Catholic Herald Staff
The 16th annual Diocesan Stewardship Day will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, at Turtleback Conference Center in Rice Lake. The invitation is extended to priests, parish staff, members of pastoral councils and finance committees, as well as others interested in fostering stewardship as a way of life.
Parish life revitalizer Rich Curran will be the presenter with the theme of “The Parish that Became Eucharist – Five Essentials to Grow Your Church.”
Curran, who lives in Appleton, is the founder and director of Parish Success Group, which offers on-site coaching to parishes and dioceses. He holds master’s degrees in education and pastoral ministry and has broad experience serving the Catholic Church.
Immaculate Conception Parish in New Richmond has been coached by Curran for almost one year.
Fr. John Anderson shared his experience: “He has helped us refocus and renew the visions and core values of the parish. He is helping us to get more people involved and learning how to delegate things and involve parishioners.”
The stewardship day will progress from a broad focus to the specific needs of a local parish with scheduled time for dialogue, including interaction among attendees from different parishes. The dynamic speaker is skilled at engaging his audience and teaching how to put presented ideas into action.
Specific topics to be covered include missionary discipleship, the new mission field, leadership and management behavior for modern ministry, building and re-establishing relationships and welcoming new involvement.
Steve Tarnowski, director of development for the Diocese of Superior, is hoping more than 50 people take advantage of this valuable information and training. He believes strongly in the need for stewardship to be an expression of discipleship, and sees the need to continually reach out and find ways to involve members in the parish with vested interest.
Quoting the U.S. Catholic Bishops, he shared that a spirituality of stewardship recognizes “that everything we are, all that we have, and all that we will ever be is pure gift from God.
“With this deep and abiding gratitude, we learn to say ‘thank you’ to God by sharing our lives and resources, living as people of service and mission, reaching out with Christ’s love in our lives at home, in our town or city, our parish and the world.” (from “Stewardship is an Expression of Discipleship”)
Building on that, diocesan Director of Administrative Services Dan Blank said, “It’s not always about a capital campaign and contributions; it’s about getting people actively involved in caring enough about the parish and their fellow parishioners that they make things happen for their betterment.”
Blank also sees the day as an opportunity to set the stage for an initiative to revisit former Bishop Raphael M. Fliss’ 2001 document “A New Springtime.” In it, Fliss addresses reception of the sacraments, strong Catholic identity, respect for and affirmation of the priesthood, respect for the laity and their involvement in the mission of the local church.
Fliss wrote, “For the Diocese of Superior to proclaim the Good News in word and action, the lay faithful of the local church must be empowered and entrusted to fulfill their unique roles of service.”
The cost of the event is covered by Catholic Services Appeal funds and a small grant from Catholic United Financial.
“These are your CSA dollars at work,” Blank said. “We are bringing stuff out to you that will benefit and energize you.”
Before closing the event, the winner of the diocesan Spirit of Stewardship Award will be announced.
To register for the Stewarship Day, contact Steve Tarnowski at gro.s1544449108odcil1544449108ohtac1544449108@iksw1544449108onrat1544449108s1544449108. A $10 donation per person is accepted but not required.