Salutations! How are you today? I hope that you are doing well and staying warm. While I was originally born in Omaha, Nebraska, I have spent most of my 35 years of life here in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis in the Land of 10,000 Frozen Lakes. Throughout that time I have come to know thousands of generous men, women, and children who have strived to live our Catholic Christian faith in a way that is real and impactful.
We all know that it is not easy to be followers of Jesus Christ. On a daily basis we are called to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and allow our Savior to lead us through difficult moments and experiences of suffering. We are told that we should have a prayerful concern for the well-being of others. The “Golden Rule” that we have been taught is to “Do unto others as you would have them to do you” (Matthew 7:21). Within our spiritual family, in the Body of Christ, we know that there are those who are in great need of help. Ultimately, we are compelled by the Love and Mercy of Christ to do something concrete and to reach out in a way that is compassionate and prudent.
There are so many wonderful organizations and charities that do just that at the local level, the state level, the national level, and at the international level as well. Throughout the year we take up various collections during Mass to pledge our support for our brothers and sisters in their time of need. One very special collection that we are doing in a couple of days is called the Catholic Services Appeal or the CSA for short.
This is a non-profit foundation that was established to help facilitate the giving process of faith-filled believers for a variety of needs. For this year of 2021 there are twenty distinct ministries and forms of outreach that are supported through the CSA that includes: Catholic education (like our Immaculate Conception Grade School), Pro-Life initiatives, Catholic Charities Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Latino Ministries, the Venezuelan Mission (where I had served for three years), Hospital Chaplains (like Fr. Bruno who lives at Immaculate Conception but ministers to patients and families at North Memorial Hospital) and so much more.
Last year we had 195 parishioners/families that supported the Catholic Services Appeal Foundation with $32,121 in total donations. This year our goal is 200 donors and $33,457 from the Immaculate Conception parish family.
Over the last couple of weeks at the weekend Masses we’ve been collecting envelopes with your pledges. You can also feel free to send them into the parish office or go online to donate: csafspm.org. Whether you pledge $1 or $100,000 or somewhere in between your contribution will go to help these beautiful and life-changing ministries. So that you are aware, if we reach our goal of $33,457 we will also receive 25% of all additional contributions that will then positively affect the lives of our own parish family.
From the depths of my own heart, on behalf of those who will benefit from your generosity this year I want to thank you very very much. Take care and have a great rest of this week!