From the Desk of Fr. Underwood:
Please Read And Pray About This! This weekend, the 2018 Fruitful Harvest Appeal begins in our parish and throughout the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. This is an opportunity to unite with all Catholics in our Diocese to share our blessings and to share God’s love with each other.
Many people know their own parish and fellow parishioners very well, and find great comfort in the familiarity of their own parish home. But, many of us struggle to identify beyond our own church walls or parish property.
This Fruitful Harvest Campaign, I am again asking all of us at St. Lawrence to carefully consider our place in something bigger. The Diocese is a larger expression of the Church than our own parish. In the Diocese, our beautiful parish is united with other parishes to build up the Body of Christ. Together, we fulfill and live out Christ’s mission in this part of Indiana.
When we make contributions to Fruitful Harvest, it is just like we are making a contribution to our own parish. The gifts support the work that we are already a part of. They support the work that Christ has given to us particularly. This work and support of it cannot be fulfilled by anyone other than us – the people of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.
Over the years, many questions have arisen around Fruitful Harvest time. I would like to answer some of them again.
- Why does the diocese need our money?
The work of the diocese is our work, not somebody else’s work. This is our diocese – each of us. The people who work in the diocese work very hard to serve us and help build up the Kingdom of God, just like our parish and school employees work faithfully to serve us. In the same way that our parish collections pay the salaries and benefits of hard-working individuals, this appeal in part covers the cost of those dedicated individuals who serve us at the diocesan level. This, however, is only some of what the campaign covers.
Fruitful Harvest also covers the cost of many programs we benefit from in our parish. It provides leadership for our Catholic schools, training for our parish and school staff, and guidance in many aspects of parish ministry. It pays for a significant portion of the education of seminarians, your future priests. And, the funds raised go to support diocesan charity within our diocese and missions around the world.
Our parish has a responsibility for $272,694.00 of the diocesan appeal, over the next two years. It will take all of us making sacrifices to reach this goal. It’s nice that each of us has the flexibility to give within our means. Please be generous.
- Why should we give to the Diocese? We don’t get anything out of it.
This is another misunderstanding. Every year when my tax return comes due, I am tempted to think “I’m just sending money off to the government. I don’t get anything out of it.” And then I see a road being fixed or witness our public safety officials keeping us safe and realize I do get something for my tax dollars. And, I contribute to something greater than myself.
Fruitful Harvest is much the same way. At first glance, it might seem like Fruitful Harvest doesn’t benefit us here at St. Lawrence. But, every day our parish office and ministries experience the support of diocesan offices. These offices help us with education, catechesis, liturgical ministries, business administration, preparing future priests for our parishes, and helping families deal with challenging times.
Please be generous and help us meet our goal.
In the 2016 campaign, pledges did not cover our parish responsibility. We had to take $68,000 from parish ministries to meet our previous commitment. This really has set us back. In order to continue all the ministries we have at St. Lawrence, and strive for growth – we all must be engaged and do our part. Please be generous to Fruitful Harvest 2018!