St. Louis Church of Austin, Texas, has always strongly encouraged the giving of time, talent, and treasure just like all churches rooted in the gospel message. For the past sixteen years, however, the parish has embraced and grown in its understanding and practice of the theology and spirituality of stewardship especially in the light of the U.S. Bishop’s 1992 pastoral letter. This commitment to stewardship as a way of life is manifested in the many volunteers who commit to over seventy ministries of the parish; especially the parish’s many social outreach ministries.
Stewardship is practiced, taught, and encouraged in every aspect of parish life. This is true from the homilies given by the priests each weekend to the incorporation of stewardship in the school, religious education, and even marriage preparation. For example, at the beginning of each Mass, the pastor greets the congregation with the words, “There are no strangers in the House of God. Find now a stranger and make a friend.” Everyone greets and welcomes those around them. The gifts we receive from God and asked to share is also reiterated at the time of Communion distribution. Before leaving the altar to distribute the Eucharist, the pastor states, “The gift of God for the people of God. Take and eat in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your heart by faith with thanksgiving.”
St. Louis Parish was recognized by the International Catholic Stewardship Council at their 2008 annual conference in Chicago. At the conference, St. Louis received the “Stewardship Parish Recognition Award.” This is a three-year honor and is given to a select few parishes each year that promote and reflect stewardship as a way of life through their liturgies and ministries. St. Louis was granted this award because of the way our community generously shares its time, talent, and treasure. This generosity can be seen in the parish’s commitment to social ministries and social justice, its commitment to Catholic education of children and adults, its commitment to perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, its commitment to hospitality, and its commitment to providing quality liturgies.
Jim LammDirector of Stewardship & MarketingSt. Louis King of France Catholic ChurchAustin, Texas
For more information about this stewardship parish, check out its Web site at www.st-louis.org
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