With this perspective, we recognize that everything comes from God. We
develop what has been given, share it in a loving and just way, and
increase what God entrusts to us according to His will.
Stewardship is counter-cultural.
It challenges the secular philosophy that all we have defines us and
gives us value, and is solely ours. In fact, we are endowed with dignity
because of an intimate relationship with God. All our gifts - our time,
talent, treasure and assets – are to be used to co-create and protect of
all life. We develop our gifts to live out our God-given vocation, and
to strengthen and preserve the Church at all levels, domestic, parish,
diocese and universal, now and into the future.
As committed disciples of our triune God, we
constantly seek to ask ourselves the same question that the
psalmist struggles with, “How do I make a return to the Lord for
all the good he has done for me?” (Psalm 116:12) As Christian
stewards, our response progressively builds toward a radical
turning over of all our life in gratitude and love.
In the Old Testament one
manifestation of this response to God was the tithe – the
unconditional sharing of 10% from the first fruits of a person’s
labor. In current Catholic thinking, the committed steward
follows gift giving principles. Gifts are given:
- as one’s desire to express gratitude and love “to God
for all the good he has done for us”;
- as a sacrifice - to do without something in order to ask that our
gift be made holy and used for God’s work;
in proportion to what one has received. A guideline is 5% of
one’s time, talent, treasure and assets for one’s parish, 1%
to the diocese and 4% to the universal church and other worthy
- from one’s “first fruits” before other responsibilities are met
and in an unconditional way with no strings attached;
- in an accountable manner – when one makes a pledge of one’s time,
talent, treasure, and assets, one fulfills that promise.
For our stewardship of treasure gifts to support our parish,
diocese, and universal church ministries and worthy causes,
current income from wages, investments and retirement are used.
Extra-ordinary capital gifts are usually a gift reflecting a
more profound sacrifice and may be paid off over a period of
three to five years. Some consider capital gifts coming from the
other 4% for worthy causes.
of stewardship is Estate Planning and the use a planned gift instrument
to remember the Church after our death. Planned gifts consist of assets
accumulated during our lifetime. A planned gift is any gift that requires
assistance from a professional to create. These gifts include bequests,
charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, donor advised
funds, lead trusts, insurance, IRA, to name some.
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Catholic Diocese of Rockford, IL
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