Every Fall, we ask every parish household to recommit to a life of stewardship and to take a small step towards that goal of a biblical tithe: ten percent of one’s income for the support of the parish and other charities. At whatever percentage you are, we ask that half be donated to the parish and the other half to other charities. Those other charities could include your support of the Annual Catholic Appeal to aid our Archdiocese, other national Catholic appeals, or your favorite global, national or local charities. Two of my favorite global charities are the Maryknoll Missionaries and Catholic Relief Services. In my travels in South America and Africa, I have seen the great work these two groups do. My favorite local charity is the St. Vincent de Paul Society. What are your favorite charities? It would be difficult to support every charitable request that comes in the mail. That is why it is important to sit down as a family and discuss which charities your feel called to support. Whatever charities you do support, you should always review their annual report to insure that overhead costs are reasonable and that the bulk of donations are indeed going to aid their stated cause.
The foundation for a life of stewardship is gratitude, fostering a sense that everything is a gift from God given for our good and the common good. As we prepare for this annual renewal of stewardship of treasure, let us focus on gratitude. My grandmother was fond of saying: “count your blessings.” It continues to be good advice to grow in a life of stewardship that keeps God, the source of all blessings, at the center of our lives.