In Your Midst


March 2004

The CENTENNIAL CAMPAIGN (see the November issue!) has been quietly underway for several months. Raising six million dollars is a daunting task, but over one hundred undaunted volunteers are working hard to achieve this goal. They’re now gearing up to visit every household in our vast and far-flung parish. Their enthusiasm comes from their own commitment to the vision of the Centennial Campaign.

The Centennial Campaign Special Gifts Committee

Mike Barclay, a member of the campaign’s Major Gifts Committee, says: “Enhancing our parish’s ability to carry out our Gospel calling to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, provide a hand-up for housing: this campaign focus is at the core of our parish’s mission. It really sells itself.”

For Rose Southall, co-chair of the Special Gifts Committee, the goal is best described in the campaign’s motto: A Proud Past, An Exciting Present, A Promising Future. “Raising this money seemed impossible at first, but now we can see it taking place. It’s happening. This is truly an exciting present. What we’re all attempting to do together is create a legacy.”

Pat Whitney is another member of the Major Gifts Committee. “At first I thought, ‘I can’t take on another thing.’ But my husband and I talked about it, and prayed on it, and decided that this is really important.”

The first thing Pat did was personally make her own pledge. “Yet when I’m going out and making the calls, it’s not about donating money,” Pat says. “It’s about offering people an opportunity to get involved and experience the joy in giving. Father Ryan has such an earnest commitment toward the poor that he wants to make this happen. This campaign is truly about the corporal works of mercy.”

Dick Dion says: “The Family Kitchen, the Winter Shelter, The Hunthausen Fund: each one of these adds to the dignity of the people in our community, and enhances our ministry and outreach. People live with a great deal of insecurity in life, don’t know where their next meal is going to come from and where they’re going to sleep at night. And this is where the funds raised will make a significant difference in people’s lives.” “People need to see themselves as part of the Cathedral’s future,” his wife Peggy adds.

“The different examples of generosity at St. James amaze me,” Pat said. “I feel this campaign… strengthens my faith. It’s truly a call to action. There’s enough bad news in the paper. And this is a chance to see what’s good in people, to see everyone’s little candle in the darkness.”

Scout Colmant is a freelance writer and a member of the St. James Young Adults team.

Link to other articles in the March 2004 issue


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