By Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, Vicar for Development
In the Magnificat, our campaign prayer, Our Blessed Mother and diocesan patroness prays, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and Holy is His Name.”
Inspired in part by this beautiful prayer, Generations of Faith is designed to provide support for all generations of our Church in Brooklyn and Queens. It celebrates and honors our rich history, while also recognizing that we must remain dedicated to our central vision for the future – youth evangelization.
Our responsibility for evangelization begins with our most valuable asset: $10 million of the $80 million campaign goal will support the Catholic Youth Ministry Initiative that was inaugurated in Brooklyn and Queens during 2013 at the request of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. The initiative addresses a long-standing concern within the Church that, after Confirmation, youth attendance at Mass and involvement in Church life drops dramatically.
While parishes have long recognized this as a priority, funding has not been readily available to address this need. Currently, there are hundreds of young people participating in the Catholic Youth Ministry Initiative across our diocese. Each site has emphasized the concept of “church” as community, with our youth participating in individual liturgical and social ministries as well as service projects in order to grow with the influence of Christ and the Church.
From my own experience both speaking with many donors across the diocese, and as serving as one of our pilot parishes, it is clear that the response from our parishioners toward youth evangelization has been overwhelmingly supportive. While some had questions about the initiative, and the impact it will have across Brooklyn and Queens, many who I have spoken with personally understand the importance of providing qualified and trained youth ministers who can foster the formation of faith at our parishes.
They believed that the future of our Church is in the next generations, our children and grandchildren, and that the more our parishes embrace and engage our youth, the better chance we have of young Catholics being a part of the future of our Church.
With the help of generous donors and through the work of Generations of Faith, the initiative will expand in parishes across the diocese in the years ahead.
I encourage you to learn more about the impact and the importance of the Generations of Faith Campaign by visiting our website and viewing our campaign video at www.cfbq.org/generations. And I thank those parishioners across our Diocese of Brooklyn who have supported this important campaign.