The Parish Stewardship Committee and Laudato Si'

12:00 PM

For Pope Francis, "mission" is a critical word. Evangelii Gaudium was all about mission. Laudato Si' may well be understood as an incarnation of a Christian's mission in this life. We are to care for our common home.

In their 1992 pastoral letter, Stewardship: A Disciple's Response, the U.S. Bishops explained:
An oikonomos or steward is one to whom the owner of a household turns over responsibility for caring for the property, managing affairs, making resources yield as much as possible, and sharing the resources with others. The position involves trust and accountability.(19)
This understanding of a steward is keenly aware of its groundedness in the care of creation, calling Christian disciples to be "collaborators in creation" (26). In other words, Laudato Si' is a reflection on our discipleship as stewards. Stewardship is a spirituality that aims for a growth in holiness. We cannot be good Christian stewards without taking care of "our common home." We will be held back in our growth towards holiness insofar as we fail to respect and care for creation which God has entrusted to us.

Making Laudato Si' a part of parish life requires mission alignment. The parish stewardship committee is a natural home for many initiatives in favor of Laudato Si'. In fact, a stewardship committee that does not act on this encyclical, I would argue, does not understand the nature of stewardship.

Take some time in your stewardship committee to reflect on the encyclical from Pope Francis. Prayerfully consider how your parish may align for mission as Christian stewards with Laudato Si'.

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