By Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, diocesan vicar for development
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Father Richard Beuther has served as pastor of St. Bartholomew’s in Elmhurst, for the past four-and-a-half years.
Every Sunday, Father Beuther has about 4,000 parishioners attend Mass, mostly new immigrants coming from all over Latin America and Asia. The cultural diversity is certainly Father Beuther’s favorite thing about his parish in Queens.
When asked about his feelings on beginning the Generations of Faith campaign, Father Beuther said, “We thought that the goal was really high and perhaps it would be unachievable because of the financial constraints on parishioners.”
Despite these feelings, St. Bartholomew’s far surpassed its campaign goal of $940,000 by raising a total of $1,707,075 for its needs, which include installing air conditioning and renovating the church’s roof.
Father Beuther said the most gratifying part of working on the campaign was seeing the “lay people come together in teams to work and support the mission of the church.”
He learned a great deal about his new immigrant parish community from this experience, specifically the fact that his parishioners are generous in their faith and the material needs of the church.
In working to reach the parish’s campaign goal, St. Bartholomew’s volunteer committee met on a weekly basis to discuss short-term and long-term goals, reached out to parishioners to personally ask them to support and attended larger gatherings held by the parish.
For those who are beginning Generations of Faith in the upcoming months, Father Beuther encourages that “even though initially it can seem overwhelming, dealing with parishioners one on one as a pastor and having the help of the teams, you’re able to achieve what seems impossible.”
Moreover, he thinks “that the Diocese will be strengthened by it because of the generosity of the people working together.”
Seeing the great need for senior priests and youth evangelization, parish involvement in the campaign will strengthen the Diocese of Brooklyn for future generations to come.