Good Stewardship Requires Accountability

by Dr. Joseph D. Hollowell, 2 yrs ago

One of the great truths of life is that we will all have to give an accounting of how we spent the gift of our lives.  As Catholics we believe this accounting will be given to God upon our death.  This is the moment for which we all should be preparing.  We cannot run away from this moment though we can try to wish it away or hope it really isn't coming.  Many spend a lifetime ignoring this moment.  But rest assured - it's coming.

The teachings of Catholic stewardship are, in many ways, centered in this moment of accounting.  The Church teaches that everything we have - life, food, water, health, family, money, time, talents - they are all gifts from God.   The first line of Psalms 24 speaks this truth most concisely when the writer states, "The earth is the Lord's and all its fullness."  It's not ours - it's the Lord's.  Later in the Gospel of Luke we hear, "to whom much is given, much will be required."  It is in this spirit that I report to you that much has been given to Roncalli and it is reasonable that much is required from us.

In a way I never dreamed possible when I assumed a leadership role at Roncalli, much of my work has revolved around raising money and securing resources for the successful growth and operation of our school.  I have learned quite a few lessons over those years.  One thing I know with certainty is that people appreciate it when the money that is given to a school is used efficiently.  I think that is particularly true in times like these when there is so much uncertainty in the economy of our nation and the world.  Every dollar that is given to us is hard-earned and represents a sacrifice.  People do not want to see it wasted or supporting some non-essential activity.

Last spring our board formed a committee to help us evaluate the efficiency of our fundraising activities at Roncalli.  Today, as a result of the work of our committee I can report to you that, like so many other phases of school life at Roncalli, we are doing quite well!  When we broke down the parts of our budget that represent expenses dedicated to raising money for the school what we found is that we spent less than 2% of our budget on these activities.  When we look further at the general administrative expenses for the school these expenditures represent less than 6% of our budget.  These numbers exemplify a very cost-effective and efficient operation of an exceptional school that offers a great opportunity for a faith-based education for our young people in this community.  

I know that many of you reading this have given many thousands of dollars to this school in the form of gifts, tuition, lunch money, t-shirt money, and all of the gazillion other ways that you might be asked to write a check to Roncalli.  I hope that this brief accounting of our attempts to use those gifts wisely sets an example of good stewardship that all of us can transfer to the broader reaches of our lives.  God has given us much. It is our duty to give an accounting to you and Him.

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