By Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, diocesan vicar for development
The diocese is still abuzz with excitement echoing throughout Brooklyn and Queens following the papal visit.
Many parishes coordinated trips to Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, while others enjoyed watching Pope Francis’ travels throughout New York on television. While parish communities were invigorated by the historic event, they did not lose sight of Generations of Faith. Instead, they have been inspired and gained a sense of recommitment to our important efforts. Generations of Faith has continued to roll; our 55 Block 1 parishes are now beginning to wrap up their efforts.
Collectively, these parishes have secured an astounding $27 million to date – with over 6,500 gifts from parishioners. Please enjoy a look at some incredible highlights:
Father Jerry Jecewiz at St. Raphael parish in Long Island City has far surpassed his campaign goal of $420,000 with more than $750,000 raised, or 178 percent of goal, after his Commitment Weekend. Father Jecewiz mobilized subcommittees of Korean and Spanish-speaking parish leaders to assist with the effort, and carried out special appeals to the Korean and Spanish-speaking communities within his parish. Funds raised for the campaign will assist with repairs to the parish ahead of its 150th anniversary.
Father Manuel Rodriguez and the team at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Jamaica surpassed their goal of $490,000, with over $1.1 million raised from 625 parishioners. Father Rodriguez built a campaign team of volunteers who worked to conduct outreach and visits to parishioners over the summer months.
Celebrating 50 years as a faith community, the volunteers of Generations of Faith united to bring Holy Trinity, Whitestone, past their campaign goal of $545,000, raising more than $585,000 from 110 parish families. Led by Father Joseph Gibino and the Campaign Chair, Jean Prevete, the parish’s share of the funds raised will be used to renovate the parish center’s basement, allowing the versatile gathering space for meetings, classes, dinners and church receptions to be more accessible for handicapped parishioners.
Once a month, Holy Trinity offers a special needs Mass to allow families with special needs adults and children the opportunity to celebrate together without concern. Renovation of the gathering space will further support the parish’s efforts for inclusion and foster a welcoming environment for all parish families.
Msgr. John McGuirl and volunteers at Our Lady of Mercy, Forest Hills, were excited to have gone over their diocesan goal of $770,000 with gifts from 45 families! The parish will conclude the campaign over the coming weeks, and hopes to far exceed its goal during Commitment Weekend! Msgr. McGuirl has organized parish receptions and outreach, and looks forward to successful completion of the campaign.
Father Antonius Ho, C.S.J.B., at St. John Vianney, Flushing, continues to build upon his success! The parish has now raised $1.4 million on its goal of $180,000. The funds will be used to renovate additional space in order to separate the parish hall from the worship area.
Earlier this summer, Father Ho and his volunteer team celebrated the official close of the campaign committee phase on the Feast of St. John Vianney with home cooked traditional Chinese food. Congratulations, St. John Vianney!
Father Ralph Caputo, pastor at Our Lady Help of Christians in Midwood, received more than $91,000 from 43 new pledges at his Commitment Weekend this past weekend. The parish completed the campaign with more than $570,000 (170 percent of goal) raised from 123 gifts, a remarkable accomplishment for a small parish community of 250 families.