Stewardship Message from Father Shockey
Dear Friends in Christ,
Catholic education is the best gift a parent can give a child. Your child will not only receive an outstanding academic education, but more importantly, will receive a rich formation in the way of stewardship which will prepare your child for life and giving your entire family the opportunity to grow in faith and holiness.
At our Catholic school, the children study religion daily, pray often, practice moral values, learn to practice self-discipline and discipleship, and are expected to put others’ needs before their own.
Our Catholic grade school (and high schools) is the mission of the entire parish. Only through the stewardship of all the parishioners are we able to maintain excellent schools without any government support. Therefore, since example is always the best teacher, I encourage you to continue to be (or become) an active steward in the parish.
Enrolling your children in a Catholic school is a partnership among the family, the parish, and the school. It is a privilege, and not a right.
There are three questions everyone should contemplate:
1. Why is Catholic Education important to you?
2. What do you expect from the parish in receiving this Catholic Education?
3. What can the parish expect from you? (Or “How do you understand the relationship between stewardship and a Catholic education?”)
Let’s review some basic notions of how the Stewardship Way of Life works: (Relationships)
1. Stewardship is the grateful response of a Christian disciple who recognizes and receives God’s gifts and shares them in love of God and neighbor.
2. Stewardship is a choice to become a disciple of Jesus Christ by recognizing that everything we have is a gift from God and accepting an obligation to give back to God through the parish a consistent and honest offering of our time, talent, and treasure. Stewardship is characterized by hospitality, prayer, formation, and service.
3. What we expect of our Catholic School families in the way of stewardship, we expect of all families in the parish. We expect:
a. Attending of Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation at the parish
b. Participation in the sacramental life of the church
c. Active participation in parish ministries
d. Participation in the parish religious education programs for children and adults
e. Consistent Catholic moral values in all areas of life
f. Completion of an annual pledge of time, talent, and treasure
g. Making and keeping a good faith pledge of treasure, with a goal of 8% of your gross income to the parish and 2% to other favorite charities
4. The question of active stewardship is not a matter of money, but of active practice of the faith. Catholic schools are not primarily academic institutions; they are first and foremost schools of formation in faith, moral values, service, and spirituality. Our Catholic schools can succeed only if they work hand in hand with the parents. Your active stewardship in the parish is not just desirable; it is crucial to everything you and we want to accomplish for your child.
5. For families which fulfill these expectations of active stewardship, the parish will make every effort to assist them with the funding of their children’s Catholic education. Also please remember, if circumstances change in a family’s commitment to the parish, it is important to inform the parish and/or pastor. Stewardship is a relational commitment. It must not be presumed the pastor is aware of personal circumstances hindering your generous sacrifice of time, talent, or treasure.
6. As pastor:
a. I have the responsibility of cultivating and forming families as active stewards.
b. I am also accountable to God for being a good steward of the parish’s limited financial resources. Therefore I am responsible for determining if a family is making a good faith effort at living out the Stewardship Way of Life.
7. Finally, thank you for allowing us to be partners with you in forming your child(children) in the ways of the Faith, recognizing it is in your home that the faith will be first and most importantly taught.
With you in Christ,
Father Benjamin Shockey