Fr. Britto's Blog

Annual Catholic Appeal 2020

When we travel outside the country, we often get a different perspective on life and the world. We discover that people in other parts of the world are so much like us even though we have different languages, customs and culture. We suddenly become aware that we are part of a bigger reality; we are, in a certain sense, members of the global family. In the same way, when we visit St Peter’s Basilica in Rome we hear so many languages spoken there. We suddenly realize that we are part of the Universal Church. As Catholics, we are not identified merely with our local parish. We are part of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the global Catholic Church.

Every year when the Annual Catholic Appeal comes around we are reminded that we are part of the Archdiocese of Chicago. It is that time of the year again. The Cardinal, our shepherd, approaches us on behalf of many parishes, schools and communities that lack the resources that we here at St Paul’s can take for granted. More than two-thirds of the funds raised by the appeal go towards parishes and schools that do not possess the financial muscle to remain open.  The rest of the money is used to support the many departments and agencies that assist parishes and schools in the exercise of their ministry to their local communities. Although sometimes I wish the bureaucracy could be leaner, it does provide an important and necessary service. Whether it is the department of canonical services or the office for Catholic schools, we could not function without their help.

We will be taking pledges to the Annual Catholic Appeal the weekend of February 15/16 and I encourage you to be as generous as possible. I am sure you give to many causes and organizations. As we say, however, charity begins at home. We try to help our own family and everyone in our diocese is family to us. Please do not be concerned that any of your donations will be used to settle sexual abuse cases. The Cardinal himself has assured us over and over again that monies collected by the appeal will be used only for the stated purposes. They will not be used to pay lawyers or victims.

In the past we have been a very generous parish in this regard. We have always exceeded our goal. I am only encouraging you to continue to do what you have done in the past. I would encourage those of you who have not given in the past to consider giving this year. The needs are many.

I do have a selfish motive in encouraging your generosity. As you know, whenever a parish exceeds its set goal, the surplus money comes back to the parish. Thanks to your bounty, we have been able to complete several projects in the last few years. Several years ago we used the surplus (along with bequest money) to install new boilers in the church. The following year the surplus enabled us to acquire new software for the parish database and also to create a new website. With the rebate we received from the appeal we can do certain other capital projects that we would otherwise postpone.

Believe me, when I was in the seminary I told myself that I would not ask my parishioners for money. And yet, once I became pastor I realized that we do need money. St Theresa of Avila who was a wise woman said: “I alone can do nothing. Jesus and I can do many things. Jesus, I and money can do everything.” She is a doctor of the Church. She should know what she is talking about.

I leave you with the words the Cardinal says in his appeal to the entire diocese:

His healing gifts of peace, love, mercy and truth are needed now more than ever in our Church, our nation, our world, and in our families. We all need Christ’s healing, and when we accept it, he empowers us to be his healing presence in our world. Healing others has always been the proof of the discipleship we share as a community. Through the Annual Catholic Appeal, we together join Christ in his great work, by helping parishes and schools in need, supporting programs of faith formation, and those that promote justice, peace, and respect for life. But, we also reach out to the world, to bring healing to people who suffer natural disasters, famine, homelessness and war. All of this makes a difference because it is the work of Christ.

May the God Who knows the heart reward you abundantly for your gift to the Appeal! The prayers of the entire archdiocese and of our parish will sustain you.

Who is Fr. Britto?

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...

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St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068


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Phone: (847) 825-7605
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Mass Schedule

Sunday

7:30 a.m. - Upper Church
9 a.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel
10:30 a.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel
12 p.m. - Upper Church
5:30 p.m. - Upper Church

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8:30 a.m. - Upper Church

Saturday

8 a.m. - Upper Church
4:30 p.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel