January 23, 2024
Reflecting on the value of the year: Stewardship
As we cross the halfway point in the 2023-24 academic year, we take a moment to reflect on The College of St. Scholastica’s values of community, respect, love of learning, hospitality and stewardship. “The College’s core values are taken from the Rule of St. Benedict, which in itself is based in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Associate Vice President for Mission Integration Sister Kathleen Del Monte, OSB, Ph.D., explains. “These are truly gospel values.”
Sister Kathleen notes that the College is committed to integrating its Benedictine Catholic identity into daily activity by choosing a core value for the year. “When we focus our attention on one value for the entire year, we have the opportunity to explore more facets of that value and to deepen our understanding and appreciation of it,” she said. “In this way, we learn from one another and continually grow in our efforts to live out this particular value.”
We take special consideration of our value of the year — stewardship — as the practice of caring for all that is entrusted to us. It is not only about taking care of our environment but also about taking care of our relationships and our communities. The value further underscores the importance of:
- Utilizing human resources responsibly;
- Providing the wise and respectful use of all material and monetary resources;
- Promoting the prudent use of natural resources and energy; and
- Finding time for work, play and prayer in daily life which will promote physical, mental and spiritual growth and well-being.
At St. Scholastica, the value of stewardship is integral to our identity and our mission of providing intellectual and moral preparation for responsible living and meaningful work.
Stewardship: An action plan
At the turn of the semester, we are reminded to recommit to practices that engage in stewardship. We encourage members of our community to discover their own practice of stewardship, considering what that may mean in work and in relationships with friends, family and colleagues.
For example, you might ask yourself or discuss with those close to you:
- What am I passionate about? What matters to me?
- What skills and talents do I have that can be used to benefit others?
- How can I positively impact my community, even if just one step in the right direction?
Take a moment to reflect on your goals and progress from the academic year:
- What are some ways you have practiced stewardship so far this academic year?
- How have I observed others practicing some aspect of stewardship? What from that might I want to adopt or learn more about?
- What are some specific ways you would like to practice stewardship this semester? Name one or two that you are willing to commit to. What about these are important to you?
Then, identify steps or actions you can take in the coming days and months to honor and practice the various aspects of stewardship in your life. A few examples might be:
- Reducing your carbon footprint by carpooling with colleagues or by using reusable bags at the grocery store.
- Volunteering in your local community. Consider engaging with those around you in group volunteering efforts.
- Taking care of your physical and mental health or checking in with a neighbor or a loved one.
Let’s support one another as we strive to embrace the value of stewardship in the new year and recommit to practices that will create a more just and sustainable world for all God’s people. “If I had to sum up Benedict’s vision of stewardship,” concludes Sister Kathleen, “I think I would say it is about being in right relationship with God, with self, with others and with all of creation.”