Last weekend, we began our annual diocesan appeal, renamed this year, Living and Giving in Christ; Unity Through Diocesan Ministries. We felt a change of name was necessary to more appropriately capture the nature of the appeal, namely, to fund the ministries provided by the Diocese of Cheyenne.
Our Development Director, Matt Potter, has worked hard putting materials together for this year’s Living and Giving in Christ, as well as travelled many miles to continue the necessary and important work of building relationships with diocesan leaders.
I’d like to share a few thoughts here, and then share with you this year’s video. First of all, it is important for all to realize that we are only capable of providing the ministries on a regular and consistent basis which we can sustain and support through our annual budget.
Presently, only about 60% of our diocesan budget is funded through the annual appeal. The remainder of funding comes through generous grants from Catholic Extension Society, the US Bishop’s Home Missions Grant, and an annual grant from our Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation. While we are grateful to each of the organizations that so generously support our work as a diocese, I wish to challenge each member of our diocese to help grow the “local support” of our “local Church”.
I am glad I can tell you that our diocesan staff are good stewards of the gifts you entrust to us. One added “feature” you can look forward to every fall is an accountability report generated by our Diocesan Finance Office. We are committed to generating a balanced budget every year, and living within those parameters.
At the same time, we will promulgate a new diocesan strategic plan this July 1. Those priorities will require additional funding, and that is why I am prayerfully hopeful for a successful appeal this year. Our priorities are 1) Sacraments, 2) Catechesis, 3) Evangelization, 4) Youth, 5) Young Adults, 6) Family Life and Vocations, and 7) Stewardship. Our leadership team will meet next Friday to bring the final components of this plan together.
Living and Giving in Christ is analogous to the Sunday collection taken in the parish each week. Parishes can only accomplish what their parishioners support through their contributions. Likewise, the Diocese can only accomplish what the diocesan-wide “parishioners” support through this appeal.
One final addition this year is the production of a Living and Giving in Christ video. Please take some time to watch the video, it is about twelve minutes long. Then, if you have not yet made a contribution to this year’s appeal, may I ask you to please prayerfully consider doing so? You may 1) visit our diocesan website and donate online, 2) return the pledge card you hopefully received at home, or 3) call your parish office for the materials you need. We need your support!
One thing all of us can do is PRAY. Please pray for the success of our appeal, that we may continue to Live and Give in Christ, and accomplish the work Christ calls us to do in His name.