February 20 – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today in parishes throughout the Diocese of Joliet the Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal (CMAA) is announced. The theme of this year’s appeal is “Devoted to the works of the Lord.” This appeal funds the many ministries coordinated by the Diocese of Joliet that serve 545,000 Catholics through all our parishes in the seven county Diocese of Joliet as well as the administrative offices that are necessary to operate as a Diocese. The works of the Lord enabled by your support of the CMAA include the many services available to those in need through Catholic Charities – like the mobile food pantry that we host monthly at OLM as well as other sites throughout the Diocese. Over 19,000 nights of shelter and housing are provide to the homeless. The Appeal helps fund Young Adult and Youth Ministry programs that serve approximately 25,500 of our youth and young adults. The Diocesan Religious Education office provides oversight, guidance, support, training and services for our Directors of family evangelization and catechesis, Mary Jo and Dave. Funds from the CMAA also provide the funding to educate the future priests who will serve our parishes. Right now, there are 26 seminarians being educated for priestly service in our diocese. The CMAA also provide funding for our Diocesan Catholic Schools Office, which provides oversight, assistance and direction to the 51 elementary/high schools educating over 16,000 students in our Diocese. Most importantly, by supporting the annual CMAA, you support the local Church. We are all members of our parish and the Universal Church, which we support financially. The Diocese of Joliet is our Local Church, which also needs your financial support.
Once again this year, I ask your support for the CMAA. Our parish goal this year is $152,000. Every year that I have been pastor of OLM, we have not only met our parish goal, but surpassed it and have received a rebate check from the Diocese. Our rebate for last year’s appeal was $12,500. This is my last time as a pastor to make an appeal for you to support the annual CMAA of the Diocese. Wouldn’t it be nice to go over the goal again and provide the new pastor with some extra funds for ministry at OLM!
May I also ask for your prayerful support as I navigate my new cancer diagnosis. As I shared with you last weekend at Mass, the kidney cancer I had six years ago, has returned and spread to my lungs.
Have a blessed week!