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Your Work of Faith, A Labor of Love Table of Contents Introduction Information

Program Introduction and Contact Information

1

A Successful Stewardship Program: Simple Steps

3

Complete Recommended Timelines

4

A Program Phase, Beginning to End / Chart

6

Additional Resources

8

Ordering and Personalizing Materials

9

Acknowledgements

10

The Stewardship of Prayer

General Comments and Suggestions

12

Recommended Timeline / Item List / Chart

13

Pulpit Announcements

15

Bulletin Articles, Abridged and Complete

16

Homily Lessons for Preparation or Study

22

Sample Parishioner Letters

26

The Stewardship of Ministry

General Comments and Suggestions

30

Recommended Timeline / Item List / Chart

31

Pulpit Announcements

33

Bulletin Articles, Abridged and Complete

34

Homily Lessons for Preparation or Study

40

Sample Parishioner Letters

44


The Stewardship of Finance

General Comments and Suggestions

49

Recommended Timeline / Item List / Chart

50

Pulpit Announcements

52

Bulletin Articles, Abridged and Complete

53

Homily Lessons for Preparation or Study

59

Sample Parishioner Letters

63

Weekly Devotions featuring Stewardship Themes

Introductory Comments and Suggestions

A Year of Weekly Bulletin Articles, and Quotes from the Saints

68 69

A Stewardship Coordinator’s Practical Toolbox

Introductory Comments and Suggestions

130

Fifty Practical Ideas to Assist in Your Efforts

131

Closing Comments and an Invitation

139


Program Introduction and Contact Information In his brief but celebrated biography of St. Francis of Assisi, English author G. K. Chesterton, himself a practicing Catholic, wrote of the saint’s fondness for a particular metaphor: “He said from the first that he was a Troubadour of a newer and nobler romance. He was, to the last agonies of asceticism, a Troubadour. He was a lover of God and he was really and truly a lover of men.” St Francis of Assisi loved people, and he loved Christ, reflecting a healthy understanding of the great commandments Christ addressed in the Gospels. What we do—and especially how we do it—follows a picture of loving devotion, a love for God and a love for others. We pray. We serve. We give. In all things, we love. Our new Holy Father, Pope Francis I, invites us to consider the great Troubadour and the ways he reflected the life, work and ministry of Jesus Christ and his apostles. The theme for this year’s Total Stewardship program is informed by that call, by St. Paul’s letters to first century churches, the timeless ministry of devoted followers like St. Francis, the ongoing work of the Catholic Church today, and most clearly on the Living Word, Jesus Christ. We realize that our communities are home to a work that began millennia ago. The first century Macedonian community of Thessalonica was a port city and trade center, the most important community on the northern shores of the Aegean Sea, in what is modern Greece. It was home to one of St. Paul’s first missionary churches, recipients of what may well be the apostle’s oldest surviving letters. As is clear from their message, Paul and his co-laborers Silvanus and Timothy were very fond of their fellow converts. “We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3). Concluding our international Year of Faith, we acknowledge our beliefs compel us to act, investing in the work of the kingdom in our age, and—even as we serve each other—honoring the call of Christ on all of our lives, the seeds of which began to bear fruit in baptism. That work of faith is a labor of love and permeates the 2013/2014 edition of the Total Stewardship curriculum. The material incorporates the Third Edition of the Roman Missal as well as the Revised Edition of the New American Bible. For nearly thirty years, the Stewardship Office of the Diocese of Baton Rouge has encouraged the work of ministering professionals and lay faithful, that we all might be good stewards of the blessings God has granted his Church. We share God’s goodness to us, in times of certainty and unease, and in times of plenty and want. Three established areas of emphasis will focus your efforts—the Stewardship of Prayer, the Stewardship of Ministry, and the Stewardship of Finance. In each one, your parishioners can make informed decisions regarding their commitments to the Lord’s work—in prayer and worship, in ministry and service, and in gifts and offerings. The theme—Your Work of Faith, a Labor of Love—invites a spirit of generosity, of willing service, and of loving devotion. As you communicate those messages, you’ll find curriculum resources a welcome help. Instructional brochures and commitment cards complement sets of bulletin articles, pulpit announcements, tools for liturgy, suggested lessons and homilies, and sample program letters. In addition to those resources, you will note a set of weekly devotional articles suitable for bulletins and newsletters, plus a new section: a toolbox of proven, practical ideas you can implement right away. Your labors of love honor centuries of faithful Catholic ministry, and your desire to educate, inform and involve fellow parishioners enables our diocese to continue the work of building the kingdom in our parishes, in our time. By God’s grace, and through his strength, this is Your Work of Faith, a Labor of Love.

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We invite you to contact us with your questions, comments and suggestions. Please e-mail or call: Mrs. Tammy Abshire, Stewardship Director

(225) 336-8790

tabshire@diobr.org

Mr. Eric Guerin, Assistant Stewardship Director

(225) 336-8790

eguerin@diobr.org

Ms. Sheryl Richard, Administrative Assistant

(225) 336-8790

srichard@diobr.org

Mr. Steve Wallace, Stewardship Coordinator

(225) 336-8790 swallace@diobr.org

The Stewardship Office of the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge LA.

