are necessary to the success of the parish effort. There are many reasons for this. Stewardship is a part of the internal change of heart or conversion process that we know so well from the Scriptures. The Old and the New Testaments are full of stories of real people who became aware of the need to put their faith into action.

Be grounded in prayer. Several parishes have their own stewardship prayer and they invite all households to pray the stewardship prayer during the renewal season and at periodic times throughout the year. In addition, parishes open and close every meeting with a stewardship prayer.

Ask for help from the Diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development. Most strong stewardship parishes have not done it alone. They have worked together with the leadership of the diocese to create a plan that works for the parish. There is not one method that works for everyone. Our diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development can be a great help to a parishes as they begin their annual stewardship plan. The office can be reached by calling 916-733-0266.

Further Reading - Suggested Resources for Stewardship Education

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

At www.usccbpublishing.org (Under Catalog: Leadership; Stewardship) (Publishing Services, USCCB, 3211 Fourth St. NE, Washington, DC 20017-1104) (1-800-235-8722)

  • Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response (Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship, available in both English and Spanish)
  • To be a Christian Steward (Summary of Bishops' Pastoral in pamphlet format)
  • Stewardship and Young Adults: An Invitation to Change the World (Pamphlet geared to young adults in promoting stewardship)
  • Stewardship — A 3-D Way of Life: Not for Adults Only (A videotape that explains and promotes stewardship among teens of your parish)
  • Stewardship - A 3-D Way of Life: Money Back Guarantee (A videotape to explain and promote adult stewardship in the parish)

International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC)

At www.catholicstewardship.org (202-289-1093) (Materials are available in both English and Spanish)

Stewardship: Disciples' Respond - A Practical Guide for Pastoral Leaders (A manual for parish and diocesan
leaders for the purpose of promoting stewardship as a way of life)

  • Children's Stewardship Manual (A manual for parish and diocesan leaders who are interested in promoting stewardship for children)
  • Keeping Stewardship Alive: Proven Stewardship Ideas (A manual and CD of creative and practical ideas submitted by parishes, dioceses, and individual contributors for the purposes of promoting stewardship beyond the first years)
  • Matthew R. Paratore, Former Secretary General of the International Catholic Stewardship Council, has written a series of reflections on stewardship. They can be found on the ICSC website.

Liturgical Press

At www.litpress.org (keyword: stewardship) (1-800-858-5450)

  • Called to be Stewards: Bringing New Life to Catholic Parishes (A book by Patrick McNamara with examples of bringing a stewardship approach to funding and ministry)
  • Creating a Stewardship Council (A booklet detailing the development and formation of a stewardship committee)
  • Grateful Caretakers of God's Many Gifts: A Parish Manual to Foster the Sharing of Time, Talent and Treasure (A manual by Msgr. Joseph Champlin to help foster stewardship in the parish)
  • The Heart of Stewardship: Sacrificial Giving (A short video by Msgr. Joseph Champlin and Dutch & Barbara Schultz to promote stewardship as described in the Pastoral Letter)
  • Parish Stewardship Manual (Step-by-step timetable with examples of letters, prayers, and bulletin announcements; packets with reflection guides, posters, and sample mailings are also available)
  • Sharing God's Gifts (A small educational reflection guide that explains the meaning of stewardship)
  • Sixty-second Stewardship Sermons (A resource book for pastors and deacons in preparing stewardship homilies. These short "sermons" on stewardship can also be used in newsletters and parish bulletins.)
  • Sustaining and Strengthening Stewardship (A book by Jim Kelley with bulletin announcements, stewardship Scripture passages, and questions and answers on stewardship)
  • A Way of Life (A booklet by Msgr. Joseph Champlin with four faith-sharing sessions on stewardship)

Our Sunday Visitor

At www.osv.com (1-800-348-2440)

  • Why Catholics Don't Give, And What Can be Done About It (A book by Charles Zech, Chair of the Economics Department at Villanova University)
  • Best Practices in Parish Stewardship (a book by Charles Zech, based on surveys of stewardship parishes across the country)
  • Grace in Action (Newsletters that can be used as bulletin inserts with feature stories on stewardship)
  • Stewardship by the Book (English and Spanish available in both CD ROM and Paperback, this book by Sharon Hueckel, has stewardship bulletin announcements that reflect the Sunday Scripture readings)
  • Living Catholic Stewardship: Joyful Generosity (An informative reflection guide written by Sharon Hueckel on stewardship)
  • Living Catholic Stewardship: Discerning Your Gifts (A reflection guide on discernment for discovering an individuals gifts and talents by Lorene Hanley Duquin)
  • What the Church Teaches: Stewardship (A short concise reflection guide on the Church teachings regarding stewardship)
  • Taking Care of God's Gifts: Stewardship A Way of Life (K-2) (A stewardship coloring and activity book for children in grades K-2 by Laurie Whitfield and Robert Cammarata)
  • Taking Care of God's Gifts: Stewardship A Way of Life (3-5) (A stewardship coloring and activity book for children in grades 3-5 by Laurie Whitfield and Robert Cammarata)
  • Catholic Stewardship: Sharing God’s Gifts (An informative paperback booklet by Colleen Smith that is sure to motivate people to a better practice of stewardship)
  • Living Catholic Stewardship Conferences, sponsored by Our Sunday Visitor, provide outstanding speakers and presentations on the various topics of stewardship. For more information go to: www.osvenvelopes.com (under Stewardship Products & Services; Conferences & Events)

