by Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, diocesan vicar for development
Exciting news continues to stream in from our Block 1 parishes as they begin the final phase of their campaigns and work to close out the their parish efforts in advance of November. These parishes have been working on the Generations of Faith campaign since the late spring, and the teams have dedicated countless hours to Generations of Faith. As of this past week, the Block 1 parishes have exceeded their total goal of $28 million, and 26 Block 1 parishes have met their goals with four weeks remaining. An amazing accomplishment!
From my personal experience working on Generations of Faith as a pilot pastor, a successful parish campaign doesn’t just happen – it requires a lot of planning, time, effort, and most importantly, many prayers.
Pastors and volunteers alike have been overwhelmed by the generosity of parishioners in Brooklyn and Queens, and in many cases Generations of Faith has given parishes an opportunity to work together for the future of our Church.
The success in many of these parishes is the result of our pastors’ tireless efforts, coupled with strong lay leadership teams who have been inspired to unite together during this important moment for their parish.
Parish teams have conducted outreach to parishioners, created publicity campaigns, assisted with announcements at Mass, and volunteered their time over the weekend to host information sessions and make phone calls to their fellow parishioners.
These efforts have enabled Generations of Faith to be successful at many parishes, and I am personally grateful to our parishioners across the Diocese who generously lent their time and their personal support to this important campaign.
Volunteers at Sacred Heart, East Glendale, have been canvasing the parish with campaign flyers in an effort encourage pledge decisions. Campaign Executive Committee Chair John Schatz, is making calls to help answer questions from parishioners who have been considering their pledge decisions for more than a few weeks.
Both John and Father John Fullum, pastor, have been encouraged by the response from parishioners. The parish has raised more than $548,000, or 76 percent of their $725,000 goal, from just 125 generous families.
Father John Tobon at St. Martin of Tours in Bushwick hosted a successful Commitment Weekend, where parishioners committed more than $300,000 towards the parish’s Generations of Faith campaign. St. Martin of Tours and Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel kicked off their campaign in May, and plan to make a number of upgrades to their church exterior. Father Tobon and his team of volunteers made more than 125 visits and hosted a series of bilingual receptions before launching a comprehensive publicity effort for eight weeks at every Mass.
Msgr. Martin Geraghty and his team of volunteers at St. Robert Bellarmine, Bayside, including Catholic Foundation Board member Samuel Romanzo, have been working very hard to publicize the campaign in time for their Commitment Weekend. They were happy to learn that an additional $101,000 was raised last week, with 97 percent of their goal received in pledges prior to their Commitment Weekend.
More than 90 parishioners from Queen of Angels parish, Sunnyside, attended a “thank you” celebration dinner for all contributors to the parish’s campaign this week. The dinner was hosted by Father Brian Dowd and the Campaign Executive Committee.
The celebration was well served as the parish doubled its initial target, raising more than $923,000 on the $460,000 goal.
The parish continues to receive pledges weekly and is beaming with pride for their tremendous accomplishment. Congratulations to the team at Queen of Angels!