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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,

For the next couple of weeks, at least part of my column will be dedicated to the Annual Appeal. If you were at church last weekend, I hope I made my case for your participation in this year’s Appeal. In the presentation, I stressed that third segment, Caring for the Poor and Vulnerable. I had no intention of slighting the other segments, Proclaiming the Gospel, Passing on the Faith and Forming Future Priests and Supporting Retired Clergy (where I expect to be in the not-to-distant future). They are all essential elements of the Church’s mission. But since the Sunday Readings stressed “sharing your food with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless,” and letting “your good deeds shine before,” I thought it a good time to stress how the Archdiocese supports these Gospel imperatives by its support of Catholic Charities, particularly the Agency’s ministry to the homeless, which it does through its shelters. I don’t want to repeat it here but if you go to the parish website, my full homily, and the Cardinal’s video message, can be found on the homepage. You can’t miss them. The one is contained within the other.

I want to say a word or two about the process for donating. There are several ways. Most of our parish households should have received a solicitation in the mail, with a pre- printed card. Please reflect on your gift, fill out the card and mail it in the enclosed envelope. You will notice it’s going to a “counting house,” rather than the office in Newark. It proved impossible to keep up with the returns with the staff on hand at the Chancery and economically unsound to hire more staff just for these months so it was resourced out. If you didn’t get a solicitation in the mail, there are still Pledge Envelopes in the pews of the church this weekend. OR. You can go to the homepage of our website. On the very top of the left hand side of the page you will find an icon that will take you directly to the donation page for the Archdiocese. In both these last two instances, please be sure to include the name of our parish so the parish gets the credit.

What credit? Each parish is assigned two goals, based on its ordinary revenue. One is the base goal, one is the stretch goal. Our stretch goal is the same as last year, $137,423. The amount raised over the Stretch Goal comes back to the parish as a rebate. The last two years, because of Covid, it has been 100% over goal back to the parish. This year the campaign has gone back to the previous years’ formula, 50% back to the parish; the remaining 50% to needy parishes and because of Covid there are many of them. While that may not be coming back to us, it is going to other parishes in the Archdiocese which are really struggling and that’s not a bad thing. The final rebate will be determined by the amount of funds collected by December 31, 2023, but on funds pledged by June 30, 2023. So, it’s imperative to make a pledge by June 30, even if no payment is made until December.

I mention this because I know some make gifts at the close of the year. That’s great, but make the pledge before June 30th. Last year, only $2378 remained uncollected on a pledged amount of $332,835. I know this can get a little confusing but a guiding principle might be, pledge as soon as possible and do the same with the payment but know you have until December 31, 2023.

Lastly, I repeat what has always been my aim and my theme. It is the invitation to every household in our parish to join the 481 households who participated in the campaign last year. I hope I convinced you in my homily, especially with the true story of the 9 million dollar gift to Catholic Charities that the Archdiocese is committed to the four segments of this Appeal. Those segments are works the Church must continue to carry on and your help is the only way it can do that. Last year the number of donors increased by 62, I hope this year we can double that increase. More (but less because it will be the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday) next week.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron



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