Jesus calls us, as his disciples, to a new way of life—the Christian way of life—of which stewardship is part. But Jesus does not call us as nameless people in a faceless crowd. He calls us individually, by name. Each one of us—clergy, religious, lay person; married, single; adult, child—has a personal vocation. God intends each one of us to play a unique role in carrying out the divine plan. The challenge, then, is to understand our role—our vocation—and to respond generously to this call from God. Christian vocation entails the practice of stewardship. In addition, Christ calls each of us to be stewards of our personal vocations, which we receive from God.
CATHOLIC SERVICES APPEAL
It is time for the annual appeal by which the Diocese of Erie and her respective parishes raise revenue to carry on our respective ministries. The promotional materials being distributed, FAITH Magazine and bulletin fliers, explain how the Diocese uses the portion it assesses from parishes; last week and this week some of those materials were included in our weekly bulletins and you can read them at your leisure.
The Diocese wants to be clear that the CSA money is used for its various ministries and is separate from the funds used for legal fees and victim reimbursement as a result of child abuse.
In recent years we have piggy-backed on this appeal to raise funds for our own parish projects: the renewal of the Social Hall and kitchen, repair of the garage floor, improved lighting around the church and parking lot as well as last year’s effort to upgrade the technology in all of our buildings and install smart TV’s in the classrooms while setting the groundwork for projection capabilities in the church and Social Hall. What a remarkable effort!
This year, our Diocesan assessment is $51, 942, a $2,493 increase over last year’s CSA goal of $49,449. Last year our combined goal was $106,700 and we realized over $98,000 of that due to your generous response. For that I am truly grateful.
The Diocese subsidizes Prince of Peace Center to the tune of $140,000 this year, and over the past several years our local Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Office (in Sharon) has received around $50,000 from the Diocese. That’s $190,000 that comes back, right here to Mercer County from the assessment we send to Erie. We can’t say, “All our money goes to Erie,” or create a wedge that separates us from the wider Church.
This year our parish projects are quite simple: (1) replacement of doors and windows on the rectory garage which are “original equipment” ($3700) and, (2) increased security for the buildings on campus, enhancing the intruder alert system we already have installed by Guardian Protection Services several years ago. Guardian proposed a wide-ranging enhancement including video cameras, motion sensors and monitors for both the rectory and Faith Formation Center, as well as a more sophisticated response alert in the church. Their bid came in at $23,000, with an additional $1200 annual monitoring agreement. These improvements will make it safer for our children as well as for the staff.
Our Building and Grounds Committee reviewed the bids, suggesting we also replace the hardware on the classroom doors ($1500), enabling them to be locked from the inside. They further recommended we consult with Guardian and prioritize which elements of their proposal we feel we need at this time. We have yet to get a bid on some moderate renovations we want on the rectory entrance and added security protocols for the secretary.
So, our CSA for 2019 looks like this:
$51,942 Diocesan Assessment
$ 3,750 Garage doors/windows
$23,000 Guardian Security proposal
$ 1,500 Classroom door hardware
$ 1,200 Annual subscription fee
$ 3,000 Rectory office renovation (ball park figure)
Not only will we be helping people right here in the Valley, but also improving and securing our own children and parishioners here on our campus. Please pray over your pledge and thanks for your historic and generous support. I really think we can do this!
Below is a link to the Catholic Services Appeal video for 2019 for the Diocese of Erie where Bishop Persico asks us to move "Forward Together" .