Thank you Fr. Bloom for inviting us to speak to our parish about the Archdiocese of Seattle Annual Catholic Appeal. Thank you too, for being the shepherd of our parish, and for your obedience to our local shepherd, Archbishop Peter Sartain, and for your service to the Church of Western Washington.
My name is Thomas Jay and this is my wife, Lena. We have seven beautiful children and live in Skykomish. We recently moved to Skykomish, where I took the position of Superintendent at the school there. It’s at least a 45 minute drive to Mass at Saint Mary of the Valley each way, each Sunday, and a big sacrifice. Our family has been blessed beyond belief, but just like our sacrificial drive to Mass, being asked to give even more out of a tight budget is a huge sacrifice, too!
We are here talking to you today about the Annual Catholic Appeal. Yes, we are going to ask you to give, but to give for the Greater Honor and Glory of God!
The Annual Catholic Appeal is about being Catholic and recognizing there are priests and deacons to be trained, that our needy and our poor need many social services, growing and sustaining our Catholic schools, providing for our retired priests and nuns, and so much more!
The Annual Appeal allows you to join thousands of Catholics to support more than 60 ministries and services throughout Western Washington. Your support is essential to our mission – without YOU, without us, there would be no Church. Thanks to your generosity, our church is here in times of joy, and in times of need providing comfort and hope.
Each Sunday we tithe to St. Mary of the Valley Parish. The Annual Catholic Appeal is different from that of parish stewardship giving.
The Annual Catholic Appeal occurs in the Spring of each year. It’s an Archdiocesan campaign which is denominational. It supports over 60 ministries and services throughout Western Washington. Each year we pledge to the Archdiocese from May to April. Donations are processed through the Archdiocese.
This is different than the Parish Stewardship of Treasure drive which occurs in the Fall of each year and is a yearly pledge to our parish, January-December. These donations are processed through the parish.
As a former Catholic school principal who served the Archdiocese I know how difficult it is support Catholic Schools. I was the principal of an inner-city school in Tacoma that struggled and still struggles to this very day to keep its doors open. Without the support of the Archdiocesan Catholic Appeal we would not have been able to pay teachers and to keep the lights on.
There are 173 parishes and missions in the Archdiocese, serving 579,500 Catholics. When you give a gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal, your money goes to support over 60 ministries and services.
Some of the ministries supported by your gift include:
♦ Catholic Faith Formation
♦ Cultural & Ethnic Ministry
♦ Catholic Youth Organization
♦ Catholic Schools
♦ Youth and Young Adult Evangelization
♦ Sisters' Retirement
♦ Catholic Community Services
♦ Retired Priests' Medical Care & Priests' Pension
♦ Seminarian Formation
♦ Diaconate & Religious Life
♦ Lay Ministry Services
How does St. Mary of the Valley benefit from the Annual Catholic Appeal?
Parishes are direct recipients of the ministries and services supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal. In addition, any money received and exceeding the parish assigned goal is returned through a rebate to our parish to use for a stated project or as needed.
Our parish goal is: $62,247.
Our parish project is a new digital sign board to replace the wooden one out by the road.
We have a challenging 2017 goal. The goal for each parish is calculated on the basis of ordinary income, that is, the total donated in weekend offertory collections and Electronic Fund Transfers. Our parish income has risen, thank you!! However, this means that we are being asked to increase our Annual Catholic Appeal contribution. But that’s okay, we can do this together!
We are concentrating on making our 2017 goal, but any additional funds will go to the parish sign project. With more traffic on Columbia Street it would be good to have a new digital sign to announce our Mass schedule and parish events.
Like a good shepherd in St. Matthew’s Gospel Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith” (Matthew 6:26-30)!
Even in poverty we learn from Jesus in St. Mark’s Gospel of the parable of the widow’s mite, “And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on’” (Mark 12:41-44).
Please take the time to prayerfully discern how much God is calling you to give to the Annual Catholic Appeal.
How much should you give to the Annual Catholic Appeal?
Please consider donating 1% of your income to support the Church in Western Washington through the Annual Catholic Appeal.
The Archdiocesan average gift is $370. If you gave last year, please consider increasing your gift by 5%. If you did not give last year, would you consider a gift of $365? That’s $1 a day, or an automatic payment of $30 a month. It doesn’t sound like too much when we break it down. Gifts of any amount are welcome and appreciated - your gift will make a difference in the lives of thousands of your neighbors - Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
You may be able to potentially double your gift and help increase the amount of our parish rebate. I encourage you to ask your employer if they have a matching gift program—they will direct you how to apply for the match.
If you are not doing so already, I would ask you to please consider joining us in a gift of a dollar a day, or $365. If you set up an automatic payment like we do it will withdraw the payment from your account each month, so you don’t have to worry about it and you won’t forget about it. Give to God first, and all else will fall into place. If you cannot give at this level, please know that gifts of any amount are welcome.
I invite you at this time to find the envelope located in your pew and to fill it out today.
There are many ways to fulfill a pledge (take a look at all the ways listed on pledge envelope)
No down payment is needed (reminders will be mailed from the Archdiocese)
We encourage everyone to participate – if you can’t give financially, we ask you to offer a prayer—fill out the envelope and write in “prayer.”
Let us do all things for the greater Honor and Glory of God—“A Future Full of Hope”!
Like a good shepherd, God provides “A Future Full of Hope” for the Church of Western Washington through our sacrificial giving. Christ is counting on us, and so is Archbishop Peter Sartain and Fr. Bloom!
Pause & look at Father
Thank you Father Bloom and St. Mary of the Valley we are blessed to be here with you!