“I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go.”
Formation of each individual becomes part of the formation of the parish community. As members of the Body of Christ, the parish recognizes that it has a call from God to give. Inherent within each individual is the need to give – to move from selfishness to selflessness. This formation is a life-long journey of conversion. The stewardship parish journeys constantly in this formation of conversion. As one grows more deeply in this formation to a life of stewardship, the more deeply one loves as God loves us. This is true for the individual steward and for the stewardship parish.
Such formation is a formidable task, involving education of the mind and conversion of the heart. To know the “stewardship way of life,” does not make one live a “stewardship way of life.” Formation includes quality education, but the knowledge itself is not enough. Ongoing Catholic education, (for children and adults), is important if we are to grow in our lives as stewards. This formation should include a proper knowledge and understanding of stewardship since it is a primary means to lead the faithful to holiness.
Catholic schools, faith formation programs, youth ministry events and parish stewardship committees are wonderful and essential places where this faith formation begins. Yet, it is foolish to think that these are the only parish organizations responsible for this faith formation of parishioners to grow. Every parish organization has a role to play in nurturing the faith formation of the parishioners. It is in this collective parish effort and the grace of God at work through our sincere efforts that faith formation thrives. The meaning of faithful stewardship and how to live this way of life is at the core of the disciple’s response to the gift of faith we freely receive from our loving God.