St. Agnes Parish in Naples has been honored with the Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy Memorial Parish Stewardship Award by International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC).
The award is presented each year at the International Catholic Stewardship Council annual conference – held virtually the week of Oct. 5, 2020. The award is given to the Parish which best exemplifies a long-term commitment to stewardship as a way of life. Its purpose is to recognize a Parish that has embraced every aspect of stewardship and has shown evidence of spiritual growth and community outreach.
According to the ICSC, the recipient of this award must have initiated and developed this way of life at a comprehensive level that embraces stewardship of time, talent and treasure across all Parish groups. The Parish’s on-going conversion to stewardship will be evidenced by its growth in spirituality and its witness and outreach to the larger community.
“It was a big deal for us,” said Father Bob Kantor, St. Agnes Pastor who credits his fellow clergy, Parish staff and the faithful for helping make this honor possible. “Hopefully others learning about it will receive some encouragement.”
This year the Conference was virtual instead of being held in California as originally planned. Father Kantor addressed the plenary session on Oct. 6, 2020, and Gloria Carter, Deacon Roberto Landron and Dominick and Rita Cavuoto conducted a webinar the same afternoon as part of the Conference.
“This is a great accomplishment to be selected from Parishes all over the world,” said Gloria Carter, Parish Stewardship Coordinator who helped prepare the St. Agnes application for the award. “A considerable amount of time and energy has gone into producing the requirements of achieving this honor.”
Documentation provided for the award covered different areas of promoting stewardship at the Parish and included: stewardship brochures, calendars and newsletters; Parish handbooks; commitment cards; welcome postcards, letters and packets; invitations to newly registered parishioners; outreach mission statement; and much more.
Named in honor of Archbishop Murphy, Bishop of Great Falls from 1978-1987 and Archbishop of Seattle from 1987 until his death in 1997. He was an ardent supporter of the International Catholic Stewardship Council and attended many of its annual conferences.
Since St. Agnes was formally established in 2007, the Parish has gone from 16 outreach programs to 80.
While earning this award is a great honor for St. Agnes, Carter added, “This does not mean that we stop Stewardship,” she said. “Stewardship is not a program, it is a Way of Life and as life continues, so does Stewardship. It is up to all of us as individuals to bring Jesus Christ to others; to live out Stewardship in our daily lives. As baptized Catholics we have become Disciples of Jesus and as such we are required to bring the teaching of Jesus to others. Living as good holy people says more to others than the world ever could. Remember to thank God for all our gifts and talents and see how much we can accomplish together.”
To view the St. Agnes Parish submission for the Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy Memorial Parish Stewardship Award submission, please visit : http://www.stagnesnaples.org/110.