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A Successful Stewardship Program: Steps for the Stewardship Coordinator to Follow 1 Pray. Even now, begin to pray. Invite the Lord to bless your parish’s stewardship effort. Please pray now, plan to pray throughout your campaign, and encourage others to join you in prayer.

2 Develop a Leadership Team.  Empower a committee, inviting others to help implement the program. This is an excellent role for a Stewardship or Development Committee. Select capable leaders, and encourage them to take key roles in the process. There is much to do, but everyone can take part.

3 Review the Material. Leaf through the notebook and look at all the supplemental materials. In the Table of Contents, you’ll  find a new section of resources for use throughout the year. In addition, you’ll once again see each of three primary areas of stewardship emphasis—Prayer, Ministry, and Finance. The following items are included in each section: • Helpful introductory comments and suggestions • A recommended time line and chart for ease of implementation • A sample introductory letter to help promote your program • Ready-to-read pulpit announcements, one for each week • Ready-to-print bulletin articles, one for each week • Topical homily outlines, ready-to-use • Sample commitment and thank you letters All of the items listed above are loaded onto a CD included with every copy of the curriculum. When you upload the CD, you can search the binder curriculum and access copies of the program brochures. Documents are captured in both Word and PDF formats, making it easy to download, copy, print and distribute materials.

4 Order Brochures. Two types of brochures are available. An informative “Why?” series provides parishioners with 

a simple introduction to each phase of the program, and an instructional brochure encourages parishioners to make formal commitments during each of the three phases. If you choose to personalize brochures, look for information to assist you in the pages that follow.

5 Select an Ideal Timeline, and Begin. Three timeline options appear on the next page. Choose an ideal timeline for your parish, and prayerfully begin your stewardship effort.

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Select an Ideal Timeline, and Begin Your Program Each parish church follows an established annual liturgical calendar, but those plans differ. We have designed the Total Stewardship curriculum to integrate into any existing parish schedule of services and programs. Choose a timeline that fits comfortably within your existing schedule of activities. As they have for many, you may find one of the following suggestions works best for you and your parishioners.

Option One: A Sequential/Seasonal Program Prayer: Ministry: Finance:

The Advent Season The Lenten Season The Season of Pentecost

(November and December) (February and March) (May and June)

This option sets aside a total of eight weeks to accomplish three objectives: an initial distribution of promotional material, a complete presentation of a particular program phase, and ample time to facilitate proper follow through and debrief. It also offers a full month’s break between each of the three phases. This choice is ideal for church parishes that choose to begin a Stewardship program during Advent.

Option Two: A New School Year/Ministry Commitment Program Ministry: Prayer: Finance:

Post-Labor Day Advent Lent

(September and October) (mid-November to mid-January) (February and March)

As with option one, the second provides for a total of eight weeks of programming: distribution of initial, promotional material, a complete presentation of the program, and follow through and debrief. With option two, however, the break between phases is reduced to two weeks, and the program opens with the Ministry phase—the preferred choice of parishes that see the start of a new school year as the ideal time to re-establish ministry programs and organize volunteers.

Option Three: A Fresh Start/New Calendar Year Program Prayer: Ministry: Finance:

Post-Advent/New Year Late Spring New School Year

(January and February) (May and June) (September and October)

The third suggested schedule also sets aside eight weeks for the distribution of initial, promotional material and for a complete presentation of the program and proper follow through, but option three extends the break between phases to two months. This choice is ideal for parishes that prefer to initiate a Stewardship program with a new calendar year and desire additional time to plan and prepare.

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As You Contemplate How Best to Proceed, Please Consider These Helpful Questions: 1. How might our stewardship efforts enhance our existing calendar of worship services, special activities and programmed events? 2. Are our calendars of activities defined by our practice of the liturgical year, or are our plans based on special, annual parish events and local school activities we should keep in mind? 3. Is this important enough to begin right away, or should we wait until the beginning of the parochial school year? Is it wise to wait until January and the beginning of a new calendar year? 4. Is our planning based on what might follow best practices, addressing present needs, or do we tend to make choices based simply on what we’ve done in the past? 5.

How might we ensure our plans allow plenty of time for planning, printing and promotion?

Planning Notes:

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A Program Phase, Beginning to End The following illustrates how a parish might use the material to assist in implementing each phase of the curriculum through the course of the eight weeks set aside for each of the three—Prayer, Ministry, and Finance.

