After moving my oldest child into college several years ago, one of my younger children asked me, “Mom, does Susan have to pay the bill to St. Michael (Parish) now that she is going to Mass in Auburn?”
I was confused and asked what she was talking about. She continued and said, “you know, the bill you and dad put in the basket at Mass each week.”
My heart sunk as I realized I had failed.
I am the director of stewardship for our archdiocese and I had clearly failed at teaching my own child about stewardship.
Needless to say, we had a very long conversation about how the Bible teaches us to be good stewards of all our gifts and talents. We talked about how everything we have is a gift from God and we are called to give back a portion. Please don’t judge me, I promise this is a regular topic of conversation at our house now. This is a true story and my hope is that it inspires you to have a conversation about stewardship with your children.
Back to school-time is a great occasion to have a conversation with our children about stewardship.
As parents, we are the primary educators of our children. It is our responsibility to make sure our children receive an excellent academic education. It is also our responsibility to teach our children about our faith, manners, how to make your bed and basic life skills, yet stewardship is typically left out. It is also our responsibility to teach our children the meaning of stewardship.
Some say the best way to teach is by example. I thought just by giving my children the envelope to put in the basket during the offertory, they would understand what was going on. Well, I was wrong. Our children pick up on everything. However, it is our responsibility as parents and grandparents to teach our children why we do the things we do in Mass, even in stewardship.
“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” – 1 Peter 4:10
— Shannon Roh is the Executive Director of the Office of Development and Stewardship for the Archdiocese of Mobile.