In Your Midst

Help One Another

Spring 2000

In This Issue:
Each of us, in our own way, helps others. For some it may be volunteering at a homeless shelter or food kitchen or traveling to a third world country to help build roads, housing and hospitals. For others it may be helping a parish Finance Council or Religious Education program. To some it is financial support for good people engaged in good works.

The avenues and opportunities to help are numerous, each a wonderful expression of caring for others. Each gift of time and treasure is an opportunity to turn the world around and make a difference in one or more lives. It feels good because it feels right.

I’ve often wondered what we could accomplish if our considerable numbers concentrated for one brief moment in exactly the same direction on exactly the same challenge. It may be akin to a dark concert hall full of people, who completely illuminate that huge space simply by striking a match in unison. A single match is barely seen, but the collected brilliance created when everyone strikes a match is enough to blind! What a lesson!

In essence, that is exactly what the Archdiocese of Seattle accomplishes each year at this time with its Annual Catholic Appeal. The Archdiocese asks each of us to look in the same direction for one brief moment and concentrate on moving the work of the Archdiocese forward. But this year there is a special opportunity as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of our Archdiocese, an opportunity to give thanks for the magnificent Gift of Faith we have all received.

We are asked to give a little extra this year, not only to maintain the important annual diocesan ministries, but also to: 1) Show gratitude for our retired priests and sisters who schooled us in our faith; 2) Help pass our faith on to thenext generation through Catholic schools and communities; 3) Provide for those struggling with faith in hard times through Catholic Commu-nity Services; 4) Support those whose faith will lead to a lifetime commitment — our 32 seminarians; 5) Buy land to develop new parishes to accommodate the Catholic growth in our diocese.

Your “Gift of Faith” contribution in support of these 5 goals for the 150th Anniversary year becomes the match you strike against the darkness of poverty, injustice, and ignorance. Add your beam of light to illuminate and support acts of kindness, education and forgiveness. The Annual Catholic Appeal defines who we are as an Archdiocese . . . it places us in a unique position to “lead-by-example” in a world hungry for understanding and compassion. This year we have the opportunity to accomplish more as we focus our energies on this very special celebration.

Rick Oldenburg is Director of Development for St. James Cathedral and a member of the Washington Planned Giving Council.

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