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.

 

9 + 13 =

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 Fruits of Stewardship – WOW!

The Fruits of Stewardship – WOW!

If you are new to stewardship, you might never have heard some of the success of promoting stewardship as a Way of Life in the Diocese of Wichita. In 2017 and 2018, the Office of Stewardship hosted Tony Brandt and Chris Stewart of Casting Nets Ministries. Chris and Tony speak nationwide about stewardship, discipleship and evangelization. They live in the Diocese of Wichita and know first hand the fruits of stewardship: 


How do we compare?

Even when you take into consideration that Rapid City is a much smaller diocese than Wichita, one can still see the fruits of stewardship. They are 4 1/2 times our size, but their ordinations are 10 times ours, their number of seminarians almost 8 times. The number of Catholic school students is 12 times our numbers.

Wichita Rapid City
Number of Catholics 112,549 24,240
Number of active Diocesan Priests 81 25
Number of Seminarians 53 7
Number of priestly ordinations this year 10 1
Catholic elementary and high school students 9600 793
Percentage of parishes with perpetual adoration 42% 4%
Percentage of parishes with some adoration time 62% 35%

I have been present multiple times when Tony shares these fruits. It seems to me that jaws drop most when he talks about free tuition for Catholic schools. These are just some of the things that can happen in a Diocese that practices Stewardship. Wichita also can boast of a robust care for the elderly and the poor. But as Archbishop Murphy, one of the writers of the USCCB’s letter on Stewardship, often said, “stewardship is not a quick fix. It is not a program. It is a way of life.”

The Diocese of Wichita has been working hard to encourage this way of life for 50 years. The fruits don’t come quickly or easily. But they are possible. Wichita’s example can inspire us to embrace Stewardship.

 

We’re here to help

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

 

1 + 4 =

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

True Fellowship: Generous and Sacrificial

True Fellowship: Generous and Sacrificial

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Luke 6:38

This is the end of this Sunday’s Gospel and whenever I hear it, it always touches a deep place in my heart.  There was a time in my life where this reading would call forth a much different image than it does today. 

Once, I believe I would imagine a little finger shaking along with this statement, kind of like, “Watch out! What you dish out will be dished back to you.”  It was an admonition, a warning.  Received in the negative sense.

Today, though, I have a completely different reaction.  Rather than seeing it in the negative, I see it as an affirmation of generosity, a beautiful image of how we have the choice to enlarge our capacity to receive goodness from God and from others. 

The literal image that comes to my mind when I hear this gospel will probably make you smile:  it is paper products.  A room full of paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, cups and napkins.  I have that image because of the great blessing of good friends who are generous and kind and who have sacrificed time and shared themselves with us over the course of twenty-five years.  This friendship is true fellowship.  And it is the kind of fellowship which our Stewardship Initiative encourages under the pillar of Generous Hospitality. 

Our friendship was forged when we both decided to help with a church ministry which serves engaged couples.  It was strengthened when we made time over the years for campouts, meetings, dinners, picnics and parties with all those who helped in the ministry.  And the fruits it bore over the years came home to me two summers ago. 

My friends were in the midst of great suffering.  Their young adult son was dying of liver cancer.  He had come home to be cared for by his family.  They welcomed us into this difficult time just as generously as they had welcomed us to all the joyous occasions of their family life.  So we were present to watch the many, many people who came by to support them, to visit with them, to drop off food and to drop off paper products.  I was overwhelmed at how many people came and brought something. 

And what came to my heart so clearly standing among so much abundance was, “the measure with which you measure will be measured to you.”  This family’s generosity and kindness poured out to so many over many years was now being measured back to them.  In both the giving and the receiving, their capacity to receive was made larger. 

This is the beauty in living a Catholic Way of Life.  The good measure is pressed down, shaken together and running over.  And sometimes it comes to us in very concrete ways, like a year’s supply of paper towels. Sometimes the fruits are less tangible but no less real, like the confirmation and deepening of my knowledge of the truth that no matter how difficult or sad a situation is, God is ALWAYS good and His mercy and his love is always present, and being poured into laps ready to receive.  A commitment to fostering genuine fellowship helps us enter that stream.  

