In my home diocese I often wondered “what does the diocesan annual appeal really support?” This was the question I needed answered for myself as your bishop.
Frankly, as I dug into the details more, I have been struck by how many of the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal (CFSA) resources are used to help pastors, parishes and staff in parishes and Catholic schools. I have been able to get this glimpse through my questioning and observations this past year which has helped me understand more fully how many of our Chancery staff help support so many parishes, schools and other outreach ministries.
This year in our annual diocesan Catholic Family Sharing Appeal, I asked that we highlight the ministries supported so you, too, can get a clear glimpse of the many things CFSA dollars support.
Getting a full understanding of what is supported through the generosity of faith-filled people throughout the diocese is not always easy to really know. I have discovered that only as I grow older have I come to appreciate the many ways the diocesan appeal in my own diocese has helped me through the years, like paying for my seminary education to become a priest, all the support the diocese provided for my home parish, the Catholic school I attended, sacramental support, etc.
I am grateful God is calling me to grow more grateful for the many hidden generous souls in my home diocese who have helped provide what I needed to become the priest and now bishop God had planned for me long before I ever knew it.
It is in this spirit of gratitude that I take this opportunity to thank all of you who have been so very generous through the years of your support for our diocesan Catholic Family Sharing Appeal. Your sacrificial offerings of the past have enabled me to be in an amazingly wonderful diocese with so many great things in place. Because of this generosity, we are poised for more great things in the future as we continue to fall more deeply in love with God, others and ourselves by receiving His love.
It is my hope that the clear grace (spiritual insight) God provided for me for a diocesan vision a few months ago will come to fullness in all of us in the diocese. The vision is: Lifelong Catholic Missionary Discipleship Through God’s Love. Put simply it means we should always be striving to know, love and serve God and others by receiving God’s gift of love which in turn helps us know and love God, others and ourselves as God loves us. This in turn motivates us to share God’s incredible love with him and others in the same sacrificial way God loves us.
As we begin our annual diocesan Catholic Family Sharing Appeal for 2021, I want to reaffirm my gratitude for the generous sacrifices of the past so many have made, invite you to take a glimpse of the many ministries supported which you will find in the Bulletin feature article, and join me in a generous return of my many blessings by supporting the 2021 Catholic Family Sharing Appeal.
Know of my love, prayers and gratitude as your bishop.