During the month of September, we are initiating our Grateful & Generous Stewardship campaign, and will be featuring an article each week from a different parishioner as they reflect on what stewardship means to them and how it connects them more deeply to their faith.
by Luke Ruszkowski
Hi everyone! My name is Luke Ruszkowski and my wife, Amanda, and I have been part of St. Margaret of Scotland since 2017.
As I reflect on stewardship with you today, I think it is important to first define it. Stewardship is defined as “supervising, or taking care of something” and it is the “taking care of” part that really stands out to me. Through our stewardship, we are “taking care” of the Church. The Church is more than just the building, it’s the community and the neighbors we serve/are a part of. Then, by default, all of our stewardship is for the betterment of our brothers and sisters, not just writing a check or swiping a card to keep the lights on.
Personally, my brain immediately goes to the phrase “giving of time and treasure” when thinking of stewardship. Many think of financial support when they think of how they can be stewards of the Church, and while this is certainly part of it, you can also give your time. Some of you may be familiar with the 5 love languages (if you aren’t I strongly encourage you to do some research!). My main love language is quality time which means that I give and receive love by being physically present. Moreover, when I spend my time on something, whether it is a person or cause, I truly believe in it. Over the last 6 years, Amanda and I have spent much of our time being present at Margaret of Scotland, specifically with the Young Adult Ministry. This organization has helped us feel at home at St. Margaret of Scotland, within the Catholic community as a whole, and in the city of St. Louis as we build out our lives here. We spend our time with this organization through being part of the leadership team, attending socials and praying with peers in bible study. All of this is in an effort to create a space where other young adults can find the same feeling of belonging that we continue to feel here.
Growing up, I loved the phrase “time and treasure” because my mind immediately thought of pirates when I heard the word “treasure” (and what child doesn’t love the mental image of pirates?). I think it is fair to say that Amanda and I are not the largest benefactors of Margaret of Scotland, and that’s okay. As someone who works in finance, I feel qualified to say, every dollar counts. Amanda and I are constantly on the move and often have weekend plans that take us away from Margaret of Scotland for Mass on Sunday. By giving electronically, we never have to worry about missing a donation or remembering to take multiple week’s worth of envelopes to the next mass we attend. My mom is someone who religiously wrote checks for the offertory envelopes each week. In talking with her last week, she informed me that she recently switched to online giving at her parish because it was easier and more consistent for both her and the church. I couldn’t agree more!
I believe in the mission of this parish and of the Catholic Church, that is why I spend my time and treasure here. In reflecting for this article, Amanda and I agreed that we should double down on our weekly offertory and give more to a place that has given so much to us. I encourage each and every one of you to do the same. Every bit of your treasure counts; every minute of your time counts.