2 August 2012
Last year’s popular Stewardship Conference is being repeated in the Wellington Archdiocese at the end of the month with a Stewardship Reflection Day in the cathedral.
This year the archdiocese has invited Presentation Sister, Mary Franzmann from Brisbane as the key speaker for the day, August 25.
Sr Mary has a background in teaching and parish work and is currently a ministry development officer with the Faith and Life Vicariate in the Brisbane Archdiocese. She is also parish and community outreach coordinator for the Presentation Spirituality Centre in Brisbane.
Sr Mary’s address to last year’s ‘Stewardship: It all begins in Baptism’ conference in Brisbane received rapturous applause.
There she quoted Flor McCarthy who wrote in his book Windows on the Gospel, that God created the world ‘bit by bit’. As he was doing so, the angels kept asking, ‘Is the world finished yet?’ to which God would reply, ‘No’. Finally God made people and said to them, ‘I am tired. I want you to finish the world. If you agree to do so, I promise to be your partner.’ They agreed. After this, whenever the angels enquired of God if the world was finished, the reply would come, ‘I don’t know. You’ll have to ask my partners.’
Many conference goers felt the presentation was pivotal to understanding stewardship as a way of life and what it meant to follow Christ. Many found the conference a life-changing experience.
Placing stewardship in the context of the Church in the past 50 years, Sr Mary says the Church had an ‘internal mission of what has come to be called pastoral care – being present at the crucial moments in its members’ lives – when they are born, when they marry, die, need healing, forgiveness or consolation’. Quoting Daniel O’Leary, she said that when we look at life from the perspective of the Kin-dom of God, it is ‘a way of seeing that recognises God’s face in every face, a God who comes to us disguised as life’. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls baptism a gift because ‘it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own’.
On Saturday August 25 Sr Mary Franzmann’s presentation, ‘Stewardship – Our Baptismal Call’, in Thorndon’s Sacred Heart Cathedral will form the basis of this year’s Stewardship Reflection Day. The day will also allow time for private reflection and group discussion.
The stewardship reflection day will be preceded by a PRAYlive day of prayer for stewardship on Friday, August 24, in the cathedral. After the 8am parish Mass,
Archbishop John Dew will start a series of presentations at 9.30 with ‘Examen: most grateful, least grateful? Sign of hope?’
Sr Natalie Murphy will lead a session on Catherine McAuley’s ‘Suscipe’. Sr Judith McGinley, Fr Jim Dooley and Mary-Anne Peetz will also give presentations. The day ends at 4.30 with a closing prayer.
Image: Sr Mary Franzmann pbvm