“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pt 4:10).
St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church was awarded the Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy Award by the International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC). The highest award given by the ICSC, Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy Award is presented annually to one parish worldwide for its extraordinary efforts to embrace, foster, and live Catholic stewardship.
Father Charlie Mitchell, pastor, and about 20 parishioners accepted the award on behalf of the parish during the opening plenary session at the ICSC’s 2014 conference, held Oct. 5-8 at Buena Vista Plaza Hotel in Orlando. The ISCS is a highly respected organization dedicated to advancing Christian stewardship, Catholic philanthropy and resource development throughout the world. The late Archbishop Murphy of the Archdiocese of Seattle was a passionate promoter of Christian stewardship.
“In my many years here at St. Mary Magdalen I have had numerous moments of pride in being able to call myself pastor of this wonderful parish. This ranks among those moments,” Father Mitchell said earlier in a letter to the parishioners. “You, my brothers and sisters, are being recognized among the leading dioceses and parishes of our world as an outstanding example of what it means to live a life of true discipleship and Catholic stewardship. Thank you!”
Father Mitchell said that for the past 10 years, the St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church community has made a concerted effort to live as a Stewardship parish. Melissa Findley, steward for Time, Talent & Evangelization, said the parish is blessed in the number of people who graciously give of their time, talent and treasure.
“Our efforts have borne fruit in so many ways,” Father Mitchell said. “We have grown in our vision of ministry and in the focus of that ministry, always seeking to sharpen our understanding of who we are, and maybe even more importantly, who we are becoming as we follow God’s mission for us.”
“Christian stewardship is about forming disciples who are so joyous in the Lord that they desire to give of their entire being,” said Meghan Post, director of the Catholic Foundation of Central Florida. “It’s comforting to know that we can rely on parishes like St. Mary Magdalen to show us the way to true, lasting joy.
“Only when we’re willing to give of ourselves can we be Christ-like to another person,” she added. “St. Mary Magdalen is a wonderful example of this culture of sacrificial giving that flows throughout our entire diocese.”
Stewardship Prayer from St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church
Thank You for teaching me to be generous as you have been generous with me.
Thank You for showing me that all I am and have are gifts from you and that these gifts from you, Lord, are meant to be shared.
Show me the joys of generosity.
Help me to understand that others, perhaps unknown to me, depend on me for help.
Remind me that my world, my parish, needs “Good Samaritans” to heal the wounds of our times.
Make me a gift to others in your name.