By Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, diocesan vicar for development
In the seven years that Father Robert Barclay has served as pastor at St. Elizabeth’s parish, Ozone Park, he has come to know and love his parishioners.
“There is a great willingness here to work together in order to enrich the pastoral ministry in all its forms; that is, the various apostolic groups, the parish members themselves and St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy are all there to help each other,” he points out.
“When the Generations of Faith campaign was announced by the diocese, everyone actively involved in St. Elizabeth was surprised and concerned about our ability to participate.
“Our parish goal seemed very high and our experience was that no parish fundraising effort to date had ever brought us a large income,” Father Barclay said.
Working Toward Target
St. Elizabeth’s target goal for the capital campaign is $375,000, which they are still working diligently to meet.
The parish community plans to use the money its members raise to employ a part-time youth minister, install a lift and rail chair to allow for increased accessibility to the upper and lower churches, install a new heating and air conditioning system in the lower church and replace the lighting in the church with a more efficient and effective system.
“When the parishioners see a real need, they will respond in any way they can,” Father Barclay said. “Even the parish campaign committee was extraordinarily generous in their time and dedication to the campaign and they participated fully.
“Our parish is composed of many faithful Catholics who live their faith and want to pass that on to the future.”
As a closing thought and with hope that St. Elizabeth will continue to go above and beyond their campaign goal, he said, “We cannot forget the power that God gives us to make the impossible possible.”