Over the past three months, I have visited and met with a number of families in our parish community to get to know them and to hear their concerns, questions and suggestions regarding our parish community, as well as to discuss the ongoing diocesan wide campaign, Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante. During our visits, many families shared with me their struggles and how they arrived at the decision to give sacrificial financial support to the parish weekly collection, parish building campaign and now the diocesan campaign. I thank all of the families who gave me the opportunity to visit them and those who have already participated in both the parish building and the diocesan campaign. Because of your support, you are helping us reach our goals.
The past three weeks, we have made announcements and pulpit presentations, inviting everyone to pray and discern how God is calling each one of us to participate in the Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante Campaign. I am not only aware of how each family is “bending backward” in order to help support the Church, I also have my own personal experience of discerning to participate in the campaign.
Each priest in the Diocese was invited by Bishop Olmsted to consider making a sacrificial gift to the campaign of $6,000 over 5 years. Initially, it was very difficult for me to decide to participate in the campaign. During my period of discernment, I thought of how I could use the contributions I give to the CDA, the parish building campaign and now the diocesan campaign, to help many poor children in Africa. However, I thought of what Jesus said to his disciples, “The poor, you will always have with you” (Mt 26:8-11). I realized that while my needs and the needs of those who depend on me for help will continue to grow, responding to the urgent needs of the universal Church is equally as important to me as my personal needs. The theme of the campaign “Together, Let us Go Forth” also speaks to me in a unique way. I hear the voice of our shepherd, Bishop Olmsted, calling each of us to reaffirm our individual commitment to the building up of the Body of Christ here in the Diocese of Phoenix. Eventually, through prayer and reflection, I am glad that Fr. Wilfred and myself are among the priests who participated up to the suggested amount.
This weekend, I invite each of you to participate with your own unique sacrificial gift to the campaign. As you participate in the campaign, I would like to remind you that 35¢ of every dollar you give will stay here in our parish. Only 65¢ will go to fund the remaining diocesan case components. This campaign, therefore, is a shared campaign between the diocese and the parish while the diocese will absorb all the cost of running the campaign.
Please check the parish website and the brochures provided to you today for more information about what areas the campaign will support both throughout the Diocese and here within our parish community.
Thank you and Remain Blessed.
Fr. JamesBACK TO LIST