The Lenten season prepares us for the celebra-
tion of Easter. It is a time for Christians to embrace
prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in a more concerted
way. For some it is a time of healing, an oppor-
tunity to repair their spiritual brokenness. For oth-
ers it is simply a good time to cultivate their spiri-
tual lives in a more disciplined manner. The goal
of Lenten practices: to prepare ourselves to enter
into the paschal mystery of Holy Week with a more
humble spirit and determination to follow Jesus Christ. This ancient triad of prayer,
fasting and almsgiving offers wonderful spiritual benefits. Being a good steward of
these gifts by planning ahead and following through is essential to having a fruitful
Prayer: What greater gift could we give ourselves during Lent than the gift of prayer?
The fruits of developing a disciplined time of prayer are bountiful. Make plans for
a prayer time each day. Do not wait until you “find time” but make a time of prayer
your priority. This will involve sacrifice on your part – perhaps giving up some televi-
sion viewing time, using part of your lunch hour, or getting up in the morning earlier
than usual. Along the way, spend some time in extra prayer with the community: a
weekday Mass, Stations of the Cross. Whatever you decide, resolve to spend more
time with the Lord.
Fasting: Christian stewards understand that all they receive, including the bounti-
ful food and drink that is often taken for granted, ultimately comes from the Lord.
By denying ourselves food for a time, we are reminded in physical and emotional
ways of the Lord’s generosity. As we fast, thoughtlessness is replaced by gratitude and
mindfulness of the needs of others. The ancient practice of fasting also conditions us
for greater spiritual practices. Incorporate some aspect of fasting from food or drink
into your Lenten practice, something in addition to the sacrifices we make on Ash
Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent.
Almsgiving: This spiritual discipline heightens our sense of generosity. Just as an in-
crease in prayer and fasting leads us to be more grateful for the gifts we’ve received,
and promotes a greater awareness of others, almsgiving helps us to reach out to oth-
ers in gratitude. Just as we don’t “squeeze in” time to pray during Lent, we also don’t
scrutinize our checkbook when being generous with others. Again, make a plan and
let a meaningful sense of sacrifice be your guide.
Be a Good Steward of
the Lenten Season
A STEWARDSHIP PRAYER
God of mercy,
You have given us this special time
to reflect on our lives,
believe in the Good News
and draw closer to You.
May this season of Lent
help us be good stewards
of this time:
to fast and pray,
be more generous
and show others
how to live in Christ.
Let us see each day of this season
as a new opportunity
to renew our lives
and gain a deeper appreciation
of Your active presence
in us and our community of faith.
Give us the grace to see Your
face in others,
especially the poor
and those who suffer.
And through your Spirit,
enkindle in us the fire of Your love
so that we may be better stewards
of Your redeeming work
throughout the world.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
International Catholic Stewardship Council
CATHOLIC STEWARDSHIPMarch 2014 • e-Bulletin
2014 Orlando, Florida October 5-8
For some it is a time of healing, an opportunity to repair their
spiritual brokenness. For others it is simply a good time to
cultivate their spiritual lives in a more disciplined manner.
Saint Turibius of Mongrovejo
SaintTuribius of Mongrovejo is the patron saint of Peru. He was the archbishop of Lima from
1579 to 1606, and it is because of his missionary work and commitment to social justice
as archbishop that he has been a popular saint in Latin America for over three centuries.
He had a favorite stewardship message which he used often in his teaching and preaching:
Time is not our own, and we must give a strict account of it.
St. Turibius was born in 1538 to an affluent family of the Spanish nobility. He was
well-educated; a professor of law at the renowned University of Salamanca in Spain. He
was ordained a priest in 1578 at age 40 and sent to Peru to become the archbishop of
Lima in May 1579. Reportedly, St. Turibius baptized a half million people; among them
were St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin de Porres. He is also responsible for building many
roads, schools, churches and hospitals in Peru. In 1591, he established the first seminary
in the Western hemisphere in Lima. He was responsible for a new catechism in Spanish
and two local native dialects.
Promoting social justice was a major concern of St. Turibius. He devoted himself to serving the poor and championing
the rights of indigenous peoples against the oppressive rule of civil authorities. The governors of Peru mounted continued
opposition to the archbishop because of his challenges to their injustices.
The Archdiocese of Lima consisted of 180,000 square miles, (by comparison, the state of California is 164,000 square
miles). He traveled the length and breadth of the archdiocese three times, mostly on foot and often alone, exposed to the
tropical elements and without protection against hostile tribes and animals of prey. On one of his missionary journeys, he
contracted a fever that would end his life. He died on March 23, 1606. He was canonized in 1726.
Stewardship Saint for March
If you are searching for a way to bring
Lenten stewardship practices home to
your family in a very visual way, consider
Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl. Rice
Bowl incorporates the three pillars of
raising our consciousness of the poor
and vulnerable in our world community.
Last year, 13,000 Catholic communities
participated in Rice Bowl. If your parish
or school is one of these, you can pick
up a symbolic cardboard rice bowl
and calendar on Ash Wednesday. The
calendar provides you with a wealth of
resources for spending Lent in solidarity
with the poor: daily reflections, stories
of hope from the people CRS serves
throughout the world, weekly prayers,
and meatless recipes from far-off lands.
The money you, or your children, save
from sacrifices and fasting during Lent
is placed in the Rice Bowl. For Christian
stewards, using the Rice Bowl in a
conscientious and prayerful way can
be a great approach to bring spiritual
depth to Lent for you and especially
your children, who can learn a lot from
putting their faith into action.
Catholic Relief Services is the
official relief agency of the United
States Catholic Bishops. The Rice Bowl
project was initiated in 1975, and last
year, Rice Bowl raised $7 million for
the poor. Of this amount, 75% was
distributed in the 40 countries which
CRS serves worldwide. The other 25%
was given to food pantries and soup
kitchens in the United States. Rice
Bowl helps raise awareness� of poverty
and of the vital Christian mission of
service to and connectedness with the
poor. As our Holy Father, Pope Francis,
has been quoted as saying, “Where do
I find hope? In the flesh of Jesus who
suffers, and in true poverty. There is a
connection between the two.”
A Lenten Stewardship Idea: Rice Bowl
The ICSC annual conference is widely
recognized as the most valuable opportunity
for those involved in Christian stewardship
to connect with others who share their
commitment to teaching stewardship as a
way of life. Many say meeting others with
similar experiences is the main reason they
attend the ICSC conference!
The ICSC annual conference is filled with
sessions and forums that provide practical
information you can take home and use
immediately. You will be exposed not only
to topics that offer fundamentals but also
new ideas, innovations and strategies!
The ICSC annual conference is a great
opportunity to get away from your busy
schedule to pray, reflect on your own life
of faith, listen to inspiring reflections and
participate in invigorating liturgies!
Stewarding Our Families at Home and in the Church
The Buena Vista Palace Hotel &
Spa is considered a premier
hotel. This resort hotel provides
comfort and relaxation in an
ideal location. Situated just
across the street from Downtown
Disney and close to all the major
attractions, this hotel is in a
perfect location for extended
stays in Orlando. When booking
your room, call Plaza Meetings
at (518) 785-3392 and request
information on special packages
for extending your stay before or
after the ICSC conference.
2014 October 5-8 | Orlando, Florida
REGISTER TODAY! ICSC MEMBER EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION $499
An attitude of gratitude is one of your best allies in developing the will
to persevere. As with the previous eight virtues discussed in this series
the ability to persevere is strengthened when we are grateful. Gratitude
plays a vital role in developing the ability to persevere because any
time you are striving to become a better disciple and steward there will
be setbacks along the way. Setbacks can either defeat us or define us.
Being grateful for the progress you are making along the way gives you
the strength to persevere and continue the journey.
The stewardship lifestyle is very counter cultural. People
may question why anyone would choose such a path. This is why
perseverance is so important in making stewardship a way of life.
When you choose the path of stewardship, you may struggle at
first with the initial changes required of you to become a better
steward. It is not always easy to separate yourself from the demands
and possessions of this world. However, by persevering in your
stewardship journey you will experience many surprising rewards
along the way. “Stewardship is the right thing to do; its rewards
can’t be kept out!” (Most Rev. Eugene Gerber, Bishop Emeritus of
Wichita, Kansas). For example, a healthier mind and body is one
of the rewards of persevering in stewardship. Our bodies are a gift
from God for which we should first and foremost be grateful and
of which we should be good stewards. If you have a goal of being
in better shape physically, mentally or spiritually reaching that goal
will require some perseverance, and discipline. With every dream of
something better there is always some struggle between the dream
and the realization of that dream. The formula is always the same:
Dream – Struggle – Victory! It takes perseverance to get through the
struggles and experience victory.
