Today we begin the Annual Diocesan Appeal campaign, to support the work and ministries of our Bishop for the Diocese of San Jose. We became a diocese in 1982 and for the past 34 years each Bishop has asked all the parishioners in all the parishes to fund the work of the Diocese. The ADA is the primary financial support for those offices and departments the Bishop is required to have, taking care of priests who are retired and the deacons, supporting the Vocation office and our seminarians, the Office of the Bishop, Office for Parish Services, Operational Services, the Tribunal and the Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults. The ADA supports the common services and programs across all the parishes.
As Bishop McGrath writes in the brochure our theme this year is “Rejoicing in God’s Mercy, Together in Christ,” reflecting the call of Pope Francis for an Extraordinary Jubilee to celebrate God’s everlasting and abiding mercy. Pope Francis is hoping that “the Church is the house that welcomes all and refuses no one.” It is a message we hope goes out to all the corners of our Diocese welcoming people every Sunday, every day they wish to worship or need our support. By supporting this appeal, we enable the Bishop and our local church to show the face of Christ to all who come and for all to whom we strive to reach out to by our welcome and hospitality.
This year’s brochure features the work of Fr. Joe Kim and the Evangelization Initiative in our Diocese, the Catholic Network to End Human Trafficking, and one of our retired priests, Msgr. Joseph Milani, giving us a sample of how the Annual Appeal works across all the parishes.
Every parish is given a specific goal based on the parish’s annual Sunday collection total; happily our goal only increased $6 to $76,636 and we added a modest challenge goal of $3,364 for a total of $80,000. You have been so generous in the past, last year 236 households in the parish participated in the campaign; our average gift was $429. I trust that you will participate again this year or participate for the first time. The ADA office calculated we had 57.7% participation, more than twice the diocesan average. I challenge us to reach 75% participation rate this year. I am asking each family to consider a gift of $400 or more so that we can reach our goal, payable over 10 months, or $40 per month. Remember every dollar collected over our goal comes back to the parish before the end of the calendar year. Every gift is appreciated, no gift is too small; no gift is too great; all gifts are welcome. Please prayerfully consider your gift to the ADA this year in addition to your support of the parish and the Capital Campaign for the rectory remodel. We have an amazing parish and I am ever grateful for your support, your commitment, and your dedication. Together we can reach and surpass our goal.
Blessings – Father Larry