St. Catherine of Siena Institute

At www.siena.org (1-888-878-6789)

  • Called and Gifted (A workshop facilitated by the St. Catherine of Siena Institute to help parishioners recognize their unique gifts and their response to God’s call)

Liturgical Press

At www.litpress.org (keyword: stewardship) (1-800-858-5450)

  • Called to be Stewards: Bringing New Life to Catholic Parishes (A book by Patrick McNamara with examples of bringing a stewardship approach to funding and ministry)
  • Creating a Stewardship Council (A booklet detailing the development and formation of a stewardship committee)
  • Grateful Caretakers of God's Many Gifts: A Parish Manual to Foster the Sharing of Time, Talent and Treasure (A manual by Msgr. Joseph Champlin to help foster stewardship in the parish)
  • The Heart of Stewardship: Sacrificial Giving (A short video by Msgr. Joseph Champlin and Dutch & Barbara Schultz to promote stewardship as described in the Pastoral Letter)
  • Parish Stewardship Manual (Step-by-step timetable with examples of letters, prayers, and bulletin announcements; packets with reflection guides, posters, and sample mailings are also available)
  • Sharing God's Gifts (A small educational reflection guide that explains the meaning of stewardship)
  • Sixty-second Stewardship Sermons (A resource book for pastors and deacons in preparing stewardship homilies. These short "sermons" on stewardship can also be used in newsletters and parish bulletins.)
  • Sustaining and Strengthening Stewardship (A book by Jim Kelley with bulletin announcements, stewardship Scripture passages, and questions and answers on stewardship)
  • A Way of Life (A booklet by Msgr. Joseph Champlin with four faith-sharing sessions on stewardship)

Twenty-Third Publications

At www.twentythirdpublications.com (1-800-321-0411)

  • Why Catholics Don't Give, And What Can be Done About It (A book by Charles Zech, Chair of the Economics Department at Villanova University)
  • What Do I Own and What Owns Me? (A book on the Spirituality of Stewardship written by Daniel Conway with a DVD of Archbishop Thomas Murphy and his reflections on the Pastoral Letter)
  • The Catholic Kid's Guide to Stewardship (A book on childre's stewardship written by Elizabeth M. Johnson)

Trumbauer Consulting

4302 14th Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55407-3226 (612-823-7706)

  • Sharing the Ministry: A Practical Guide for Transforming Volunteers into Ministers (A resource for helping parishioners recognize their unique gifts and call into shared ministry by Jean Morris Trumbauer)
  • Created and Called (A program by Jean Morris Trumbauer for helping churches develop and manage a comprehensive approach to gifts-based ministry)

Parish Publishing

Office of Stewardship and Development (502-585-3291)

  • Stewardship (A newsletter, available in both English and Spanish, published monthly to help stimulate a better understanding of true giving)

Archdiocese of Louisville

Office of Stewardship and Development (502-585-3291)

  • Good Things are for Sharing: A Curriculum Guide in Stewardship for the Elementary School Level
  • From the Heart: A Curriculum Guide in Stewardship for Middle and High School Levels

Resources for Children’s Envelopes

Office of Stewardship and Development (502-585-3291)

 Resources for Parish programs, retreats and missions with a stewardship focus

  • The Marian College Center for Catholic Stewardship offers programs, parish retreats and missions by Fr. Dan Mahan. www.marian.edu/stewardship
  • Partners in Stewardship for Life offers retreats, missions, evenings of reflection and workshops with Ed and April Laughlin, At www.partnersinstewardship.com

Electronic Offertory Program

A hallmark of stewardship is that a family's giving decision is a prayerful, planned response to God's generosity. By inviting a family to budget their giving to their parish as they do other major household financial commitments, Electronic Offertory supports this principle of stewardship.

Research shows that in today's highly mobile society, regular Mass goers are away from their home parish an average of 17 times a year. (Source: "Why Catholics Don't Give...And What Can be Done About It" by Dr. Charles Zech). Electronic Offertory ensures contributions are received even when such absences occur.

Electronic Offertory is a safe, secure and efficient process whereby parishioner donations are collected directly from their bank (checking or savings) accounts; or credit card account by a secure third party provider and deposited into your parish account. Electronic Offertory ensures the parish a stabilized giving pattern, increased levels of giving and convenience for today's busy households.

We understand the importance of continuing the personal, spiritual, ritual, and heart-felt aspect of giving; but are also sensitive to providing a convenient and secure means for parishioners to give.

If you are interested in implementing an Electronic Offertory Program in your parish and would like more information on vendors recommended by the Diocese, please contact The Catholic Foundation at 916-733-0269.