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Learn to be a good steward

Statewide meeting focuses on true meaning of discipleship for families, young people

MIAMI | A priest-chef-television host, a popular LifeTeen speaker and a radio personality will be coming to Miami next month to speak about stewardship. And despite the word’s connotations, money won’t be the main topic. Family life will be.

The second Florida Statewide Stewardship Day will take place Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Miami Downtown, 1601 Biscayne Blvd. The event is a collaborative effort of the seven dioceses that make up the Province of Miami.

Organizers expect 500 to 600 people for the event, which is held every other year in a different Florida diocese. The theme this year is “Engaging the Family through the Four Pillars of Stewardship,” which are prayer, formation, hospitality and service.

“Stewardship is a way of life,” said Grace Veloz, director of stewardship for the Archdiocese of Miami. “Stewardship is the way God has expected his people to live since the beginning of time. It is about living a life of trust in God and a life of gratitude.”

This year’s goal is to share best practices on how to make stewardship a way of life for families.

“We are focusing the pillars as they pertain to the family and how we can help them enhance their daily relationship with God,” Veloz said. The conference will offer “practical takeaways to enhance personal, family and faith-community stewardship.”

The presentations will focus on topics such as: service to others through impact initiatives; focusing on youth and young adults; equipping missionary disciples who are inspired to invite and accompany others; and enhancing or establishing family ministries. Presentations will be made in English and Spanish.

“All the presenters will touch on different components of stewardship within the family,” said Veloz, from the importance of evangelization through a family meal to the importance of instituting the V Encuentro in the parishes.

“I am sure there will be something for everyone at every stage,” she said, adding that the event is for everyone. Special invitations have been extended to families, youth leaders and ministers, teenagers and teachers.

Father Leo Patalinghug from the Eternal Word Television Network will be one of the two keynote speakers. He is founder and host of Plating Grace, an international apostolate aimed at strengthening families and relationships through a family meal. Through his cooking talents — he will cook onstage — he teaches the importance of sitting down at the table and enjoying a meal, a place where he believes the pillars of stewardship can be discovered.

The other keynote speaker will be Julianna Stanz, a nationally known retreat leader and author who is director of Discipleship and Leadership Development for the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Her office oversees young adult ministry, adult faith formation and campus ministry. She also serves as a consultant to the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Catechesis and Evangelization.

Married and the mother of three, Stanz states in her online profile that she is “passionate, dedicated and committed to creating a culture of intentional discipleship in our homes, parishes and communities.” She adds that she infuses her talks, seminars and retreats “with passion and a fresh perspective.”

Other speakers include Joel Stepanek of LifeTeen, who is always a hit with young people; Gus Lloyd, host of Seize the Day on Sirius XM’s Catholic Channel; Bob McCarty, executive director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry; and Kerry Ann Tornesello, a Gallup-certified strengths coach.

The day will feature breakout sessions and include continental breakfast and lunch. Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Thomas Wenski, along with other Florida bishops who attend. 

They will all highlight the fact that focusing on stewardship helps develop responsible and committed parishioners.

“Stewardship involves nurturing your relationship with God on a daily basis. It is through that relationship with God that you learn how to cultivate your gifts and share them lovingly with your community. It involves daily individual spiritual commitment,” Veloz said.

She added that she is excited about the day. “Just to think that we could have all these people from the whole state under one roof, praising the Lord, interacting and learning is really exhilarating,” she said. 

IF YOU GO

Florida Statewide Stewardship Day

  • May 4, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Hilton Miami Downtown, 1601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.
  • Registration: $50, includes workshops, talks, breakout sessions, continental breakfast and lunch.  

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