6/27/12 | 455 views
Stewardship Appeal Surpasses Goal, Raises More Than $19 Million
Thanks to the generosity of the people of the archdiocese, the 2012 Stewardship Appeal has surpassed its goal with more than $19 million raised for the charitable works of the Church.
Cardinal Dolan thanked pastors, parish volunteers and members of the Appeal staff present at the annual volunteer appreciation dinner June 19 at the Cardinal Spellman Recreational Center on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie. The total in pledges raised as of that day was $19,065,209.
“A few months ago, I said ‘Please help us,’” said Cardinal Dolan to the 400 guests in attendance. “This evening, I say, ‘Thank you.’ ”
The cardinal shared a personal experience from his trip to Rome for the consistory in which he was elevated to cardinal. One of the events, he said, allowed him and the group traveling with him to spend a half an hour in the Sistine Chapel. He said while there he looked up and beheld Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment.”
The cardinal said the painting offered a moment of reflection in a time of celebration. He said it reminded him of the questions he would be asked when he comes before the Lord.
“Jesus is going to ask, ‘Did you feed the hungry? Did you clothe the naked? Did you visit those in prison? Did you teach the kids? Did you reach out to the discouraged? Did you help the homeless? Did you pass on the faith?’ ”
The cardinal then added, “And I, on that day, might be able to say, ‘Jesus, I think I did,’ because of the people of the Archdiocese of New York that helped in our annual Archdiocesan Stewardship Appeal. They allow the Archdiocese of New York, which I’m proud to shepherd, to do that in your name.”
Channon Lucas, director of the Stewardship Appeal, announced that pledges were still coming in. In an interview, she said, “I think reaching the $19 million demonstrates the incredible generosity of the people of the archdiocese.”
Ms. Lucas continued, “This year, the Appeal goal was increased by a million dollars. That entire million is designated to support the essential work of Catholic Charities. There is something very wonderful about investing in what you love.”
Another goal for the Appeal was to raise the number of donors. Ms. Lucas noted that more than 60,000 families have donated to date. “We are about on par with where we were last year in terms of the number of donors, but the campaign is still active until the end of the year,” she said. “It is my hope that by the end of the year, the people of the archdiocese will also answer Cardinal Dolan’s request to increase the number of families who participate in this campaign.”
Father Eric Rapaglia, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in the Bronx, said to raise awareness of the Appeal in his parish, announcements were made, a letter-writing campaign was initiated and an audio clip that featured Cardinal Dolan speaking about the Appeal was played at Mass. Although his parish has not yet reached its goal, Father Rapaglia said, “Our parishioners are very generous. We did our best, but it’s not always easy to meet the goal, especially in this economy.”
Rita Calabro has volunteered on the Appeal campaign for 20 years at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish. “We try our best to get people to participate,” she said. “Every little bit helps. If everybody gives a little, it all adds up.”
Her message to parishioners is, “Give what you can. That’s the important part.”
Three members were inducted into the Stewardship Appeal Hall of Fame by Helen Lowe, executive director of the Archdiocesan Development Office. They were Pedro Calderon of St. Anthony of Padua parish in the Bronx; Roland Faucher of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Shrub Oak and Donna Mazzola of St. Mary parish in Mount Vernon.
Father Alfredo Monteiro, administrator at St. Mary’s in Mount Vernon, said his parish achieved its goal. “Every Sunday, I was encouraging them,” he said. “They were listening and really became a part of this Appeal and helping the poor, schools, our immigrants and different ministries of the archdiocese.”
He acknowledged the work of Ms. Mazzola, one of the Hall of Fame inductees.
Ms. Mazzola said, “I’ve worked with the Appeal for about 20 years. It’s a worthy cause. There are some churches that are really suffering and they need the help.”
She praised her parish for its involvement. “Everybody gave something, even if they couldn’t give what they gave before. It has to be a parish effort.”
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