Respond To Gods Generosity Through Stewardship
Published: October 30, 2003
For everything is from You and we only give You what we have received from You.
(1 Chronicles 29:14)
ATLANTASunday, Oct. 26, Treasure Commitment Sunday, brought a familiar request from the archdiocesea yearly reminder of the importance of giving. The Archdiocesan Annual Appeal, which is now in progress, isnt just a yearly request for donations to support the diverse ministries of the church in North Georgia. Its much more.
Of course, the Annual Appeal does mean the world to ministries such as education, vocations and those who work with immigrants, the poor and the elderly. Donations from this appeal go directly to support these ministries of the archdiocese.
Treasure Commitment Sunday is also an opportunity to consider the idea of stewardship. On this past Sunday, many of the priests and deacons at churches all over the archdiocese reminded parishioners that as Christians they are called to respond Gods generosity through stewardship.
This call to Christian stewardship, which is a biblically based Catholic spirituality, is a call to an entirely new way of life. Catholics are called to use the abundant blessings God has given them to follow Jesus Christ as his disciple. At least once each year, Catholics are urged to review how they have been using their many gifts and make a conscious plan for being grateful stewards in the coming year.
As good stewards Catholics use the talents, contacts, inheritance, education and opportunities given by God to build up some measure of wealth. With that wealth comes the responsibility to share the abundance with those who have less and respond to Gods generosity with a gift that is both planned and proportional.
Honor the Lord with the first
fruits of all you produce.
Christian stewards are encouraged to reflect gratefully on their unique gifts and prayerfully decide how to use them in a way pleasing to God. They should make a deliberate plan for sharing their gifts with others, putting God first.
This stewardship plan must be renewed each year to reflect changing life circumstances. If a deliberate plan isnt made that returns the first fruits received from God back to him, after taking care of needs and wants, then only what is left over goes to God.
Making an annual plan is important to the financial giving aspect of discipleship.
Where Do The Annual
Appeal Donations Really Go?
The money raised through the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal is used in its entirety to support the programs and ministries described in the Annual Appeal brochure.
With the donations from this drive, the archdiocese supports ministries that form the foundation of Catholic outreach and care. All of the money received goes to these programs and ministries. For 2004 the goal is approximately $5.6 million, divided as shown in the table.
|Office of Vocations||$1.7 million|
|Catholic Charities/Catholic Social Services (which includes Catholic Personal Care Homes; Office of Child and Youth Protection; Pro-Life Office; Office of Family Concerns; HIV/AIDS Ministry; Catholic Retirement Facilities; Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption Services; Counseling Services; Immigration Services; Migration and Refugee Services; Community Connection and Parish Social Ministry program; and Community Outreach Centers)||$1.6 million|
|Office of Religious Education/Faith Formation||$739,200|
|Office of Catholic Schools||$462,000|
|Campus Ministry Program||$205,700|
|Office for Black Catholic Ministry||$126,500|
|Permanent Diaconate Formation Program||$79,200|
|Ministry With Persons With Disabilities||$72,600|
How Are Parishes Involved
In The Archdiocesan
Every parish is responsible for its share of the annual appeal and has a specific amount to contributeall parishioners are encouraged to donate to the appeal to help their parishes reach their goal. The Oct. 9 issue of The Georgia Bulletin showed the individual parish goals.
Parish assessments (goals) are 8 percent of the parishs offertory for the previous year.
As always, the combined efforts of every parishioner and every parish will make this years archdiocesan goal come true. As Archbishop John F. Donoghue wrote in the letter sent to all parishioners, God bless you for your support and for all you do to make the work of the Church possible in North Georgia.
For additional information, please contact your parish or mission or contact the archdiocese at (404) 888-7801. Information about the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal can also be viewed at www.archatl.com.