March 5, 2017

Friends, 

This weekend is the Kickoff weekend for the 2017 Archdiocesan Catholic Appeal. As you know, this annual collection is taken up in each parish because we know we have a responsibility to support the 
Archdiocese of Boston as they support us. Some parishes are struggling and some of the programs and ministries sponsored by the Archdiocese are struggling. All proceeds of the Catholic Appeal help to assure the future of those who presently are unable to survive and thrive on their own. I know there are those among us who do not trust the Archdiocese or who believe that we should not be expected to support their financial needs. I respect that choice, but I disagree. 

I would never ask any of our parishioners to participate financially if I was not making the commitment myself. I could say, as many of you could, that I give every week to the offertory collection, I contribute to the second collections, I support the retired priests at Christmas and Easter, I give to the Grand Annual Collection, I respond to the retired sisters' plea in November, what do you want me to do? 

Someone asked me recently "Why do you say that you love the Church and what do you mean by that?" There are various meanings to the word "church." It is the beautiful buildings in which we celebrate our faith, it is the institution which consists of our history, leadership and teachings, and it is the people who celebrate with us, as well as those who cannot or do not for many reasons. I get attached to buildings, I respect the institution, but I live among our parishioners. It is their stories that I hear and respect. As you know, some stories are more tragic than others, some stories are devastating to those living them. The "church" has the privilege of intervening and supporting those "storytellers." I may not hear every story but someone does and even if I don't know the details, I have heard similar stories in my own parishes. My understanding of being a disciple of Christ is being called not only to respond to those I know, but to those I will never know. People enter the military for the same reasons; to protect those they know and those they will never know. 

The Catholic Church is among the most charitable organizations in the world. That generosity is not just from the Pope, bishops, priests, deacons and religious; it is the result of Catholic people, citizens of the Church, parishioners like ourselves realizing that we have a proud history and want to build on it in the 21st century.

Every parish has a Catholic Appeal goal based on Offertory, Grand Annual and Rental Income. St. Anne's goal is $22,623. St Pius X's goal is $14,671. Most Precious Blood's goal is $47,124 (includes rental income). Last year we are proud to report that both St Anne and St Pius X surpassed their goals, and we received 60% of that surplus. Most Precious Blood is unable to reach their goal due to the addition of rental income (MPB has to make up the difference). 

Many who contributed in the past received a letter directly from Cardinal O'Malley for this year's pledge. Others may pick up a pledge envelope at the doors of the Church. They can be mailed directly or dropped in the Collection basket over the next few weeks. Please stipulate your parish so that the donation is credited toward your parish's goal. 

Many of us are able to enjoy life and support ourselves through working or while retired, and we have many choices as to how we will contribute to the various charities and causes that approach us. In cases like ours, it is not a matter of cost but a matter of priority. I ask you to consider making the Catholic Appeal a priority for 2017. 

Sincerely, 
Fr. Ron Coyne

 

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