St. Paul was one of the church’s greatest evangelizers. He shared passionately the need to grow in Christ and share our gifts of faith. At Christmas, I invited you to spend an extra hour a week in prayer. This hour is one of the best ways to nurture your faith. Take time to read and reflect on the Bible.
I am convinced, the more we learn about our faith, the more opportunities we find to share our gifts. For many of us these opportunities happen during casual conversations with our family and, perhaps, if we are as bold as St. Paul, with our friends and co-workers. It is during these short conversations that people sometimes find themselves being renewed in Christ.
Sharing the gift of our faith also happens in a tremendous way through your support of the Bishop’s Appeal. Last year, thousands of lives across northeastern Wisconsin were changed because of your support of the Bishop’s Appeal. For this I am grateful!
Last weekend the 2012 Bishop’s Appeal campaign launched in parishes across the diocese. The theme is “Renewed in Christ.” Helping people become renewed in their faith happens through ministries like Christ Renews His Parish. When you make a gift to the Bishop’s Appeal, you support thousands of Catholics eager to learn more about Jesus.
Your gift to the Bishop’s Appeal also helps more than 40,000 people through the caring outreach of Catholic Charities. Last year Catholic Charities received $907,813 from the 2011 Bishop’s Appeal campaign. Without your support they could not provide the help they do to strengthen families and assist communities throughout northeastern Wisconsin in moving people out of poverty.
As a result of the Bishop’s Appeal, Catholics make an indelible mark on the communities and families in our diocese. This impact happens through the work of our parishes, Catholic schools and the ministries of the Diocese of Green Bay. Please prayerfully consider making a generous pledge to the 2012 Bishop’s Appeal. One of the easiest ways to give a gift is by making a secure online gift at www.Catholicfoundationgb.org/gift.
Below is how your gifts to the 2011 Bishop’s Appeal were used to help fund the following ministries:
n 23 percent of the Appeal helped fund the diocesan Education Department’s work of providing Catholic schools and parish religious education programs the necessary tools to share our Catholic teachings with people of all ages.
n 18 percent helped fund Catholic Charities’ work of reaching out to people in need of mental health counseling, adoption services and budget counseling, to name a few of more than 20 programs.
n 17 percent helped fund Stewardship and Pastoral Services’ work of serving parish leaders through consultation, formation and resources.
n 15 percent funded the Evangelization, Living Justice and Worship Department’s work of providing opportunities for people to embrace and share their faith. These ministries also provide couples with preparation for marriage and assist people in understanding Catholic social teachings.
n 14 percent funded the Ministry Formation Department’s work of forming and training priests, deacons, parish directors and lay ministers.
n 9 percent funded the Bishop’s Appeal campaign.
n 4 percent funded the award-winning Compass diocesan newspaper.
Just as St. Paul’s life was changed dramatically with his conversion experience, we too have thousands of people each year whose lives are changed. It takes just one gift to make a difference. Please know whatever you are able to give is greatly appreciated and as St. Paul said, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”