Local experts on stewardship to speak nationally
Menasha parish has tips to share on sharing gifts
By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor
The Green Bay Diocese will be well represented at next week's International Catholic
Stewardship Conference (ICSC) in Arlington, Va. The Stewardship Committee from St.
Patrick Parish, Menasha, and Cindi Brawner, diocesan director of Stewardship and
Development will make presentations. Vicki Quinn and Elaine Statz, parishioners at
Nativity Parish, Green Bay, will be attending as will Josh Diedrich, marketing specialist
for Stewardship and Development.
"The conference serves as a great resource for those parishes that have an interest in stewardship," said Brawner.
"It is a large conference with approximately 2,000 people. It
provides a good opportunity to share information and develop contacts. People come
from throughout the United States. Last year, there were also people from the Bahamas
and Canada in attendance."
"It is such an honor to represent our parish and our diocese," said Joyce Naps,
stewardship coordinator at St. Patrick. "We are excited to make our presentation and look
forward to exchanging ideas."
The St. Patrick's Stewardship Committee will present "Introducing the Parish to
Stewardship" on Nov. 13. The parish began following the stewardship model in 1993. In
1995, the committee sent representatives to Chicago to attend the ICSC. Following the
conference, St. Patrick's became the first parish in the Green Bay Diocese to join the
International Catholic Stewardship Council.
"St. Pat's is the best developed stewardship parish in the diocese," said Brawner. "It is a
team effort. The parish is not reliant on any one individual."
St. Patrick has balanced its budget the last four years. Members participating in ministry
have increased from 324 to more than 600. Mass attendance continues to increase. In
1999, Mass attendance grew to 32,000 from 27,000 in 1998.
"We have seen improvements in all three facets of stewardship, prayer, ministry and
finance," said Naps. "People know each other now. We are very much a family."
Presenting at the ICSC is new for the St. Patrick's Stewardship Committee, but serving as
a resource is not. Committee members have made numerous presentations for other parishes, said Naps.
"We have worked with other parishes in our Vicariate," she said. "Each parish is a little different, so they need to find what works for them, but we try to help them begin their stewardship journey.""
The members of the St. Patrick Stewardship Committee include Steve Figi, who previously served the parish as the chair of the Pastoral Council, as a trustee and a member of the Finance Council; Helen and Gary Crevier, who have worked with third world missions; and Fr. Roy Geenen, pastor.
The ICSC offers various tracks for conference participants. The tracks range from the Beginning Parish Stewardship Track to the Senior Diocesan Development Track. Brawner, who will present "Setting the Stage for Stewardship" on Nov. 13, supports the multiple track format.
"A large part of my job involves the Catholic Foundation, so I attend workshops and panel discussions for diocesan development," she said. "It's an excellent conference. For those going for the first time, it's a good first step in the commitment to stewardship."
The diocesan focus on stewardship will return in 2001 following the success of Renew 2000, added Brawner.
"We will celebrate Stewardship Sunday as a diocese in the spring," she said. "It's a good time to renew our commitment to stewardship."