We’re here to help

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

 

1 + 9 =

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 + 10 =

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

Bartimaeus the Steward

Bartimaeus the Steward

In response to my email of October 11th, I heard back from several of you who shared with me some of the ways your parish is paying attention to the small details in order to be more hospitable.  Thank you! 

Here are a couple:

  • Last year we did a hoe down chili cook-off in January. It was nice to have a bit of fun in January, seems like a blank space in the calendar. 
  • The biggest impact OLBH has had on welcoming families has been to stock the nursery with various sizes of diapers and wipes and pull ups for the times you forget or run out of something while here. It is very inexpensive – we bought four small diaper packages a year ago and are just now running out – but it makes parents feel welcome.
I am sure there are many ways parishioners around the Diocese are finding simple but meaningful ways to extend hospitality.  It is a joy to hear of some of them.

This past Friday I returned from a 12-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  The whole trip was filled with grace and blessings and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to go.  The pilgrimage was led by Fr. Jacques Phillippe and Sr. Magdalit Bolduc from the Community of the Beatitudes.  This morning I was thinking about something Fr. Phillippe said to us on the evening of our arrival.  He said that often times we believe that we really cannot change or be changed. “That is just the way I am”, we say to ourselves.  Fr. Phillippe said that attitude, although quite common among Christians, speaks of a lack of Christian hope.  We lack the virtue of hope in the power and work of God’s grace in our lives if we believe that we cannot change.

Both unconsciously and consciously I think we often live and act out of this belief, both in how we think about ourselves personally, but also about how we think about the institutions we are a part of, whether it be the workplace, school, or church.  We are dissatisfied and unhappy about the status quo, but feel a sense of hopelessness about it ever changing.  On the other hand, we also experience as Americans this almost blind belief that if something is new it must also be good and we relentlessly pursue the next best thing; in technology, in diets, in entertainment; in educational and parenting practices, in church programs. Interesting how we hold these seemingly contradictory extremes simultaneously in our daily lives; on the one hand thinking things will never change while at the same time, relentlessly searching for and trying new things, throwing out the old and moving from one new novelty to the next.  All the while remaining restless.

It is only in actively seeking Christian maturity and Christian hope that we can navigate between the tendency to move back and forth from these two extremes.  The mature disciple, like Mary, is open and docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and therefore, not rigid; but open to change.  At the same time, the mature disciple is rooted firmly in the stable rock of Faith; is growing in prudence and right judgment and so is not easily blown one direction and then another by quickly changing fads.

Both as individuals and as church communities, it is important to be watchful and attentive to staying within this balance.  On the one hand, we must hold firmly to the belief expressed in the Book of Revelation, “See I make all things new” (21:5), firmly rooting ourselves in Hope which frees us to be open to the promptings and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  At the same time, the heritage of the Church carries with it the wisdom of the ages and we must guard against absorbing a cultural disdain for anything “old” and a presumption that we are wiser than those who have gone before us.  As we talk about and discern how to move from “maintenance” to “mission” (p. i, Through Him, With Him and In Him), as we argue with one another about whether or not the church is changing too much or not enough, as we debate about this new program or that or about whether to abandon “programs” all together,  let us continue to encourage one another to do so always with fervent prayer and commitment to growth in virtue.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Bartimaeus provides us with just such encouragement.  He cries out to the Lord with great faith and with great persistence – a model for prayer.  In a gesture of great detachment, he throws his cloak (his only security in his current state of life) to come to the Lord.  Honestly sharing his desire with the Lord, he is healed and “followed him on the way” – literally, “followed in His footsteps”.  Bartimaeus is a steward and a disciple, a man of fervent, persistent, and honest prayer who trusts completely in the Lord and follows in His footsteps.  Let us all strive to do likewise.

 

We’re here to help

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

 

6 + 9 =

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