Four parishes win new stewardship awards

| November 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

Prayer, participation and generosity — three key aspects of stewardship — were on display Nov. 2 at the inaugural archdiocesan Pillars of Stewardship Awards.

Ministries in four parishes were recognized at a gathering at Pax Christi in Eden Prairie: Pax Christi, St. Joseph in Waconia, St. Hubert in Chanhassen and St. Therese in Deephaven. People in those ministries also discussed the efforts that earned them recognition.

“The Pillars of Stewardship Award winners seem to have embraced the spirit of stewardship in word and deed,” Archbishop Bernard Hebda said in a statement. “The good work of this year’s winners extends well beyond parish walls and offers us, as an archdiocese, models to follow in embodying stewardship as a way of life.”

Sponsored by the Office of Stewardship and Development and created at the urging of its Stewardship Committee, the awards offer an opportunity to honor and promote best practices, communicate the fact that stewardship is a way of life and thank those who put in the work.

“It’s good to recognize those in the community doing a nice job of being disciples,” said Tom Remmel, development associate in the stewardship office and a member of the nine-person committee of stewardship leaders.

Meeting financial needs of the Church is one aspect of stewardship, but prayer and participation are critical as well and should be recognized, Remmel said.

Parish ministries can be nominated or nominate themselves for a Stewardship Award, nicknamed the “Stewies.” Stewardship Committee members judge the awards. Suggestions for next year’s awards will be accepted through June 15 at


Prayer: St. Joseph, Waconia

The award recognized the parish’s Christ Renews His Parish program, a faith formation and community building effort begun four years ago that has led to increased Mass attendance, deeper friendships among parishioners and more participation in small groups such as Bible studies and Catholic book clubs.

Participation: St. Hubert, Chanhassen

The award recognized the parish’s Men’s Ministry team, which hosts brewery nights, bowling and curling, as well as speakers, retreats and a Catholic Watchman rally. Charitable efforts include packing meals for the homeless and hungry at Feed My Starving Children.

Generosity (tie): Pax Christi, Eden Prairie, and St. Therese, Deephaven

Pax Christi launched a Parish Endowment campaign in 2017 designed to protect the core values and ministries of the parish, particularly social justice and lifelong learning. Staff and leadership used a $25,000 challenge match from the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota and raised an additional $225,000 in three months to launch the endowment. The fund is promoted and has grown in two years to more than $400,000.

St. Therese launched a Confidence in Jesus capital campaign in 2017 to retire $4.8 million in debt. Through prayer and initiative, the capital campaign gathered pledges that exceeded the debt, and the parish became debt free in January. The parish also has purchased a new baptismal font, updated buildings and facilities and expanded ministries to the poor. Efforts to help people in need include parish volunteers maintaining a garden and donating the food to a local food shelf.

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