Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Annual Catholic Appeal 2006: “If not you … then who?”

by Chris Smith, for the Inland Register

(From the Jan. 12, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

With great hope and optimism I approach the promotion of the 2006 Annual Catholic Appeal.

Ninety-one percent of the diocese’s funding of its support programs and ministries is gained through this campaign. As the diocese’s newly hired Director of Development I still may be a learner when it comes to the administration of this campaign, but as a parishioner for the past 50 years my family and I are not strangers to the need for the funds it provides.

Over the years, we – like thousands of other Catholics throughout our diocese – have seen how the funds contributed to the ACA bless us with well-educated priests and deacons, strengthen the faith formation of our children and nurture the presence and service of the Church in our cities and towns. And that’s just the beginning of the list.....

This year’s need for funds is greater than ever before. As Catholics, we must not hesitate to step forward in response to the call to discipleship that each of us has received in our baptism. The mission of the Church is entrusted to us. Indeed, as we will hear often during this year’s ACA campaign, “If not you … then who?”

  How often priests, parents or teachers have announced that each of us is the recipient of God’s various gifts and graces! Indeed, we are responsible for responding honestly, generously and even sacrificially by engaging those gifts in building up God’s Kingdom. The parish is the fertile ground where our blessings are received, cultivated, harvested and distributed for the welfare of others, whether those recipients be in our own parish, the diocese, or the wider universal Church.

As diocesan Director of Development, I draw your attention to three important ways in which the 2006 ACA joins us together as a faith community in support of the mission and ministry of the Church throughout the Diocese of Spokane:

Prayerful Consideration: The contribution of money to help meet the needs of the Church properly springs from a rich spirituality. The Spirit prompts us to give. It’s in our nature as sons and daughters of God. Take time to pray about your pledge to the 2006 ACA.

Generous Involvement: This year’s campaign will be a parish-based effort which engages pastors and lay leaders in each parish. Through these ACA teams, in 100 percent of the parishes in the diocese, 100 percent of parishioners will be contacted as we join together to achieve 100 percent of our common goal. Each and every parishioner will have the opportunity to participate in this year’s ACA campaign. Lend a helping hand – as a contributing donor; a lay leader, or as a member of your parish’s ACA contact team.

Faithful Commitment: Even though our diocese struggles with the demands and tensions of bankruptcy litigation, the mission of the Church must continue. (Incidentally, this year’s campaign material offers a way to protect donations from use in Chapter 11 litigation.) God remains faithful to us. We, in turn, must remain steadfastly faithful to God. Despite the frustration and tension of our common plight, the ACA offers each of us an opportunity to be agents of good. If ever there were a time to pull together for a common goal, it is now.

Thank you for your generous support of the needs and ministries of our diocese through your pledge to the 2006 Annual Catholic Appeal. God’s blessings are so evident among us. Thank you for using those blessings well as we unite in the service of God’s Church and one another in these challenging times.

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