When Deacon John asked me to share my ideas on stewardship, my mind centered on the truth that all things come from God. Everything, from my very breath of life to whatever makes me Me, my talents and my treasures are all gifts from a loving God. There is nothing I can create to give back to God as a reciprocal gift… nothing! I can, however, express my thanks to God by the way I care for his gifts and share them with others. Giving my TIME, TALENT, and TREASURE to others is my Thank You to God. As a religious, stewardship has been my way of life by living vows of poverty, (All things belong to God) chastity, (Who I am belongs to God) and obedience (I must listen to how God speaks in my life).
Almost 60 years ago when I entered the Sisters of Notre Dame, one of the SND’s gave me a copy of a prayer written by John Henry Cardinal Neuman. Part of the prayer reads:
Shine so in me that I may reflect only You.
That prayer still remains a powerful motivating factor in my life. Striving to be a light of Christ has involved ministry as a teacher/principal/school volunteer and a pastoral minister. Actions as different as keeping the festival grounds clean and discussing a 5 year parish evangelization plan have all been ways to live my stewardship. By the way, to those who think I should have a better job during the festival, let me just say, I volunteer for that job. 1. It gets me out among all of you. 2. Although I never did become a good cook, my mother did teach me to clean.
As coordinator of the funeral ministry at St. Patrick’s, it is my privilege to accompany a family with planning a prayerful, meaningful funeral liturgy. That is stewardship alive in my everyday life.
May the light of Christ burn brightly as you share your time, talent, and treasure with God’s people.
Sister Bernadine Janci, SND