"For our family, friends and benefactors of our community who have passed from this world to the next; may they attain a share in eternal happiness through our Lord Jesus Christ risen from the dead."
Message from Bishop McKnight
Stewardship - Growing our Faith
“The fact we are Catholic is not only manifested in the beauty of our churches; it is in our daily living as generous stewards. I invite you to consider the ways in which you make room for God in your life through your personal, ongoing faith formation; by your active charitable works; and by personal prayer and active participation in Mass.
Be not afraid to give yourself to Christ by being a generous steward. You will not regret it.”
—Bishop W. Shawn McKnight
Last winter, Bishop McKnight requested all parishes to discern their own plans for carrying out the Church’s vision for parish life within their geographic territory. The bishop and his advisors gave a timeline and process for praying, discussing, and assessing each parish’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of:
· Cultivating a spirituality rooted in the Catholic understanding of stewardship;
· Promoting effective co-responsibility among ordained ministers and the laity; and
· Helping every parish become universally recognized as a center of charity and a sanctuary of mercy within the larger community.
Pastors and lay leaders turned parishioners’ suggestions into doable, measurable objectives for carrying out the three goals over the next three years.
The diocesan staff received parish pastoral plans from 70 parishes.
Throughout the summer, a group comprised of Diocesan Pastoral Council member Rick Nichols; LeAnn Korsmeyer, Diocesan Director of Parish and Charitable Services; Father Jason Doke, Moderator of the Curia; Father Stephen Jones, Director of Stewardship, and Bishop McKnight reviewed and tabulated each of the plans.
Teens took part in online gatherings to give additional input.
Members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council met in August to ascertain themes and patterns among all of the parish plans. Their observations formed the basis for a working document presented at a September assembly of lay representatives throughout the Diocese.
Participants discussed the working document in small groups — specifically, the aspects that ignite their passion, items that need clarification, and any concerns.
Their insights figured into creating a revised working document of the diocesan plan.
Bishop McKnight consulted with the priests of the diocese during their annual Fall Institute before casting a final draft. He said the plan will shape how the diocese “coordinates and leverages its resources over the next three years, to assist the parishes in fulfilling their own goals and their own activities to which they are holding themselves accountable.”