A Stewardship Prayer

Lord, thank you for the many gifts You have given us.
As Your faithful stewards, guide our hands
as we tend to Your garden,
lift our voices as we proclaim Your words
and encourage us as we work to build Your Kingdom.
We are one family of faith, a community brought together
to share in the Eucharist.
Through Your sacrifices, you continue to inspire us.
As stewards of Your many gifts, help us to use these gifts
through love and service in Your Kingdom.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Amen

Dearest Friends,
     God gives us so much. We are all blessed with the amazing gift of life. Many of us can be thankful for the gift of good health. Most people here have the love and support of family and friends. We are all blessed to live in a beautiful place by the shore where we are able to behold the grandeur of Godís creation every day. We have the freedom to worship without fear of persecution. We possess skills and abilities that make us unique. God has been generous in blessing us. What do we offer in return? Stewardship is a way of life for all Christian people. It is not a job or a fund raiser, but an attitude of love and care. As stewards, we have been entrusted with all Creation. We are asked to use our time, talents and treasures to continue to build up what the Lord had provided. How well are we doing just that? Do we seek to make the world a better place in all that we do?
     Good stewards know what the master is about. Jesus Christ came to save us. He taught us how to live and how to pray. He healed us of our infirmities and relieved us of our sins. He loved us so much that he died for our sake. He rose from the dead to offer us eternal life. He has sent the Holy Spirit among us to unite us and give us courage and strength spread his message of love. Do we appreciate all that Christ has done for us? Do we use the gifts of the Holy Spirit that have been bestowed upon us through the sacraments of our Church?
      Good and faithful stewards begin all that they do by saying thank you to God! We thank God by living lives as cheerful givers from the many blessings we have. We offer God the gift of time: to visit the sick, to speak words of love, to wel- come the strangers among us, to comfort the sorrowful. We offer God the gift of talents: to praise God in music, to teach the young people about the faith, to make our places of worship beautiful, to keep our brothers and sisters well in body, mind and spirit. We offer God the gift of treasure: to improve the lives of the poor, to provide service to all our brothers and sisters, to maintain the church facilities where we gather in love, to provide for the instruments of our sacramental life. We give back to God for all we have.
     We say thank you with lives of love and generosity of spirit. We, the parishioners of Our Lady of Victory and St. John Vianney Parishes, are called to be good and faithful stewards. We have been given so much. What do we give back? Let us commit ourselves to creating the most supportive, welcoming and joyous community we can. Let us strive to be people who use our time, talents and treasure well in love of our God and neighbor. Let us all look for ways we can more actively live the message of Christ with the abilities we have. It is the least we can do. Let us say thank you to God by living lives of love and praise.
     
     Gratefully and joyfully yours in Christ,
     Fr. Joe
     (Rev. Joseph Cronin, Pastor, 2007)