Knowing Your Why

Knowing Your Why

 

As this video so beautifully illustrates, knowing what you do isn’t enough. Knowing why you do what you do can free us to be truly inspirational! The Stewardship initiative in the Diocese of Rapid City is all about helping parishes and individuals know their why. We want to assist parishes in becoming more inspirational places where people encounter Christ and learn to live as His disciples! And for the individual? Let our resources teach you some concrete tools that will help you discover those root values that determine your daily choices.

Here are just a few ways we can help:

  • By offering step-by-step assistance for parishes who desire to develop a clear vision and concrete steps to achieve that vision.
  • Resources that can help parishes create the systems and structures that move parishes from maintenance to mission
  • Inspiration and education for individuals that can assist them in embracing a Catholic Way of Life which frees them to be generous in service to the church and community
  • A step-by-step vision for developing robust ministry in all aspects of the parish
Together, let’s find the why for your parish and allow it to inspire pastors and people alike to more joyfully and boldly proclaim and live the mission of Jesus!

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

14 + 14 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418

Sts. Cyril and Methodius

Sts. Cyril and Methodius

Today we celebrate the Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, 9th century brothers who evangelized the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe.  The brothers are perhaps best known for their work in translating the liturgy, scripture and the Church Fathers into the Old Slavonic language spoken by the people. 

I was thinking about them this morning and the importance of being able to share the Gospel in a language people can understand.  For many years, my husband and I served in the Engaged Encounter ministry, a weekend retreat for engaged couples which developed in the late 1970’s.  We are very grateful for the ways this opportunity enriched our marriage and our family life. But as time went on, we became concerned that although we shared the Truth and the Good News of the Church’s teaching on marriage in this program, that perhaps it was not being conveyed to the next generation in a language they could “understand.” 

This is the challenge in a Church that is “ever ancient, ever new,” — How to best speak the eternal truths of the faith, the reality of God’s great love, the reality of evil and sin and the great gift of the Incarnation, life, death and resurrection of Jesus in a way that is “grasped” by each successive generation.  

One powerful tool has always been storytelling.  Compelling stories captivate our imaginations, engage us and stay with us.  Jesus made use of storytelling often.  The real-life experiences and stories of married couples was the real strength of Engaged Encounter and I have experienced, as a catechist, the power of the life of a saint well-told.   

The Office of Stewardship would like to take advantage of the power of storytelling to help all of us understand and practice Stewardship in our lives and in our parishes.  Do you have a story to tell?  A story of how Generous Hospitality, Lively Faith or Dedicated Discipleship has had an impact on your life or the lives of those you love?  If so, please contact me at shanson@diorc.org.  I would love to hear your story.

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

13 + 1 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418

The Summit is Stewardship

The Summit is Stewardship

Sometimes people wonder how an event like the Summit is connected to Stewardship and why this office coordinates what is clearly an event whose primary goal is evangelization and time for renewal for the faithful.  However, the Summit and its goals fit perfectly into both the definition of stewardship given to us by the US Bishop’s Conference in the Pastoral Letter, “A Disciple’s Response” and in our own pillars of stewardship as outlined in the “Characteristics of a Stewardship Parish”.  A Disciple’s Response defines a Christian steward as one who “receives God’s gifts gratefully, cultivates them responsibly, shares them lovingly in justice with others and returns them with increase to the Lord” (p. 42).  One who receives God’s gifts gratefully . . . What is the greatest gift we have received from the Lord?  It is our salvation and the grace and mercy which He so generously offers us each day.  Therefore, the Summit was, for all who attended, an opportunity to receive this gift from God once again.  The Summit also provided an opportunity for many to share this gift lovingly in justice with others.  The Ambassadors in particular, intentionally invited and encouraged many parishioners to come to the Summit.

The Summit also gave us the opportunity to practice many of the aspects of our Stewardship initiative.  The Ambassador’s training in June was, among other things, an in-depth training in the art and importance of invitation (Generous Hospitality:  Welcome, Invitation, Fellowship) and the Summit, an opportunity, for those trained to develop that practice in their lives.  One of the characteristics under “Key Characteristics of an Inviting Parish” reads in part, “our parish offers . . . planned, regular evangelistic retreats and/or programs.” The Summit itself was also an opportunity to practice intentional Welcome and to look for ways to schedule time for Fellowship.  In our second pillar, Lively Faith, we read, “The fundamental mission of the Church is to lead people to encounter Jesus Christ in a way whereby they are changed and transformed into His Body.”  In our planning, this was our guiding principle, we were striving to provide a place where those who came could encounter Jesus.  Our primary reason for offering a youth track was to be faithful to the characteristic which says, “Our parish leaders conscientiously work to make parish formation opportunities accessible to young families.”

Our challenge now is to accompany those in our parishes who did have a real and concrete encounter with Jesus at the Summit.  This accompaniment is crucial to Formation.  Tony Brandt shared with the
Ambassadors on the night before the Summit that it isn’t enough to provide those who came to the Summit with a powerful experience of Jesus.  In fact, it could actually be harmful to their faith if they have a powerful experience but we fail to follow-up with them afterwards and help them to incorporate the experience into their daily life.  We run the danger of having people begin to question whether or not what they experienced was real.  We also run the danger of inadvertently encouraging people to seek one “big moment” after another in their lives, relying only on the emotional feelings attached to such an event to base their relationship with God on.  Instead, we must continue to encourage one another to teach, lead and support one another in a deeper discipleship.  I hope and pray that the Summit was a wonderful beginning for some and a true renewal for others. But it is just that and nothing more. 

