During my episcopacy, our diocese has placed a great emphasis on the Catholic teaching of Stewardship as our people have journeyed together to share their gifts in love and justice. We have come to understand on an even deeper level that each of us is totally dependent on the love of our Creator and interdependent with each other.”
That’s the observation Bishop Curtis Guillory, SVD, made this July in a letter to pastors about the Stewardship Journey the diocese has been on for the last 19 years. Now he is encouraging all of the faithful to reflect on the past few months to see what insights they have on their own journey and the journey of their fellow parishioners.
Bishop Guillory is also asking the faithful to recognize those who have expressed that Stewardship in an exceptional way by submitting their names for nomination for the individual 2019-20 Msgr. Richard DeStefano Faithful Steward Award. At the same time, pastors and parish leadership are being encouraged to nominate their parish for the Bishop Curtis Guillory Parish Stewardship Award.
Recipients of both awards will be announced at a live-streamed presentation on September 13. All nominees will also be recognized in the September issue of the East Texas Catholic.
In 2004, the Diocesan Stewardship Council began recognizing Stewardship efforts by individuals and parishes during a yearly awards ceremony. The individual award will be given to the person or persons who have exemplified the Gospel teaching of Stewardship in a profound way between June 30, 2019, and July 2020. The award is named in honor of the late Msgr. Richard DeStefano, the first director of the restructured Stewardship and Development Office.
“Our Diocesan Council wants to remind everyone that the individual award is not given for a body of work, but rather for an effort that took place during that time period,” said Letty Lanza, Director of Stewardship and Communications.
“I also want to remind folks that the parish award is not given to the best Stewardship parish because we have bunches of those. It’s given to the parish that has made the greatest Stewardship stride during 2019-20 fiscal year.
“It’s been a tough year for all of us because of the pandemic. But, I think that has made us go even deeper into our spiritual life and trust God as we may have never done before. We have shown great care for our brother and sisters, for the community. That’s what Stewardship is all about,” Lanza said.
The deadline for submission for both awards is August 28, 2020.