We invite you to read Cardinal Thomas Collins' Pastoral Letter on Stewardship below. Then, please use our suggested questions for
personal reflection and group discussion for a deeper understanding of stewardship. We also encourage you to share the pastoral letter within your parish community.
Cardinal Collins’ pastoral letter, “Stewardship”, is both a reflective guide and an urgent exhortation for Catholics to be aware of God’s gracious gifts and to live fully, gratefully, in service to others through sharing of time, talent, and treasure. He begins by unpacking the meaning of stewardship in Christian life. In this section, he offers the context for stewardship: the acknowledgement that we have received everything from God, and are “asked to make good use of what has been entrusted to us.” We are called to live as stewards with “creativity and boldness” and to regularly examine how we use the gifts that we have been given.
The second section of the letter defines the spirituality of deep stewardship. A “proper spirit of gratitude for all that we have received from God” and the resolve “to act as responsible trustees of God’s gifts” characterize deep stewardship. It involves a profound conversion, both as individuals, and as a community, to give generously of our time, talent, and treasure, and to be totally, joyfully engaged in discipleship in our parishes and communities.
Cardinal Collins goes on to identify seven reasons why deepening the spirit of stewardship would be valuable for the Archdiocese of Toronto. He notes that stewardship is: 1) clearly a central theme in Scripture; 2) undeniably fruitful; 3) realistic; 4) not a new program, but is continuous and permanent; 5) addresses the engagement dilemma; 6) comprehensive, and enhances already existing activity; and 7) proactive.
Finally, Cardinal Collins maps out for us the way forward. His first point, importantly, is that the spirit of stewardship is already present in parishes. With guidance from the Pastoral Plan, the way forward includes increasing awareness of stewardship as a conscious, active engagement in parish life and outreach, a fuller engagement with the whole life of faith, and a greater ability for each Catholic to live as disciples in the world. The way forward is nurtured by the sacramental life, and results in growth in gratitude and a deepening life of service and witness. Stewardship, concludes the letter, “means a change of heart for each of us, an ‘attitude of gratitude’ that permeates our whole life as disciples.”
Download Cardinal Thomas Collins' Pastoral Letter on Stewardship: