By Christopher Luke
JACKSON – The Office of Stewardship and Development invites pastors, parish staff, parish council members and parishioners to attend this year’s Stewardship Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC), which puts on the conference, is a professional organization recognized internationally as a source of educating, networking and advancing the mission of Stewardship in every parish. ICSC offers many ways and resources for parishes to have successful stewardship programs.
The conference offers practical ways for parishes to understand and learn stewardship. Parishes will have the opportunity to receive hands-on access to various tested and successful resources. Becoming a member of ICSC connects parishes to a network of churches who can explain their experience and joys of living a life of stewardship. A membership can also connect pastors and staff to resources for many materials to use in stewardship programs.
This is the 56th Annual Conference for ICSC. The theme this year is “Missionary Disciples: Stewards of the Gospel,” in response to the United States bishops’ call to form ourselves and others as missionary disciples of our Lord Christ. This year, the conference has added several evangelization formation sessions in order to respond to Pope Francis’ call in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Guadium (The Joy of the Gospel) “to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy” to become missionary disciples. The conference is internationally recognized for its value in supporting Christian stewardship.
Thousands gather at the conference learning how to teach and live stewardship through the Catholic faith and tradition. This year, the conference has special guests such as: Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, of Roseau, Dominica, Father John Riccardo, pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Plymouth, Michigan and author and host of “Christ is the Answer” on Ave Maria Radio and Archbishop Geolina Valles, DD, of Davao, Philippines.
In the past few years, several members of this diocese have attended. They spoke nothing but gratitude for the amazing experience. Dale Persons of Greenwood Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, attended the New Orleans conference and said “it far exceeded my expectations when attending. The conference was inspirational and gave a lot of insight to Catholic Stewardship. After attending it recharged my spiritual batteries to do great works of Stewardship in my parish.”
Father Lincoln Dall attended a conference two years ago. He said it helped change his perspective on how to approach his parishioners. “Going to the ICSC conference helped me look at stewardship in a more holistic way. It helped me see the different ways I could infuse a spirit of stewardship into my parish. Most importantly, I heard about the way that priests, lay people, and parish staff approached stewardship in real life situations. I really enjoyed the ICSC conference and would definitely consider going again,” he said.
The conference will take place in Nashville October 28 – 31, at the historic Grand Opryland Hotel. The early bird registration fee is $529 until July 31. After that date, the price goes up to $599 per person for members.
There are several ways to register for the conference: go to the ICSC website at www.catholicstewardship.com; call the office at 800-352-3452; download the brochure and complete and mail the form; or email ICSC at email@example.com.
All first-time attendees may register as a member using the diocesan membership. Those who register should let the Office of Stewardship and Development know at 601-960-8481 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Christopher Luke is the coordinator for the Office of Stewardship.)