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Stewardship – a ready-made opportunity for evangelisation

In what can easily serve as one of the new ways of evangelisation being encouraged by Pope Benedict XVI, audiences around Australia and New Zealand have a chance to rethink their concept of stewardship throughout August and September.

The opportunity has been created by the Australia and New Zealand Catholic Stewardship Network, which counts ten dioceses among its active supporters and is hosting a series of three ‘Stewardship Institutes’ and the second National Conference on Stewardship.

All three ‘Stewardship Institutes’ (in the Wellington, NZ, Rockhampton and Ballarat dioceses) will offer a series of formation sessions providing a comprehensive introduction to the basic principles and practices of stewardship.

While the Stewardship Institute attendees are normally people new to the experience of stewardship as a way of life those who attend the National Conference in Brisbane will be those new to stewardship as well as those who have embraced the principles of stewardship for many years.

While there will be a major focus on stewardship in the parish context, attendees from other church environments, especially Catholic educators and agency leaders, are sure to find the Stewardship Institute or Conference relevant for the development of stewardship across all social contexts.

In endorsing the 2011 National Conference, which is being held at the Riverglenn Conference Centre in Brisbane from September 9-10, local Archbishop John Bathersby said the stewardship way of life offered wonderful opportunities for evangelisation for any diocese.

“As people listen to the voice of the Spirit speaking, they find gratitude, generosity and responsibility increase,” Archbishop Bathersby said.

“I encourage everyone to understand stewardship as a spirituality for life in order that they may embrace a radical vision for what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, the ultimate steward.

“Embracing stewardship is also a way of putting the gospel into action by acknowledging that all we have are unique gifts from God,” he said.

A distinguished group of local and international speakers has been assembled to bolster the second national conference on Stewardship, including Head of Theology at the Australian Catholic University, Fr David Pascoe, and the inspirational American couple, Ed and April Laughlin of Florida.

Some of the topics during the Keynote Presentations and Workshop at the national Conference will include: Creating a culture of hospitality in our homes, parish and other Catholic communities, Guiding others to become more grateful and gracious hosts of the Good News, Resourcing the Mission at parish and diocesan levels, Building stewardship relationships between parish and school communities, Calling forth and enhancing the gifts of all people, Developing and equipping stewardship leaders in Catholic organisations and The essential steps for growing a stewardship culture all year round.

Attendance at either an Institute or the conference would be of direct benefit to Parish clergy, pastoral staff, pastoral council members, finance council members, ministry leaders, education personnel, diocesan employees and volunteers of Catholic organisations.

For further information on details, dates or bookings please phone 07 33369362 (Faith & Life Vicariate) or visit the website: www.australianstewardship.catholic.net.au

Released by the Catholic Communications Office

August 5, 2011

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