The following is an older article from the Good Steward. Hopefully it still has some value.
WHAT IS FAITHFUL STEWARDSHIP?
We are called to support our parish, to provide the resources that are needed to carry out its mission. To be faithful means to be obedient. This is a challenge but as we move more and more toward following the Savior we find a sense of real purpose in our lives. Faithful stewardship means growing spiritually. It means becoming compassionate and merciful and God is compassionate and merciful to us. It means adopting generosity as a rule of our life.
The Christian faithful are obliged to assist with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what is necessary for divine worship, for apostolic works and works of charity and for the decent sustenance of ministers. (Canon Law of the Catholic Church 222 section 1)
PROGRAMS, BUILDING, FACILITIES AND OUTREACH
Giving to the parish keeps things going. Perhaps this reason is attractive because it brings about visible results: everything from the comforts of a modern building, the education of our children and youth to our efforts to assist those in need. The list of amenities and good works is very long and while paying the electric bill is not a glamorous reason to give, without our financial support all of what we see around us would suddenly disappear. As we increase our giving our gifts translate into action. We have dedicated our parish to a policy of spending our parish’s contributions in a way that is directly tied to the Catholic Mission, to spread the Good News and assist our brothers and sisters in need.
11 Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. (Romans 12:11-13)
PLANS, BUDGETS AND GOOD DECISIONS
Good stewardship helps us become good managers of our money. That may sound like a surprising motive or even so disjointed that it can’t make sense. But think about it this way: when we set a compelling financial goal we begin to organize our expenses to support that goal. We can take pencil to paper and try to discover how we can give responsibly, how we need to reorient our budget or create a budget for the first time. The parish budget can be a good example to us. Our finance council works to create overarching goals for our finances and our parish business office scrutinizes every expenditure. We do this because we are responsible to you and our God. Such desire helps us get organized to be a real part of our efforts in the parish.
11 You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, which through us produces thanksgiving to God, 12 for the administration of this public service is not only supplying the needs of the holy ones but is also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9:11 – 12)
BUILD A JUST SOCIETY
A strong church is the building block of a strong nation, a strong world. Our support of our parish is a part of constructing a just, moral and peaceful society. When our church is weak, floundering, confused or unable to gather the needed resources, our nation is weakened and so is the whole world. One of the greatest tools for spreading the truth is the strength of our parish, its program and its community life. Our contributions are a principal resource for living this witness. Every parish community should see itself as a primary agent to create and maintain justice, moral fidelity and peace. We do that primarily by the example of our life, our care for one another, our growth in the truth of Christ and the peaceful community of the many and diverse people that make up our parish.
Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy. Mother Teresa
IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO
God calls us to be faithful stewards. We have received a great gift. We have a faith so powerful that nothing, no experiences, trouble or temptations is of its own power able to defeat our hope. This gift is intended to be shared. We do this by our actions and by our gift of support to our parish. We all strive to do what is proclaimed by God’s Word and the teachings of the Catholic Church to be true and morally correct. Our stewardship is part of that obedience.
Every person should walk unhesitatingly according to their own personal gifts and duties in the path of a living faith which arouses hopes and works through charity. (Vatican Council II Lumen Gentium 41)