The community of Benet Hill Monastery gathered for its annual October meeting from the 11th through the 13th. Father Doug Haefner, pastor of St. Matthias parish, Somerset, N.J., (pictured with Clare Carr, OSB; Prioress) was the keynote speaker.
Father Doug, who has devoted much of his life to sharing his wisdom on stewardship, brought a light-hearted spirit and refreshing approach to the topic. He provided new insights and challenges to the participants. Father Doug’s homily at the Sunday Eucharist received acclaim and praise. Numerous individuals attending the Sunday service expressed a desire to have him return!
The entire weekend can be summed up in one word: Gratitude! The community and Sunday assembly were challenged to always have an Attitude of Gratitude! To remember that one’s overflow of resources is someone else’s necessity. To always be mindful that without a Vision we perish; and that without Mission we lose our way!
We also were reminded that how we give matters as much as what we give. That in gratitude, we joyfully give back a portion of the gifts God has given to us. We all are called to give of our time, talent, and treasure.
Father Doug left us with 10 steps to foster a Stewardship Way of Life:
- Live gracefully
- Practice hospitality
- Make prayer a priority
- Celebrate GIFTS…..the richness and diversity of people, culture, ethnicity, talents, etc
- Articulate your vision. Know and live your mission. Be sure to include both local and global dimensions
- Formation, formation, formation: spiritual enrichment, adult formation
- Seek justice….”what the Lord requires of you: ‘Only do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” [Micah 6:8]- not charity but a deeper call to live justly.
- Use stewardship, gratefulness language in everything you do, absolutely everything.
- Marketing- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. Generate an annual theme- Use media, e-blasts, emails, newsletters, etc.
- Be transparent! Accountable!
Naomi Rosenberger, OSB