As Christian disciples, we are all called to proclaim the Gospel to the world. Jesus Himself gives us this responsibility with His great commission, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20).
Such has been the case through the centuries. Christ established the Church so that all men might come to know Him, and those who have encountered Him are charged with the responsibility — which, if we think about it, is truly an honor and a privilege — to help others do the same.
As St. Francis of Assisi once said, we are to, “preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”
Everything we say and do should bear witness to the truth of Christ, to the love Christ has for us, and to the immense amount of grace we receive as we live this wonderful life of discipleship. Our mission is to live for Christ and to call others to do the same, and we are truly blessed to live such a life. (more…)
Living Christian discipleship today is not an easy task. In a world wrought with selfishness and sin, there is opposition all around us. Indeed, living discipleship through stewardship – giving of ourselves for one another, living completely for the sake of the Gospel – is counter-cultural. In fact, many of us have probably already encountered mockery, jeers, and judgment, and that can be very discouraging. But the readings today remind us that we are not alone. Even Jesus Himself dealt with such opposition.
He tells us, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”
Yet we know that when we live for Christ, when we serve as His prophets, as His disciples, proclaiming the Good News to the world, the reward is much greater than the suffering we encounter. We were not made for this world. We were made for Christ. So, as we encounter the suffering that may come from proclaiming the truth, let us take heart in the knowledge that Christ knows what we’re going through. He experienced it too. And when we live for Christ completely and help others encounter Him, we will experience a grace and utter fulfillment that surpasses anything the world has to offer.
Of course, there are many initiatives a parish can implement to help develop stewardship. But there is only one way to answer the question.
The answer is to conduct an EFFECTIVE stewardship renewal, and to do so once a year.
The stewardship renewal, in a nutshell, is a process that entails parishioners making concrete pledges of their time (commitment to prayer), talent (commitment to ministry involvement), and treasure (commitment to the offertory) once a year.
Sounds easy enough. But, in order to be truly EFFECTIVE:
√ The Stewardship Renewal needs to be done with equal emphasis on each of the three Ts: Time, Talent, and Treasure, and there needs to be proper follow-up so as to welcome people into parish ministries with open arms.
√ Hospitality needs to permeate the parish at all times.
√ It needs to be a process that educates parishioners and offers parishioners an invitation to grow in their faith.
√ And, above all, it needs to be a positive and formational time during which parishioners put more of their trust in Christ and take concrete steps in their faith.
If each of these steps are carried out, the results can be no less than miraculous:
√ You will see inactive parishioners return to practicing their Catholic faith and see parishioners who sporadically attend Mass suddenly begin attending each Sunday.
√ You’ll see parishioners young and old becoming more involved in the life of the parish.
√ Your ministries will see significant increases in participation.
√ Your parishioners who have never given anything financially will suddenly begin giving regularly, and those who are already giving regularly will increase their financial contributions.
√ You’ll see individual parishioners beginning to increase their personal prayer and hear stories of parish families now regularly praying together.
These amazing results are not too good to be true. I’ve witnessed similar transformations in hundreds of parishes all over the country, and I know firsthand that these types of results are attainable for any parish.
For the past 16 years, it has been a great joy of mine to be able to assist hundreds of parishes across the country, and across the world for that matter, to increase the practice of stewardship. Whether you have tried in the past to run your own “renewal” with limited success, or if you’ve never before conducted a renewal, I would be happy to learn more about your parish and share with you how conducting an EFFECTIVE and LIFE-CHANGING Stewardship Renewal can become a reality.
As always feel free to contact me at email@example.com and I’ll share with you what I can to help you and your parish.
The idea of spending any length of time contemplating death seems morbid. It is scary. And rightly so, for even the scriptures tell us that death is not of God.
“God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living. For He fashioned all things that they might have being …” (first reading).
Yet, today’s readings highlight some of the wonderful aspects of the reality of death. While we recognize that God did not intend for us to die, nor does he delight in the death of any living thing, we are made aware of a remarkable reality — God brings good out of evil. In the case of death, he has brought unfathomable good out of something that entered the world by Satan’s actions: “But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world…” (first reading); “The child is not dead but asleep…” (Gospel). It is in that which we rejoice. It is upon that which we contemplate. (more…)
Yet, the readings for today remind us that even though it can seem scary with all of its unknowns and its permanence, death is a wonderful and beautiful event in the life of a Christian. It is the point of departure for our complete glorification, for that which we were made, perfect unity with God. And so we see that, while the nature of death is not of God, “God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living. For He fashioned all things that they might have being …” (first reading); God transformed it. Through His own death and resurrection, He opened the doors to eternal glory, and He invites us to unite ourselves with Him.
