Parishes throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis are
conducting their annual parish stewardship renewal and will celebrate
Stewardship Awareness Sunday on Sept. 23. The theme this year is “Share
It’s been my experience and observation over the past
several years that when we can help people align their thoughts and
actions with God’s plan for them, the result is supernatural joy. Joy
that is infused by God. Joy that others notice and are attracted to. Joy
that can’t be contained and bursts forth. Joy that you have to share
with others. Joy that will lead you to its source — God, Our Father.
wants to fill us with joy and be free from worry or anxiety. He wants
us to trust in Him, like little children. He wants us to recognize the
blessings He has provided and then share those gifts freely as active
members of the Body of Christ, not just passive by-standers. He wants us
to share our God-given gifts within our parish community and beyond; to
find new ways to help others grow as joy-filled children of God.
when it comes to our faith, many of us just dip our toe in the water,
never experiencing the completely refreshing feeling of a personal
relationship with God. Jumping in with both feet starts by placing our
trust in Him and opening ourselves up to receive His love, mercy and
“Let the little children come to me … for the kingdom
of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14). Adults often dream of a
return to that carefree time when someone else took care of us and loved
This is exactly what God offers us — to be His child, to take care of us and to provide for us.
gift of life makes everything possible. All our accomplishments and
relationships, luxuries and opportunities, everything we have and
everyone who loves us is possible because we have been born into a
wonderful world — a world for which we are called to nurture and care.
what then? What about becoming like little children? Just as children
believe in things not seen, we too, as adults, have to commit to a life
of faith. Once we choose to trust in God, prayer, gratitude, humility,
generosity and joy will no longer be things we are searching for, but
things that flow immediately and naturally from our heart.
this stewardship season, consider how living a grateful and generous
lifestyle transforms not only your individual life, but the life of your
parish community. Consider how sharing your Joy transforms the lives of
Take time to thank God for everything and everyone He has
given you over this past year. Take the first step to the Joyful life
God wants for you and others. “Always strive to do what is good for each
other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give
thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ
Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:15 – 18).
Baranowski is the director
of stewardship education in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He and his
wife are parishioners at Mary, Mother of the Church in south St. Louis
County. He can be reached at (314) 792-7215 or