There has never been an Annual Catholic Appeal theme that was more applicable to the lives of our entire diocesan community than this year’s theme, “One Faith, One Family.”
Together, as one family of God, we are experiencing a pandemic gripping the entire world. Whether we live in Norwich, Denver, London or Rome, we are overwhelmed with the same fear, the same sadness and the same anxiety.
In addition to our shared concerns for the health of our loved ones, many of us have directly experienced or know someone who has directly experienced the loss of a job or financial security. These are certainly times like no other, for which none of us have any definitive answers. It is against this backdrop that I share some insights into the office where I work, the Diocesan Office of Development.
As many of you know, the administration of the Annual Catholic Appeal is one of the duties for which our office is responsible. This is a very serious undertaking, as it provides the financial support necessary for diocesan ministries to carry out their transformative missions. These missions run the gamut, from educating our seminarians so we can attend Mass, be baptized, confirmed, married, and receive all of our sacraments from birth through death; to educating our youth in our diocesan schools and faith formation programs; to caring for our ill and dying; to strengthening our spiritual lives; and fortifying our physical lives with food, clothing and other basic needs.
It is clear that our ACA supported ministries are critical to life as we know it. As we continue to face uncertain times, our commitment to this mission is increasingly important. Some of our other responsibilities include fundraising campaigns such as the Elementary School Campaign and planned giving efforts. We help people plan how they will support the diocese, or their parish or school, by making structured gifts during or after their lives and the establishment of endowments through work with the Catholic Foundation.
We also hold events that support our mission, such as the Seton Scholarship Dinner, which annually honors three people who have had tremendous impact on education within our diocese; the Christopher Dinner, which recognizes donors who have made a significant commitment to the ACA; and the ACA Ministry Fair, which provides an opportunity for attendees to learn more about our ministries while speaking with ministry representatives.
While the COVID-19 crisis caused the postponement of both our Ministry Fair and our Christopher Dinner, we hope that our Seton Scholarship Dinner scheduled for October 25th will not be affected. During this period, we continue to work hard, doing as much from our homes as possible and limiting our time in the office. While the official launch of the ACA and the showing of our ACA video was postponed, we hope that everyone who has received our ACA mailing takes the time to complete their envelopes and make a gift or pledge.
We know that everyone is feeling scared during these uncertain times. However, many of our neighbors are facing an additional burden as they are out of work and unable to provide for their families. We know that people cannot give what they do not have but if you are able, please consider making a gift to support our mission during this critical time. Your support will allow our ministries, St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich, St. Vincent de Paul, Middletown, and Catholic Charities, Norwich, New London, Willimantic and Middletown to provide much needed food and support.
Each time we decide to support the Annual Catholic Appeal, we put our faith into action. We recognize through our action that we are “One Faith, One Family” and only by working together and helping each other through this adversity will we succeed. With each gift, we are making a declaration that we trust God, that we are putting ourselves in His hands and that He is working to join all of us together as one, today, during this crisis and always.
As Pope Francis said in his “Urbi et Orbi” blessing in March, we are in the same boat together. Let us row in the same direction and in perfect unison as we have never done before.
Please go online to watch our ACA video at www.norwichdiocesedevelopment.org . You may also donate or pledge online at the same site. If you have any questions, please contact our Campaign Manager, Susan Underhill, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also call our office at (860) 886-1928 and leave a message if nobody is available. Thank you so much for your kindness.