Now that our Mardi Gras celebration is over and our capital campaign has been publicly launched, we are ready to move forward. In this column I would like to lay out how the campaign will proceed. Happily for all of us, this will last only seven weeks. We wanted to make sure we can maintain the enthusiasm and intensity during the whole process.
Over the last year or so, with the help of our Parish Council and the leadership of the parish we identified our priorities and the projects that would carry forward those priorities. Taking into account the advice of the council and our pastoral staff, I invited several parishioners to join our campaign committee. Patti Nowak and Daniel Hogan graciously accepted to act as co-chairs and I am deeply grateful to them for their consent and their dedication. Over the last several months I have reached out to some major donors and requested their generous participation. By the grace of God, we succeeded in receiving several large pledges. All the members of the committee including myself have made our pledges. As a result of the major gifts and also of the full participation of the committee, we have managed to reach more than half our goal of $3 million.
In the next few days every parishioner household will receive a brochure and a letter from me with a pledge card. The brochure will give details of the projects along with the costs. It will explain why we are doing the campaign and present the specifics of the archdiocesan portion. I invite you to read through the materials carefully and discuss them with your family.
We will be holding town hall meeting on five different occasions to give all our parishioners to learn about the what, the why and the how of the campaign. The meetings will be held in our Holy Family Chapel on the following days and times: Monday, February 9, at 9:30 am and 7:30 pm; Tuesday, February 17, at 9:30 am and 7:30 pm; and, Sunday, February 22, at 3:30 pm. I sincerely hope that you will make it to one of these gatherings. Many committee members will be present and you will have an opportunity to ask questions.
On the weekend of February 21/22 all the priests will focus their homilies on the theme of stewardship. The fact that all we have is a gift from God and that we are merely stewards of our resources is the basis of this campaign. Since we have received from God, we have the motivation to give back. Let us think of the generations that have gone before us. They made huge sacrifices to hand over to us a strong faith community and great facilities, and now it is our turn to pass on a vibrant parish to posterity.
I invite all households to spend the following week (February 22 to 28) in prayer. We have a special campaign prayer that we will pray at all Masses. I would like all of us to take the prayer cards that we will provide and pray the prayer at home. Since we have chosen St Joseph as the patron of our campaign, there will also be a prayer to the Foster Father of Jesus on the card. Our participation in this campaign should be the result of fervent prayer.
Committee members and other parishioners will make their appeal the weekend of February 28 / March 1. On the following weekend I will preach at all Masses earnestly soliciting the whole-hearted participation of our entire parish community. I am requesting you to take your time in arriving at your final decision. Please discuss this with your entire family including your children. Pray about it. Ask God to show you what your gift should be.
We are not pressing anyone to give a certain amount. Only you know what your resources are and what your financial constraints may be. It is totally your decision. The parish is profoundly grateful for your gift, big or small. Please know that you can pay off your pledge over a period of five years. Hopefully this longer time to pay off the pledge will motivate many to consider a more generous gift.
In anticipation I would like to thank you for your sacrifice and your generosity. Please remember that your gift will enrich the lives of many in the future. People who will pray in our church and chapel, children and youth who will receive the sacraments, those who will be married in our sanctuary, those who will enter eternal life from here, and all those whose life of faith will be nurtured on this campus, will be grateful to you.
This is a significant period in the life of our parish. Please keep our community and our campaign in your personal and family prayers. As always, I remember you in my Masses and prayers.
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...