WASHINGTON (November 6, 2007) – The U.S. bishops will vote at this Fall meeting on stewardship brochures directed to teenagers. The brochures will be in English and Spanish.
"The Church needs to speak to teenagers about the gratuity of God's love that leads to commitment, service and vocation at an age when they are thinking of their future," writes Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, chairman of the Stewardship Committee, in his letter to the full body of bishops. "They make a positive contribution to the life of the Church; and it is appropriate to invite them to further participate in other ways, including the practice of stewardship."
The English brochure, Stewardship and Teenagers, begins with a quote from a recent speech of Pope Benedict XVI to Youth in Brazil where he appealed to young people to "not waste your youth." In a youthful and uncomplicated way, the text introduces teens to the basic pillars of stewardship, reminding young disciples that stewardship means "sharing your time, talents and treasures." Mindful that everything we have to share is a gift from God, and that stewardship is born of love, the brochure challenges young people by reminding them that being a disciple means "sharing without counting the cost," "sharing even when we least feel like it," and even "when we can least afford it."
The text encourages teens to pray, especially with Scripture, to make an inventory of their gifts and to rejoice in the ways they are already using their talents, adding that "even the smallest act of kindness can bring joy and relief to another." It also thanks them for the gifts of energy, idealism and zeal that they already share with the Church, and tells them to not be afraid of asking the Church to "do more." "Stewardship" the document says, "is the call for all of us to do more, to be more and to love more!"
The Spanish text, Discípulos Jóvenes, while including many of the same topics, is not a translation from the English and was written as an original Spanish text to incorporate the cultural aspects of language and religious tradition which are unique to Spanish-speaking Catholics living in the U.S.
The bishops' meeting will be November 12-15, at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. Coverage of the meeting will be open to credentialed media. Reporters seeking to cover the meeting can download a credential application form from the Web at (http://www.usccb.org/comm/credentialform.pdf) and submit it by November 5 via fax (202-541-3173) or mail it to:
November Meeting Media Credentials
Dept. of Communications
3211 4th St., NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194