In Your Midst

From the Desk of the Pastor

July 2004

Dear Friends,

The Cathedral’s CENTENNIAL CAMPAIGN has brought blessings I never anticipated. And I’m not referring to the incredible amount of money contributed by a relatively small number of people within a very few months. No, I’m referring to the blessing that has come to me every time I have written a note of thanks to a donor. To see each name is to experience a blessing, and each name prompts me to say a quiet prayer of gratitude to God for the privilege of serving such amazing people.

Some people have accompanied their pledge form with a personal note or letter. Let me share with you a small sampling of these.

One came from a young couple about to get married. They pledged a large gift but explained at some length why it wasn’t as large as they would like it to be. “We feel,” they wrote, “that [this amount] is the more prudent for us to commit to on the eve of our wedding and still have the means to provide tithing for the weekly collection and a monthly gift for the St. Vincent de Paul Society.” They went on to say how they believed they would be able to give more within a couple of years, and ended by relating how their lives had been “a living testament to God’s grace and generosity. We owe God that much and more!”

Another note came from an elderly woman who explained that her monthly income only provided enough for rent, food, and utilities. “As much as I want to, I simply cannot make a donation or a pledge. But I pledge my prayers each day for the success of the campaign.” I am more than grateful for her gift, and I do believe her prayers are being answered!

Still another response came from a parishioner who has always been more than generous in support of the parish and the Archdiocese. He jotted a note on the pledge form telling me that he had thought and prayed about the amount we were asking (a six-figure gift) and that he had decided to give two-and-a-half times that amount!

And then there’s the senior parishioner who said that her means were limited but that she was going to give $1 dollar a week until the entire $6 million goal was reached!

You see what I mean by blessings. Each of these stories, and many more like them, have made me stop and “remove my shoes” before the “holy ground” on which so many of you, the parishioners of St. James Cathedral, are standing. You are indeed a blessing!


Father Michael G. Ryan

Read more about the Centennial Campaign.

Link to other articles in the July 2004 issue

Back To In Your Midst Page