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Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
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Toronto hosts international gathering of stewardship ministers
the Inland Register
(From the Dec. 5, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)
Members of the Spokane Diocese
traveled to Toronto for the International Catholic Stewardship Conference earlier this year.
From left: Kathy Moran; Mark Laiminger; Linette Laiminger; Archbishop James Keleher, ICSC
episcopal moderator and archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan.; Bob Boehme; Helen
Boehme; Joan Kocharhook; and Steve Kocharhook. (IR photo from the Development Office of the
Diocese of Spokane)
As pilgrims, participants in the International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC) annual conference journeyed to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Oct. 27-30 to contemplate the place of stewardship as a way of life in the Catholic Church, discuss its practical applications and celebrate Mass with members from around the world.
This year’s conference also celebrated the ICSC’s 40th birthday.
A group of about 1,700 individuals, including clergy, Religious and laity, attended the annual event. Among them were seven from the Spokane Diocese: Mark and Linette Laiminger, St. Anthony Parish, Spokane; Bob and Helen Boehme, St. Mary Parish, Spokane; Kathy Moran, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Cheney; and Steve and Joan Kocharhook, Sacred Heart Parish, Spokane.
Bob Boehme is the Chairman of the Diocesan Development Committee. Kathy Moran is the secretary for the Development Office; Steve Kocharhook is the Diocesan Development Director.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response: Solidarity Through Service,” emphasizing the essential link between the hands-on practicalities of stewardship and a vibrant personal relationship with Jesus Christ in the life of his Church.
Archbishop James Keleher of Kansas City, Kan., is the ICSC’s Episcopal moderator.
Archbishop Keleher told participants that a deeper experience of this discipleship is key to the international fruits manifested through practical stewardship methods during both good and bad economic times. “It is the pope’s wish that ‘an ever greater number of people may fully find themselves through a sincere gift of self.’ This sincere gift of self is the very life of a steward. It requires that we give everything we are and have back to the Lord for his use. In this way, we allow him to do his will – and not our own – to build up the kingdom according to his plan for the whole world.”
ICSC’s annual conference is widely known for its excellent speakers, beautiful liturgies, cooperative discussions among colleagues and friendships developed at meals and gatherings. To accommodate the many types of stewards who attended the annual conference, ICSC offered six separate tracks of workshops, seminars and discussion groups as well as daily celebration of the Mass and major addresses to the entire group by distinguished speakers.
A highlight of each year’s ICSC conference is the awards ceremony where stewards of special note are honored before the whole group. This year’s Bishop William J. Connare Award to an individual was given to Deacon William R. Dolan, Director of the Office of Planned Giving and Stewardship for the Archdiocese of Mobile, Ala. The Christian Stewardship Award for outstanding service went to Sister Cyril Mooney, Sister of Loreto of the Irish order from West Bengal, Calcutta, India. The Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy Award for outstanding work in parish stewardship was awarded to St. Matthias Parish of Somerset, NJ. Receiving the award on behalf of the parish was Reverend Douglas J. Haefner, pastor.
Numerous other awards were presented to parishes and dioceses for their stewardship campaigns, audio-visual and print materials.
As an adjunct of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the ICSC was initially begun in 1962 to raise funds for diocesan projects. Today, the ICSC offers both an overall vision of a life of Christian stewardship rooted in the discipleship of Jesus Christ, and the practical expertise on how to bring this vision to parishes, dioceses, congregations, foundations and related organizations all over the world. Through its staff and members, annual meetings and events and printed and audio materials, the ICSC allows people committed to Christian stewardship to gather, share ideas, and learn from each other.
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