United Catholic Stewardship means committing to grow in virtue

By Father Ken Van Haverbeke
Bernard of Clairvaux saw spiritual blindness, not being able to see Christ, as the result of spending too much time and energy on pursuits of little or no significance. Not only can individuals become spiritually blind but dioceses can lose their way in pursuing ministries and activities of “little or no significance.”
Pope Francis in the Joy of the Gospel writes: “The problem is not always an excess of activity, but rather activity undertaken badly, without adequate motivation, without a spirituality which would permeate it and make it pleasurable…. This pastoral acedia, or apathy, can be caused by a number of things. Some fall into it because they throw themselves into unrealistic projects and are not satisfied simply to do what they reasonably can.”
In this edition of the Catholic Advance the diocese reports to each parish and parishioner how she has used the 10 percent tithe generously contributed from each parish in the diocese. How your generous, proportionate, and sacrificial tithe is bringing the joy of the Gospel to those the Lord has entrusted to our spiritual care. We invite you to reflect on how we are doing and through the listening sessions in the diocese, to respond.
When the United Catholic Stewardship began, our goals were:
1. It would be parish-based;
2. It would provide the opportunity for parishioners to live out their call to discipleship, through the parish, and to the wider diocesan and universal church;
3. Parishes would seek to become vibrant places when they strived to identify, plan, and provide for the needs of their parishioners by establishing well organized pastoral structures and mission statements along with related goals, objectives, and action plans;
4. Parishes would be challenged to become places of hospitality, prayer, formation, and service.
We believed then if parishes would seriously take this role upon themselves, we would experience an increased sense of parishioners gratitude, generosity, and sacrificial giving and sharing of their God given giftedness in support of the broad mission of the parish and of the wider church;
Being a disciple of Jesus and living a stewardship way of life requires us to turn our backs on an easygoing life and committing ourselves to actions which allow us to grow in virtue. The diocese invites you to review this report of the United Catholic Stewardship and respond to how she is using your generous tithe in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Those interested in making Listening Session related comments may visit CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org/listening-session-form.