Who you are is God’s gift and who you become is your gift to
God. Those who become their best, as God intended, rely on the
power of the Holy Spirit working in them, “His power at work in
us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:21).
They will also have developed the habit of persevering. God wants to
sculpt you into something great and your cooperation is required. Be
patient and persevere!
This article is part nine in a series of 12 reflections on stewardship virtues by ICSC member, Dan Potvin, Director of Stewardship
for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, Canada.
It takes perseverance to get through the struggles
and experience victory.
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time • Weekend of March 1/2
We are “servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of
God.”This appears to be a rather bold claim by Saint Paul to the
Corinthians in today’s second reading. We are only the manag-
ers, the stewards, the caretakers of God’s divine revelation. We
are accountable to the Lord for this unimaginably awe-inspir-
ing gift bestowed upon us. Good stewards who are faithful to
the Gospel know they are not permitted to adjust the message
to suit their circumstances, please themselves or others, or to
avoid criticism. Good stewards strive to speak and act in a way
that is consistent with Christ’s teachings. As we approach the
Lenten season, let’s reflect on how we may have twisted the
Gospel message to suit our own needs.
First Sunday of Lent • Weekend of March 8/9
In today’s Gospel reading we listen to the confrontation be-
tween Jesus and the devil, who thought he might tempt Jesus
to forget who he was and commit a grievous sin when he was
most vulnerable. Jesus had just spent 40 days and nights out
in the desert, alone, away from civilization. He was hungry,
thirsty, and tired. If there ever was a time to tempt Jesus, that
was it. Temptations to sin come at us every day, from many
directions and in many different forms. When the temptation to
sin tries to overcome us, how do we react? Do we consciously
remind ourselves that we are followers of Christ? Is there a time
this week when you have needed to confront a temptation to
sin? What lessons did you take away from the experience?
Second Sunday of Lent • Weekend of March 15/16
In today’s second reading, Timothy is issued a strong directive:
“Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that
comes from God.” For the early Christians this� could mean tor-
ture and execution. For most Christians today enduring hardship
for the gospel might include accepting ridicule or mockery, or
the suggestion that we lack sophistication. Nevertheless, in his
A STEWARDSHIP MOMENT
letters, Saint Paul is adamant that we should not be ashamed
of being followers of Christ. Good stewards are not ashamed of
their allegiance to Christ.They do not hide their faith. Reflect on
this question: Are you willing to speak about following Christ
Jesus no matter who your listeners happen to be?
Third Sunday of Lent • Weekend of March 22/23
In today’s first reading from the Book of Exodus, we hear of the
hardships endured by the people of Israel on their wilderness
journey out of Egypt. The wilderness is a demanding place for
human life. Just trying to survive can seriously test our faith. In
the Israelites’ journey away from a life of slavery and oppres-
sion, harsh conditions challenged their trust in the God who
liberated them. But their transition brings them closer to God,
and they are constantly reminded of the Lord’s gracious provi-
sion and nurturing. Good stewards believe the Lord’s presence
transforms their own “wilderness” experiences into a place of
divine mercy and nourishment. Reflect on your own “wilder-
ness” experiences. How has God been present for you and
nourished you in times of transition?
Fourth Sunday of Lent • Weekend of March 29/30
In today’s second reading Saint Paul urges us to try to learn
what is pleasing to the Lord. The Bible often emphasizes our
need to please God at all times and Saint Paul would find it
inconceivable that any follower of Christ would lack a desire
to please the Lord. But how do we discern what pleases the
Lord? It has been said that one of the quickest ways to get a
glimpse into what pleases God is to read the Bible. Reading
the Bible reinforces what we have heard preached and taught
about God’s will. The practice also transforms our understand-
ing of God’s desires for us. If you now read the Bible, how has
it helped you understand what pleases God? If you don’t read
the Bible, why is that?
We encourage you to check out the ICSC Forum at
www.catholicstewardship.org under ‘members’ where members
can share ideas and questions. The Parish Stewardship section is
reviewed every day by members of the Parish Stewardship
Education and Services Committee.
1275 K Street, NW, Suite 880
Washington, DC 20005-4077
T: (800) 352-3452
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