By Karen Clifford
GRANGER —The International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC) named St. Pius X of Granger as a runner-up for the Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy Award on Oct. 13. Julie Kenny, from Our Sunday Visitor and a member of the ICSC board of directors, accepted the award on the parish’s behalf in Dallas, Texas.
According to Michael Murphy, executive director of the ICSC, this award recognizes parishes that give witness to stewardship in many areas of parish life. St. Pius X was one of only five parishes in the country to receive this distinction.
St. Pius X “demonstrated their commitment to exercising stewardship in pastoral areas such as prayer and worship, formation and education, offering hospitality, cultivating leadership, communications and promoting among their parishioners the stewardship of time, talent and treasure,” Murphy emphasized.
Scott Bader, vice president of the ICSC and director of parish stewardship for the Archdiocese of Seattle, explained that St. Pius X helps to set the standard in stewardship for parishes nationwide: “St. Pius X Parish is a superb example of how a parish can build up the individual and collective practice of faith through stewardship. The parish is one we definitely suggest others consider emulating.”
In 2007, Betsy Quinn, the director of stewardship and evangelization at St. Pius X, oversaw the creation of a stewardship core team, which worked to develop a comprehensive, multiyear strategic plan for stewardship and development. Areas highlighted in the plan include volunteer appreciation, communication, education/catechesis, outreach and welcoming and hospitality.
Specific programs that have resulted from the plan include development of an adult education program, enhancement of the parish welcoming committee, formation of a young adult ministry and expansion of youth activities.
“With a large parish, of over 3,000 families, we are challenged to keep a tight-knit, community feel. By having an ongoing and active stewardship program, we are creating a true Christian atmosphere founded on the pillars of stewardship: hospitality, prayer, formation and service,” said Quinn.
She added, “We are always striving for conversion in the hearts of our parishioners, young and old, to embrace the stewardship message: from new parishioners to our founding families, at baptisms and at funerals, in our children’s religious education programs and through adult education opportunities, at social events, and, most importantly, at Sunday liturgies. Through the leadership of Father Bill Schooler, Father Bob Lengerich, the parish staff, and the commitment of our dynamic Stewardship Core Team, we are continually finding ways to contribute to the conversion journey.”
Father Schooler credited Quinn’s leadership as key to the recognition of St. Pius X by the ICSC. “Betsy Quinn is the reason we received this award from the national stewardship council. She has worked tirelessly to promote stewardship as a way of life at St. Pius and to educate parishioners on what it really means to be a good steward.”
Quinn, Father Schooler and the St. Pius X community were congratulated by Bishop John D’Arcy for their stewardship efforts. Father Schooler noted that St. Pius X gave the St. Vincent de Paul Society $81,000 in food and direct grants last year. In addition, the parish gives 5 percent of its income to the parish school of St. Adalbert in South Bend and 2 percent to local, national and international needs of the poor annually.
“That truly is an act of faith by the parish,” Bishop D’Arcy stressed.
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