By LORETTA AND BILL BOYD-Special To The Bulletin | Published January 19, 2006
Someone once defined stewardship as “a little bit of you, a forward path, a privilege, a way, a choice, a pleasure, a helping hand, a promise, a connection, a right, a responsibility, a thank you, an awareness, a commitment, a gift, a crossroad decision, a connection to each other, a little bit of you for God.”
Each year Catholic dioceses around the country remind their parish families that stewardship is not a one-time event, but rather it is a way of life—a way of living each day in gratitude for the blessing that God has given to us. And Stewardship Awareness Sunday is a time dedicated to sharing the message of Jesus Christ—that someday Catholics will be held accountable for all the gifts that God has placed within their care. Each parish family is a gift placed in each other’s care, and they are asked to reflect on whether or not they have cared for our Church and whether or not they will be able to answer, “I have been faithful and generous, Lord.”
Everyone—young or old, male or female, rich or poor—has something to do to help others. Everyone has at least one gift to use on behalf of his or her parish community and all of humanity.
In this spirit of giving and celebration of Stewardship Awareness Sunday, the Mary Our Queen School of Religion recently sponsored their first “Stewardship and Me” essay contest. Children in grades three through eight were invited to write an essay that described what stewardship meant to them and how they demonstrate good stewardship in their daily lives.
The concept of the essay contest is about “fostering the values of stewardship—time, talent and treasure—in serving our peers, giving back to our community, and, above all, obedience in service to God,” said Deacon Bill McKenzie, SOR director. “And we hope to expand it and make it a yearly event.”
A committee consisting of parishioners, along with Deacon McKenzie, reviewed all the essays and selected four winners based on originality, honesty and the “unguided” work of the child. “Reviewing and selecting winning essays was an enjoyable exercise,” stated selections committee member Ray Hines. “Some of the sentiments expressed were really touching. Some were insightful in only the way children can perceive things.”
Making the choices was difficult, but the committee reviewed the many essay submissions and selected the following students as winners of the contest: Nuala Hutton, fourth grade; Meagan Willis, fifth grade; Christopher Huseonica, fifth grade; and Nicholas DelGuercio, fifth grade.
On Stewardship Sunday, the winners read their essays and received $50 awards.
“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).
Loretta and Bill Boyd are parishioners at Mary Our Queen Church, Norcross.