The Office of Stewardship
Module A: What’s Possible with Stewardship?
The Stewardship Process
The Diocese of Rapid City offers three primary lenses for which to build the foundations of stewardship in our parishes –
- Generous Hospitality: invitation, welcome and fellowship;
- Lively Faith: prayer, study and formation;
- Dedicated Discipleship: to love God and to love neighbor with an intentional heart.
Living a life of stewardship means whole-heartedly peering through these three indispensable lenses so that we may truly live a Catholic Way of Life, hearing the voice of Jesus, following Him and imitating His way of life.
The Characteristics of a Stewardship Parish Manual offers a roadmap for implementing these lenses and transforming your parish.
Whether you are a parish leader or simply a parishioner who wants to make a difference in your community, we can show you how the Characteristics can help you.
Where Do We Start?
Read the Characteristics booklet! You can download it here.
Please keep this in mind as you look over the characteristics: when the committee developed the booklet, this is the question they were asked: “What would the IDEAL parish look like under the pillars of stewardship that we have in the Diocese of Rapid City (Generous Hospitality, Lively Faith & Dedicated Discipleship)?
The goals set forth are lofty, but don’t be discouraged! As you look over the booklet, I suspect that you will see things that your parish already does well, things that you know need to be improved and perhaps some things you’ve never even thought about.
This roadmap is meant to take parishes on a long journey and the goals set forth are lofty, but we say, “what’s the harm in aiming high?!” We have the power of the Holy Spirit to fuel our efforts and an inexhaustible fountain of grace from Christ Jesus. “With God, all things are possible.”
What’s next for the parish leader?
If you are a parish leader, and you like what you see in the Characteristics booklet, then the next step would be to gather a group of parish leaders and complete the Foundational Self-Assessment together. This group may be your Stewardship Committee if you are a large parish or your Pastoral Council if you are smaller. Here’s what the process has looked like for a large as well as a small parish:
At Our Lady of the Black Hills in Piedmont, they have a stewardship council that was formed and meeting monthly when they chose to embark on the journey to Stewardship parish status. This group has worked together to complete three of the self-assessments, although they often need to consult with other members of parish leadership as they work through them. One member of the Stewardship Council commented, “The stewardship process encourages us to name and acknowledge the things we do well, and it also challenges us to not get complacent but keep pushing forward and growing.”
OLBH entered the stewardship process in the Fall of 2017. They were awarded Foundational status by Bishop Gruss in December of that year and began working through the Hospitality self-assessment soon after. They met with our office in March of 2018 and began working to adopt the goals suggested by the Office of Stewardship. In November of 2018, they were designated as a Hospitable Parish by Bishop Gruss. In the summer of 2019, they began working through the Lively Faith self-assessment.
St. Ambrose and St. Patrick’s in Lead and Deadwood, on the other hand, are much smaller. They chose to have the combined pastoral council of the churches work through the process and it has worked very well. Although the process takes both time and energy, all of those in both areas have found it a worthwhile task.
In November of 2017, the Office of Stewardship went to Lead and explained the process to the St. Patrick’s/St. Ambrose’s joint Council. After the presentation, Fr. Hausmann asked everyone if they wanted to pursue it. One council member commented, “Of course! Why wouldn’t we? It is what we should be doing anyway.”
After completing the Foundational self-assessment, their first challenge was to develop a pastoral plan. Fr. Hausmann shares that at first, he wasn’t excited about the work involved in developing a plan, but now that he has been through it, he is grateful. “It was well worth the effort.”
The plan, adopted by the Council in February of 2019, sets forth goals that position the parish to achieve Foundational status by June of the same year.
Want to see the whole parish process laid out? Check out Appendix A in the Characteristics.
But I’m not a parish leader. What’s next for me?
Even if you aren’t in a position to decide that your parish should enter the parish stewardship process, it doesn’t mean that you can’t help your parish grow.
Do you see some things in the characteristics that your parish already does well?
Consider affirming those who make it happen. Thank them for their dedication, their hard work and the way they are helping your parish to thrive. Consider supporting them by becoming part of the success by volunteering. And finally, let your pastor know that you are grateful for the good things you see happening at your parish.
Do you see something in the characteristics that is not present in your parish, but you would really like it to be?
Is there a way you can help make it a reality? Pastors and parish leaders are often very busy with existing programs and responsibilities, so they are grateful when someone comes to them with ideas they are willing to work on themselves. Is there any harm in asking?
Lastly, a Stewardship parish is made up of stewards! Stewards are those who receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them generously and give them back with increase to the Lord.
They cultivate gratitude, know that all they have belongs to God, give generously and sacrificially of their time and their money and trust in the Lord’s love for them. In addition, they strive to live Generous Hospitality, Lively Faith and Dedicated Discipleship. Every parishioner is encouraged to continue to cultivate a personal life of stewardship. And the witness you give will have a positive impact on your parish, especially if you live it with joy. Joy is contagious!
Want to know more about how to live as a steward? Check out our training module “What is Stewardship?“
Living this Catholic Way of Life
Looking to deepen your practice of one of the four Stewardship Pillars? Click the image of the one below to find the best of our blogs and resources for each pillar.
We’re here to help
Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.
606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702