Week One (Promotion and Prep)

• • •

Bulletin Article 1 Pulpit Announcement 1 Use Liturgy helps to aid in planning for weeks 3 through 6

Week Two (Promotion and Prep)

• • •

Bulletin Article 2 Pulpit Announcement 2 Use Liturgy helps to aid in planning for weeks 3 through 6

Week Three (Program Week 1)

Bulletin Article 3 Pulpit Announcement 3 Distribute Informational “Why” Brochure

Week Four (Program Week 2)

Bulletin Article 4 Pulpit Announcement 4

Week Five (Program Week 3)

Bulletin Article 5 Pulpit Announcement 5 Deliver (Prayer, Ministry, Finance) Homily Send Direct Mail Letter Distribute Tri-Fold Brochure (w/cards, as appropriate)

Week Six (Program Week 4)

Bulletin Article 6 Pulpit Announcement 6 Deliver (Prayer, Ministry, Finance) Homily Distribute additional Brochures and Cards, as needed Collect Commitment Cards, in service or otherwise, as appropriate

Week Seven (Follow Through)

• •

Continue collecting Commitment Cards, as needed Send Follow-Up and Thank You Letters, as appropriate

Week Eight (Follow Through and Close)

• • •

Continue collecting Commitment Cards, as needed Send additional Follow-Up and Thank You Letters, as appropriate Schedule and hold a Debriefing Meeting for program leaders and staff

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Bulletin Article 1 Pulpit Announcement 1 Use Liturgy helps to aid in planning for weeks 3 through 6

Bulletin Article 2 Pulpit Announcement 2 Use Liturgy helps to aid in planning for weeks 3 through 6

Bulletin Article 3 Pulpit Announcement 3 Distribute Informational “Why� Brochure

Bulletin Article 4 Pulpit Announcement 4

Bulletin Article 5 Pulpit Announcement 5 Deliver (Prayer, Ministry, Finance) Homily Send Direct Mail Letter Distribute Tri-Fold Brochure (w/cards, as appropriate) Bulletin Article 6 Pulpit Announcement 6 Deliver (Prayer, Ministry, Finance) Homily Distribute additional Brochures and Cards, as needed Collect Commitment Cards, in service or otherwise, as appropriate

Continue collecting Commitment Cards, as needed Send Follow-Up and Thank You Letters, as appropriate

Continue collecting Commitment Cards, as needed Send additional Follow-Up and Thank You Letters, as appropriate Schedule and hold a Debriefing Meeting for program leaders and staff

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Additional Resources The Internet offers an almost inexhaustible supply of additional resources, helping studious Catholics pursue a vibrant, healthy practice of the Catholic faith. As we think of Catholic stewardship and promote service to others, we realize that spiritual leaders and interested parishioners seek other beneficial information. The following is a useful list of additional resources, each one designed to assist with supplemental materials. The Vatican Website http://www.vatican.va/ The Diocese of Baton Rouge http://www.diobr.org The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops http://www.nccbuscc.org/ The Online Catholic Encyclopedia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/ Catholic University, Washington DC http://www.cua.edu/ An Informational Index of Patron Saints from American Catholic http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/saints/patrons.asp American Catholic Church History http://www.catholichistory.net/ Jesuit Home Page, Illustrating Availability of Information on Religious Orders http://www.jesuit.org/ Catholic World Mission http://www.catholicworldmission.org/ America Magazine, National Catholic Weekly http://www.americamagazine.org/ The Chronicle of Philanthropy magazine http://philanthropy.com/ Project Gutenberg, Free Texts (St. Francis of Assisi among many others) http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

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Personalized Brochures The CD included in your curriculum program binder provides all of the Total Stewardship material in Word and PDF formats, offering you the option of printing items in-house for ease in timely duplication and distribution. However, all of the items listed below can always be printed and personalized in response to the needs and desires of a local parish church. Contact our recommended, Baton Rouge-area printer for details: John Lanclos JohnL@meleprinting.com Theresa Ticker theresat@meleprinting.com Mele Printing 619 North Tyler Street Covington, LA 70433 1 (866) 801-0022 www.meleprinting.com

When you call, ask about personalizing any of the following: Initial Promotional Phase

“Why Stewardship?” introductory program brochure

Prayer Phase

• • • •

“Why Pray?” introductory brochure “The Stewardship of Prayer” program phase tri-fold brochure Prayer Commitment Cards Bookmark

Ministry Phase

• • • •

“Why Minister?” introductory brochure “The Stewardship of Ministry” program phase tri-fold brochure Ministry Commitment Cards Bookmark

Finance Phase

• • • •

“Why Give?” introductory brochure “The Stewardship of Finance” program phase tri-fold brochure Financial Commitment Card Bookmark

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Acknowledgements As with any ministry effort, the revised Total Stewardship program is possible in large part due to the valued contributions of many in the Church. The staff of the Stewardship Office of the Diocese of Baton Rouge wishes to express sincere gratitude to God and thanks to the following people for their generous support, encouragement and vision over the years:

The late Mark Blanchard

For thirty years the Director of Stewardship, Diocese of Baton Rouge

Reverend Patrick J. Mascarella Sister Mary John Hotard, C.S.J. Sister Rosemary Montecino, C.S.J. In addition, please accept our thanks for your partnership in this important stewardship effort. We trust you experience God’s richest blessings in your parish’s stewardship campaign, and we pray you experience another year of shared commitment, willing service and joyous giving. Office of Stewardship Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana

All Materials—the Instructional Binder, CDs, Brochures, Cards, Supplemental Resources and All Related Text and Images—© Copyright 2013 Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge. All Rights Reserved.

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