By now most of you have already watched the campaign video. I am pleased to note that more than 600 individuals have seen it on-line. Over the last week all the households in the parish (4,800) received in the mail the campaign brochure as well as the pledge form. If you have already pledged your gift, please disregard the appeal. The mailing is meant to give you all the details of the campaign. The next question is: Where do we go from here?
As we have indicated in recent weeks, our campaign committee members will speak at all Masses this weekend (February 28 / March 1) and appeal to their fellow parishioners. The following weekend I will preach at all the weekend Masses and invite everyone to participate prayerfully in the campaign. I would like to suggest the following steps as you are about to make your pledge.
First, study the campaign materials that you have received. In addition to the print materials, we have more information on our website. You can look at the renderings and look at the details of each project. In order to become enthused about the campaign, it will be necessary to be familiar with the entire initiative. You will have to be convinced that everything we are attempting to do is good for the parish and that it will benefit many in the future.
Second, discuss the campaign and your decision with your entire family. Giving to the campaign should be the act of the entire household. Here is a moment to teach our families about our participation in the life of the parish. It is good for children to be an active part of the process. Who knows? Down the road, some of them may be living here as adults and raising their families in the parish. The fruits of our decision will affect coming generations.
Third, confront your decision to give in prayer. Participating in the campaign is starkly different from giving to a charity or to a cause. It is an act of stewardship for the future of God’s Kingdom here in Park Ridge. This is our way of cooperating with the Lord in the work of making, forming and nurturing future Catholics. Only in God’s presence, we will recognize how good God has been to us – individually, as families and as a parish. It is in prayer that we will honestly respond to God’s generosity.
Fourth, carefully determine the size of your gift. In certain campaigns, each household is suggested a specific amount. Following the wisdom of our campaign committee, we have decided not to expect a certain gift from a family. We are leaving the size of your gift completely up to you. You know your finances and you also recognize your constraints. We have full faith in your generosity and good will. All I ask is that you make your decision a prayerful one that flows out of serious thought and discussion with your family.
As you make your final decision, I would like to place before you certain scenarios. Even if one fourth of our parish membership actively participated in our campaign, we should exceed our goal. If 40 individuals made a lead gift of $25,000 ($5,000 a year), we will receive $1 million. If 100 households gifted $10,000 ($2,000 a year), the parish would get $1 million. If 400 families contributed $2 dollars a day over five years, the campaign would be richer by more than $1 million. Fully aware of your available resources, please consider at what level you would like to give. We are deeply grateful for whatever you would like to give. We will receive your pledge with open arms and appreciative hearts.
In closing I would like to leave you with the words of a great doctor of the Church. Addressing his Christians in the Fourth Century, St Gregory Nazianzen said:
Acknowledge whence you have existence, breath, and understanding… Acknowledge, and now I speak with daring, that you have been made divine. From where and from whom have all these benefits come to you?
Or, to turn to lesser matters, what you see with your eyes, who gave you the power to gaze on the beauty of the sky, the course of the sun, the circle of the moon, and the multitude of the stars? Who gave you the power to discern the harmony and order that shines out like music in them all?
From whom do you have the rain, agriculture, your food, crafts, dwelling houses, laws and constitutions, civilized life, friendship and intimacy with your relations…? Who made you lord and king over everything on earth? Without naming all the individual items, who gave man all the gifts by which he is superior to other living beings?
Surely the answer to all these questions is quite simply God…
Please continue to pray for the success of our capital campaign. I am so blessed to serve all of you who are phenomenally generous towards the parish. God bless you!
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...