By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
IOWA CITY — Bishop Robert Gruss, a former priest of the Diocese of Davenport, will return home to give a talk April 7 during Stewardship Day at St. Patrick Church. He will be joined by parish ministry expert Tracy Earl Welliver of Liturgical Publications.
“The purpose of the event is to try to deepen a commitment, sense of awareness and practice of stewardship in our daily lives,” said Dan Ebener, diocesan director of Stewardship and Parish Planning. “We want to give attendees practical tools they can use as they try to engage more people in the parish through stewardship.”
The event will start with registration at 9:30 a.m., followed by a prayer and welcome from Bishop Martin Amos. Ebener encourages anyone involved with parish life, including lay ministers, clergy and parish board members, to attend.
Bishop Gruss will speak at 10:30 a.m. Ordained as a priest of the Diocese of Davenport in 1994, he has served as Bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City, S.D., since 2011. While he returns to Davenport regularly to serve on the St. Ambrose University Board of Trustees, he said he is excited to see old friends at Stewardship Day. “I’m looking forward to it!”
He will speak about stewardship from a theological standpoint and share its impact in his own life. In an interview with The Catholic Messenger, he described stewardship as a way of life as opposed to a designated responsibility. “In my mind it is living out the virtue of a sense of gratitude for all God has given us. It’s about receiving these gifts (of time, talent and treasure), cherishing them and giving back. All we have is really God’s.”
After lunch, Welliver will talk about applying the concepts of stewardship to parish life. With more than 20 years of experience in parish ministry, he currently serves as director of parish community and engagement for Liturgical Publications, Inc.
He told The Catholic Messenger that many parishes see stewardship as a something to be practiced through regular calendar events and campaigns. During his talk, he will explain other ways that parish leaders and members can use stewardship to transform a parish. “(Events) are useful tools, but … stewardship is about a whole lot more than that.”
Stewardship Day, which is sponsored by Our Sunday Visitor, the Diocese of Davenport and Liturgical Publications, Inc., will conclude at 2 p.m. The fee is $15 and includes lunch and materials. To register go to diodav.
formstack.com/forms/stewardship_day_2016. Registration deadline is March 31. Contact Ebener with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (563) 888‐4251.