This year our commitments to the Diocesan Stewardship Appeal will be for an 18-month period as we transition to a fall appeal in October of 2017. Here on earth, stewardship is our lived response to the Lord's pursuit. We do that principally in four ways: Prayer, Study, Service and Financial Support. Prayer:The daily response of my heart to God's love for me. Our relationship with the Lord is developed and strengthened through daily prayer. Prayer is the most foundational aspect of the life of a disciple of Jesus. Daily prayer is indispensable for the Christian life.
Study: Ongoing faith formation is the search that my mind and heart are always making to know the Lord and understand the teachings of his Church. We never stop learning the ways of the Lord and his teachings which guide every aspect of our lives.
Service: My heartfelt response to the needs of others, local and globally. Loving service can only be offered from the heart that has first been affected by the Lord's great love and mercy. Disciples who are open to the Lord's love for them will joyfully offer to others what they have received.
Support: The sacrificial commitment to further the Church's mission in my parish, in the diocese and throughout the world. Resources of every kind enable the Church to undertake the Lord's campaign for the salvation of the world.
Faith First: An Appeal for Your Soul! is first and foremost an appeal for your salvation. It is my firrm belief that as we put our faith first in response to the Lord's great love for us, our salvation is assured. Will you join me this year in making a commitment to the Lord each of these four ways? Give the Lord a new opportunity to convince you of his love through this Appeal and commit yourself to serving his campaign for the salvation of others.
What is asked of us?
+ Prayer: The daily response of my heart to God’s love for me. + Ongoing Faith Formation: The ongoing search of my mind and heart to know the Lord and understand the teachings of the Church. + Loving Service: My heartfelt response to the needs of others, local and globally. + Financial Support: My sacrificial commitment to further the Church’s mission in my parish, in the diocese and throughout the world.
Amazing things happen when we put our faith first in the world! Daily prayer fosters an ever more dynamic relationship with our Lord. The study of our faith gives us a richer understanding of what it means to be true disciples of Jesus. Christian service fills our hearts with great satisfaction in serving the needs of those around us.
This year I pledge to put my faith first, living my Christian stewardship in the following ways:
Through Prayer and My Spiritual Life • Pray privately at least 15 minutes a day. • Go to a weekday Mass once a week. • Pray a 5-decade rosary once day. • Read prayerfully the Mass readings for the following Sunday sometime during the week. • Spend 30-60 minutes once a week before the tabernacle in Eucharistic adoration. • Fast in some way at least one day per week. • Go to confession at least 4 times each year. • Do something to overcome one sinful habit. • Attend a diocesan "Pilgrimage of Mercy" event. • Share with others your experiences in prayer. • Offer the Chaplet of Divine Mercy once a week. • Other
Through Ongoing Faith Formation • I will read the biography of a saint this year. • I will read one of the four sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church this year. • Attend one adult faith program in my parish. • Read something Pope Francis has written. • Read a classic Catholic book. • Subscribe to a Catholic newspaper/periodical. • Read one of the documents of Vatican II. • Read something written by one of the early church Fathers. • Study about one virtue, commandment or beatitude this year. • Other
Through Loving Service • Do something kind for another each week. • Pray for religious vocations and for all who serve the Church in religious life. • Pray for the sick and dying, perhaps send cards. • Visit a nursing home and spiritually adopt a resident. • Provide or serve food at funeral lunches. • Practice self-denial in some way each week and give what you save to charity. • Clean out your closet and give away the excess. • Pray for the pope's intention each month. • Donate something each month to a food bank. • Pray monthly for those who are incarcerated. • Welcome newcomers to your parish and town. • Volunteer for parish events and activities. • Other.
Through Financial Support for the Mission of the Church • Adopt the biblical practice of tithing my income. • Tithing to my parish (suggested level of 4%. • Tithing to the diocese (suggested level of 1%). • Tithing to other charities (suggested level of 5%). • Progressively adjusting my lifestyle to reach these goals. • Estate planning to include Catholic institutions, such as schools, scholarship funds, parishes, the diocese.
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