The real work of “making disciples” happens now and it doesn’t happen because of any parish or diocesan sponsored “event”.  It happens in the day-to-day walk with one another; in relationship.  I am praying for all of us, that we know clearly how to return with increase the gift and graces of the Summit to the Lord. And “Do not be afraid!”  As we were reminded in the Liturgy of the Hours on Tuesday, the Feast of the Guardian Angels: “He has given his angels charge over us to guard us in all of our ways. . .Even though we are children and have a long, very long and dangerous way to go, with such protectors what have we to fear?  They who keep us in all our ways cannot be overpowered or led astray, much less lead us astray.  They are loyal, prudent, powerful.  Why then are we afraid?  We have only to follow them, stay close to them, and we shall dwell under the protection of God’s Heaven.” (Office of Readings, Sermon of St. Bernard)

 

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

14 + 7 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418

All About “Christ Life”

This past weekend we had our Stewardship Training — Ambassadors for Christ. We had 8 priests and Deacon Zane Pekron that were able to participate in the Friday workshop and 60 parish leaders that came from 19 parishes from across the Diocese and the Rapid City Catholic Schools for the Friday evening and Saturday workshop. One of the goals of the stewardship training was to help and encourage pastors and parish lay leaders to learn how to personally invite members from their parish community to the Stewardship Summit this coming September 21 and 22.

Tony Brandt and Chris Stewart, the presenters from Casting Nets Ministries, encouraged participants to consider their own circle of influence when inviting parishioners to the Stewardship Summit. This year’s Summit is an evangelistic event designed to help and foster an encounter with the living person of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a new way in people’s lives. The Summit this year is being designed specifically for the parishioners who are at Mass on Sunday or at least several times a month, who aren’t necessarily involved in anything outside of Mass, and yet who are thirsting for more in a relationship with Christ.

How many of us are simply content in own relationship with Jesus?  I raised this question last Saturday at the Ambassadors training and not one person raised their hand, including myself. Aren’t we all searching and thirsting for more Christ in our lives?

The desire for Bishop Gruss is that everyone in our diocese would be personally invited to the Stewardship Summit. However, with over 23,000 Catholics in our diocese it is almost impossible for Bishop Gruss to personally invite every Catholic in our diocese to the Summit. That is where we come in, to extend a personal invitation on behalf of Bishop Gruss for people to come to the Summit knowing that it is an invitation to open our hearts to encounter Christ who is alive and to come ready to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in a new way.

It was interesting last weekend, Tony Brandt asked how me how many people fit into the Holy Cross Chapel at Terra Sancta.  I told him 525 is our maximum with folding chairs and with that said “Summit: Operation 525” was borne.

Our goal is to get 525 people to participate in this year’s Stewardship Summit for the parishes across the diocese. We need your help in reaching our goal of 525 to fill the Holy Cross Chapel to the full.

The only way I know this can happen is first by becoming a beggar in prayer before the Lord. And secondly is to personally invite those in our own circle of influences in our parishes to the Summit. I am encouraging and inviting you to pray a thousand Memorares with the intention of the Stewardship Summit — Operation 525. I have attached a card to help you to becoming a beggar before the Lord, asking our Lady to intercede for us in Operation 525.

If you are willing to participate in this and pray a thousand Memorares, please print out and fill in the boxes on the card below. When finished, please send this card to Shawna.

Making Personal Invitation Part of the Mission

This past week I have been calling pastors and pastoral leaders about our upcoming Stewardship Leadership Training on Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16 at Terra Sancta. I have been checking in with them to see if they were planning to come to the Stewardship Training themselves, and if they were planning to send any of their lay leaders, pastoral council members, stewardship committee members, and others who are influential in their parishes.

I have some had some good conversations about the upcoming stewardship training conducted by Tony Brandt and Chris Stewart from Castings Nets Ministry.  Several conversations struck a chord with me because at the heart of stewardship is invitation. I heard several times: “The initial work has been done, the fliers are up in the parish and the announcement has been placed in the bulletin, however now the hard work begins of personal invitation to the training.” These words resonated with me as I thought to myself of the closing lines in Mark’s Gospel 12:28-34, commonly titled, “The Great Commandment.” “And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.”’  We are accustomed to putting flyers up and doing bulletin announcements, when we embrace the extra step of personal invitation, we are “not far from the kingdom of God.”

In speaking on Evangelism Pope Francis said, “Evangelism is not about programs, but people. We can have programs, but we need to evangelize one-on-one, accompanying and encountering each person.” Gretchen R. Crowe OSV Newsweekly would wager that most people can remember how and why one joined a parish ministry, participated in a service project, decided to keep a regular Holy Hour or attended a retreat for the first time — it is because someone asked them too.

Crowe goes on to say, “There is a power to inviting someone to participate. It means something to be singled out or even to be noticed among the throng of Mass-goers. This asking — this personal invitation — needs to happen more if the Church is going to succeed in its mission of evangelization.” And I would add stewardship to evangelization.  If we truly desire to become parishioners and parishes who embrace Stewardship as A way of Life then personal invitation has to be part of our mission.

Inviting parishioners to attend this leadership training is a perfect opportunity to practice this one-on-one conversation that Pope Francis is speaking about, accompanying and encountering another person in Christ through invitation. And the training promises to better equip all those who attend to continue practicing this art of invitation and accompaniment.  For parishes, it can both be a beginning and/or a further encouragement towards creating a culture of invitation in the parish.

My West River Catholic article this month focused on the Stewardship Leadership Training coming up in the middle of June. For more information on the Stewardship Leadership Training and the Summit this September please visit our website https://www.rapidcitydiocese.org/stewrdship or contact Shawna Hanson SHanson@diorc.org or Fr. Mark McCormick at 716-5214, ext. 233