Today’s readings teach us that God, in His infinite goodness, can (and does) take something bad and turn it into something amazingly wonderful. Such is the case not only with death, but with so many things we experience in our lives. How much more, then, can God make us – made in His image and likeness – into the creatures He intended us to be? We live in a world wrought with sin, but God’s plans for our lives are ones of greatness. We simply must surrender to Him as His creatures, as His servants, and He will transform our lives. When we offer ourselves to the Lord, we are sure to be astounded by the work He will do in and through us.
Catholic Stewardship Consultants, Inc., (CSC) is hiring Regional Sales Representatives to help us further our mission of developing Stewardship as a Way of Life at Catholic parishes across the United States.
If you are driven and passionate with a solid foundation in the Catholic Faith and a passion for the Catholic Church, our Regional Sales Representative positions offer excellent earnings potential for qualified individuals. More importantly, our Regional Sales Representative positions present a unique opportunity for faithful Catholic professionals to answer Christ’s call to discipleship by introducing stewardship to Catholic parishes in your area.
CSC offers a host of professional service packages designed to transform the faith life of any Catholic parish. Our Regional Sales Representatives will be trained in all of our processes to help introduce Catholic parishes to the Stewardship Way of Life through our host of service options.
We are currently looking for Regional Sales Representatives in Southern California, Texas, and the Chicago area. However, based on qualifications, we will also consider candidates in other regions.
CSC is headquartered in Augusta, Ga., but serves client parishes across the United States.
E-mail cover letter and resume to CSC President Eric McArdle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the full job posting, click here
From the moment of his miraculous conception, John the Baptist was called to a life of service to God. As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, it is important to note that even before he was born, the scriptures tell us that God had a plan for him.
“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness and many will rejoice in his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. … and will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God” (Lk. 1:13-16).
And we see God’s plan being fulfilled through John’s public ministry. Often referred to as the “precursor of the Messiah,” John gave his life to preaching about the coming of the kingdom, heralding the Messiah’s entrance into history. John gave his life to God, and because of his selfless service, because he was willing to live for the Lord, many converted through his witness. (more…)
John was called to serve the Lord from the moment of conception. God had a great purpose in store for him — to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ and bring many souls to conversion.
Today’s readings remind us that it is not only St John whom God calls to follow Him and to proclaim Him to the nations. He has called us all. He has great things in store for us. He wants each one of us to bear witness to His truth and bring more men and women to Him.
We must make the choice to answer the call, to give God our all, and to use our lives to serve Him.
Then we are sure to make an impact on the world, to make disciples of all nations, much like St. John did.
We are a blessed people – blessed to be alive, blessed to be members of the Church blessed to know the Lord, Christ established, blessed to have so many gifts of time, talent and treasure, blessed to be called to share the Gospel with the world. The list is endless, really. And all of it – every blessing in our lives comes by way of gift from the Lord. His generosity is beyond measure, and what He does with that generosity – the way He changed hearts and minds, the way He builds up His kingdom here on Earth is astounding.
In today’s first reading, we hear the Lord say, “I will take from the top of the cedar, from its topmost branches and tear off a tender shoot. I will plant it. It shall put forth branches and bear fruit and become a majestic cedar.”
Then, in the Gospel, Jesus compares the kingdom of Heaven to a small mustard seed that, when planted, becomes a great big tree.
“It springs forth and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large beaches so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” (more…)
In today’s readings, we hear how the Lord takes what is small and makes it great – a branch from the cedar, which, when planted will “put forth branches and bear fruit. It will become a majestic cedar;” and a mustard seed, the smallest of the seeds, which becomes a huge plant. And so He builds up His kingdom. He calls all of us to be His disciples, and though, in the eyes of the world, we may be insignificant, His call is great. When we answer the call and give ourselves to Him completely – offering Him all that we are – He will use us for great things – to bring others to Him, to make disciples of all nations, to build the Kingdom of God.
It is out responsibility to listen to His call, to recognize the gifts He has given us, and, using them for His greater glory, to answer the call by surrendering ourselves to the Lord. Without Him we are nothing, completely insignificant, but with Him we are called to greatness.