Stewardship paves way for happiness - Catholic Courier

Stewardship paves way for happiness

Bill Rabjohn doesn’t see stewardship as a burden, but as an integral part of his life and a way to attain happiness.

Most Catholics know they are called to stewardship, noted Rabjohn, pastoral associate at St. Pius Tenth Parish in Chili. What they may not know is that it involves more than dropping money in the collection basket at Mass, he added.

Catholics are called to recognize that all gifts come from God, and to generously give these gifts — often viewed under the headings of “time, talent and treasure” — back to God, Rabjohn said.

Weekly Mass collections address the “treasure” aspect of stewardship, and many parishioners volunteer their time and talents to parish and community ministries. Stewardship, however, should be considered a way of life rather than just a component of life, Rabjohn maintained.

Stewardship is “a complete lifestyle acknowledging God as creator and provider of all. It is the grateful receiving and responsible management of God’s gifts and the eager sharing of them … “, according to a description offered on the Diocese of Rochester’s Web site,

Yet today’s consumer-driven economy is in direct conflict with the concept of stewardship, Rabjohn said. Today, many have a spending mentality, basing their happiness and self-worth on material possessions. The endless drive to acquire more and better possessions can make them miserable or drive them into debt, he added.
“We’ve become slaves to our own purchasing,” Rabjohn said.

In this spending mentality, material goods have replaced God as the focus of life, Rabjohn said. Once people abandon this attitude, they often become happier and can more carefully examine how they use God’s gifts, he said.

“When we really try to apply (principles of stewardship) in our life, I think we really begin to see our lives change and that happiness will begin to come,” Rabjohn said.

Rabjohn said that once he began to recognize God’s presence in every moment, he saw that every moment was holy. He began to appreciate the small pleasures in life, and material things became less important to him. Breaking free of the spending mentality is only the first step, however, especially for people who are in debt.

“Getting out of debt enables us to have the freedom (to live simply). If I was still in debt I’d be an engineer somewhere” instead of working for the church, Rabjohn said. “Now I have a choice to continue to live for God and for our community.”

In late January or early February, Rabjohn will share these lessons for making life more enjoyable and meaningful while becoming better stewards. He will be leading a course — titled Faith and Family Finances — through St. Pius Tenth’s Friday Connect program, which offers several faith-related courses throughout the year.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information about Rabjohn’s course, call 585/429-6384, ext. 2 or go to

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