At the Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, pastors, parochial vicars and lay leaders joined together for a capital campaign workshop focused on sharing tips and best practices for Spanish-speaking parishes and communities that will participate in Generations of Faith later this year and into 2016.
The workshop was organized by The Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens, and was co-hosted by Father Manuel Rodriguez, pastor of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jamaica. He serves as a member of the Pastors’ Advisory Committee, a steering committee of 25 pastors who assist with planning and implementation of both the Annual Catholic Appeal and the campaign.
Presentation B.V.M. is undertaking Generations of Faith as a part of the first block of parishes to participate in 2015. Two parishioners, Maria Diaz and Maria Batres, also shared their experiences. Both joined Father Rodriguez in personally visiting and inviting fellow parishioners to participate.
The program included tips from members of The Catholic Foundation team and Father Rodriguez on how to create an effective case for support, helpful advice on reaching out to parish groups and how to incorporate parochial vicars into the effort.
“For our parish, Generations of Faith was and is an opportunity for us to address very important needs,” said Father Rodriguez.
“Our church tower needs significant repairs, and this campaign will give us the funds to make these important improvements. The project is a very important one, and it will take significant funding. Creating a case for support reflects the urgent needs of the parish, and shows projects that parishioners are familiar with and can support.”
Father Rodriguez also shared how he was able to build a campaign team around both Diaz and Batres and partnered with volunteers on personally visiting and meeting with parishioners.
“My team was able to reach out and provide parishioners with the opportunity to ask questions they might have,” said Father Rodriguez. “We have been successful because of the time, effort and support of my volunteer team, and I am so grateful for their support. They came together and inspired other parishioners to get involved in this because of their love for their parish and the Church.”
“For me it was important to join Father Rodriguez on this campaign because I felt a need to help my current and future generations, just as previous generations had sacrificed to make our parish life better,” Batres said.
Both Father Rodriguez and Diaz shared how they approached the campaign, and encouraged parishioners to not only support, but give of their time as well.
“For us it was a priority to not only invite families to participate financially, but to also invite them to participate as volunteers, to share their time and talent,” added Diaz.
At the time of the workshop, Presentation B.V.M. was just $20,000 shy of its goal of $490,000, and had plans to exceed its goal during the in-pew commitment weekend.
“Hundreds of families in our parish have given so generously, because they believe in their Church and I think Generations of Faith will be successful,” said Father Rodriguez.