Updated: May 13
Dear Evan, I've recently become Catholic and I want to honor God with my finances. Where should I start? Suzanne, Rhode Island
Congratulations and welcome to the family. I believe the first thing we have to acknowledge when it comes to finances and faith is that God doesn’t need our money. When we give money, whether it’s tithing or alms giving, it’s a physical recognition that this money was given to us by God. A good starting point is Tithing. That means giving 10% of your income (after taxes) to the Church. A good rule of thumb is that 5% should go to the parish you are registered and attend Mass at. The other 5% can be divided up among other charities and the Bishops appeal.
If after you have tithed, you still feel like you are called to give more, then we can look at almsgiving. Almsgiving is donating money and goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. This practice is considered to be one of the three pillars of Lenten practice according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2462). We see examples of these practices all throughout the bible.
One of the earliest examples is Abraham tithing to Melchizedek as recognition that Melchizedek is a Priest of God. This act was seen as worshiping and honoring God. We also look to the story of Jesus praising the widow who gave all that she had while the wealthy only gave from their surplus. Lastly, we see Paul urging the Church in Corinth to take up a collection for the Church in Jerusalem. While not specifically mentioning tithing, we see a generous history of gifting in the Church.
Evan Frazier is a Benedictine College graduate with a degree in Religious Studies and over a decade of experience in financial planning. With a passion for finances and a commitment to aligning himself with Church teachings, Evan is a trusted advisor for his clients. When he's not working, he spends his time with his four children and attending St. Francis in Castle Rock, CO. Send your questions to Evan@Tekwisefinancial.com