WelCom October 2016:
Diocesan News and Views
Stewardship and the Archdiocese
A Future Full of Hope
Cardinal John Dew has been promoting the importance of ‘STEWARDSHIP’ as a focus for the ‘reimagined’ Archdiocese. Stewardship encourages parishioners to come together through the strength of Church community and to live the Gospel in a meaningful way in daily lives.
Cardinal John says stewardship is about each one of us putting the Gospel into action. ‘It arises from a spirituality that recognises everything we have is a gift from God and should be returned to God.
‘We are called into a living out of our discipleship of Jesus and are invited to use our gifts to benefit others and serve God’s kingdom. Stewardship therefore has the capacity to be a force for radical hope in our lives, and in our communities, inviting us towards ever greater gratitude, generosity and accountability for what we have each been given: our time, our talent and our treasure. It is a call to live open-handedly and open-heartedly from a sense of abundance, rather than from a sense of scarcity.’
This year the stewardship message for the diocese has been delivered through parish sessions, rather than diocesan events. These have been well attended.
‘Stewardship is intended to help us all to be “intentional” about our discipleship,’ says Cardinal John. ‘Stewardship assists us to make a disciple’s response in everything we do and say. We all long for more people to be involved and active in our parishes. I believe stewardship is the way to do this.’
During this October month of stewardship, three short video clips about stewardship will be available to parishes to screen on Sundays 9, 16 and 23 October. Organised by the Archdiocesan stewardship committee, the clips have been put together by St Bernard’s College students – ‘in itself an example of stewardship’, Cardinal John said. Suggested Prayers of the Faithful will also be distributed to parishes for these Sundays.
Sunday 16 October is Mission Sunday for the Church. Cardinal John says, ‘Pope Francis invites us to be “missionary disciples” – we can respond to that call through engaging in STEWARDSHIP in our parish.
‘The establishment of stewardship in the life of the diocese depends on all of us. We are at a critical stage where we need more and more people involved in parish life and in reaching out to others in the society around us.’
Stewardship and Generosity
Forget the Atkins, the South Beach diet, even the Paleo diet! Compelling scientific data tells us if we want to be healthy and live a long, happy and fulfilled life, we should be generous. Yes, generosity is most definitely linked to our wellbeing.
In Scientific American, social psychologist Liz Dunn talks about the link between greed and long-term health. ‘We did a little experiment where we gave people some money, ten dollars, and we said, “Hey, you can keep all this for yourself or you can give as much of it as you want, away”. We found the more money people gave away, the happier they felt. Conversely, the more people kept for themselves, the unhappier they felt. We saw their cortisol levels rise – cortisol is thought to explain some of the links between stress and disease. We know that a lot of generous behaviours are associated with consequences for health – engaging in volunteer work is good for longevity and self-esteem.’
Christian stewardship teaches us that out of gratitude for all the gifts our good and gracious God bestows on us, we are asked in return to grow our gifts, our talents, our treasure, and to use them generously to help build up the Kingdom.
This generosity was evidenced in August when parishioners from all parts of the Archdiocese donated shoes and socks and money for children in need; and by St Vincent de Paul Society volunteers who bundled up the ‘Year of Mercy shoe mountain’ and distributed the footwear to those in need. And it is witnessed weekly in our parishes, in our soup kitchens, in our shelters, in our simple quiet outreaching to others in need. Generosity in abundance!
During this Stewardship month of October – also the Church’s Mission month – let’s be even more intentional about forming generous hearts for God’s mission in the world. As Pope Francis prays, ‘Lord, help us to live the virtue of generosity, to love without limits’.
If you see someone you know is always there for others, tell them how special they are. As a community, identify your ‘good sorts’ – ‘God sorts’ – and celebrate their giving for others. Spread the ‘good’ gossip. Pope Francis says, ‘All it takes is one good person to restore hope!’
Who are your hope-restorers? How do you restore and build hope? Let us encourage the generosity, which is typical of the young and help them work actively in building a better world.
How as a community might you encourage generosity in all? For God’s sake, for goodness’ sake, for our health’s sake!
Lorraine McArthur is assistant to Cardinal John Dew.