April 7 and 8 2018 Second Sunday of Easter
(One Church, Many Disciples: Capital Campaign)
My sisters and brothers in Christ.
Today the scriptures summarize and interesting fact about the early Christian community.
The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
This is an idealized picture of the early community. If you read on in
The Acts of the Apostles you find that the unity is stressed and the disagreements over property and and donations to the Church get complicated. We see in Acts a community that struggles with sin. Like us, the early church, needed abundant graces to be faithful.
A second fact that has long interested me is found in the Gospel. Thomas appears. Thomas is famously known as the “Doubting Thomas”.
When people ask me about my interest in “clarity” about
the use of Parish facilities,
forms that need to be filled out before the Parish bus is “borrowed”,
my desire to see requests in writing and
my interest in seeing my signature authorizing activities my standard answer is this: “My name is Thomas and unless I see, I tend to doubt.”
Today is “Kick off Saturday / Sunday here at Saint Patrick’s. What are we “Kicking Off”?
We are “Kicking Off” not a football but the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign.
This is the first capital Campaign in the history of our Archdiocese.
With the Beatification of Father Stanley Rother we are entering a new, deeper, more loving and more sacrificial phase of our history as a Church.
After reflection, prayer and years of planning the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign has begun.
The campaign’s goal is to raise a minimum of $60 million dollars.
The campaign is designed to provide
for each local parishes’ pressing needs,
to provide a shrine to honor Father Rother,
to fund ministries focused on Evangelization, Faith formation and Hispanic Ministry.
Today, we at Saint Patrick’s join twenty eight other parishes as the second group to participate in the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign.
$60 million dollar is not a small amount but 60% ot the $60,000 is already pledged. There are two more groups of parishes that will participate in the campaign over the next year after our group of twenty nine parishes make our pledges.
I believe Christians should share what we have as the first Reading reminds us.
Being named Thomas I doubted that the goal was achievable.
I honestly thought it was an impossible dream and I wondered who came up with that startling amount: $60,000,000.
I have been at the business of fundraising for churches for a number of years. I have been asked to give to many organizations. Most of my giving is to Church related causes. The first priority on my list is giving to my, your, our parish.
The One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign engaged my cynicism, doubts and disbelief. I began to change my opinion about the campaign the more I learned about the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign.
The enthusiasm of the priests in Group One of the campaign I thought came from their lack of experience or their abundant charm or their good luck.
The fact that helped me decide to be the first person to pledge from our parish was that we will receive 20% back of the amount that we raise. I have been giving to my parish and my special causes for many years but I have never been told that I, or in this case, “we” will get 20% of what we give back!
Our parish goal is $405,000 (Four hundred five thousand dollars).
Since it is our Parish goal it seemed larger to me than the $60,000,000 (sixty million dollars) total goal for the whole Archdiocese.
I made a few calls to some of you in about a two week period. To my utter amazement the first thirteen pledges raised $202,800. This is 50% of our goal.
I am not in the money raising business. I am not competing with anyone or any parish for being “first” at anything.
However, It is interesting to me that the highest percentage of the goal pledged, among the twenty nine parishes in our group, since our phase of the campaign began fell to a most unlikely, to me, parish.
The parish that raised the highest percentage of their goal is located at 19th and North Portland. I affectionately refer to us as “Saint Pat’s”.
Congratulations to all of you who stepped up to the plate and gave sacrificially to this worthy cause.
Congratulations to all who will have the opportunity to help us meet our goal.
I ask that you keep and open mind and heart and pocket book to learn more about the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign.
The campaign prayer cards are in the pews. We will pray this prayer weekly during the campaign. I encourage you to pray the prayer often.
Let us now pray the prayer.
If you would like to learn more about the campaign please come to the Parish Hall for a brief video about the “One Church, Many Disciples” Capital Campaign.
I thank you for your kind attention and your amazing generosity.