by Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello
In honor of the celebration of the Feast of St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests, I wish to thank all our pastors for their important work for Generations of Faith. My fellow priests have been truly generous with their time, working on a week-to-week basis at their parishes with their campaign teams to complete the effort and ensure our success.
This summer alone, our Block 1 pastors have visited over 3,000 parishioners across our parishes to share the message of Generations of Faith. I have learned of the many early results at our Block 1 parishes, and continue to be impressed by the creative ways that we are engaging our parishioners in this important campaign to secure the future of the Church in Brooklyn and Queens.
Whether it is through one-on-one meetings, small-group dinners or lunches with parishioners and campaign volunteers, or after Mass receptions tailored to our many different language communities within Brooklyn and Queens, our pastors in our parishes have gone above and beyond the call, dedicating countless hours in already full schedules to ensure the success of Generations of Faith.
Here are some Block 1 pastors whose dedication to the future of our diocese has propelled Generations of Faith above $45 million in pledges:
Father Richard Conlon, pastor of St. Teresa of Avila – St. Anthony of Padua in South Ozone Park, hosted a series of after-Mass receptions to explain the significance of Generations of Faith in English, Spanish and French to the members of the parish community. Earlier this year, Father Conlon also got the school students involved in the effort, raising over $10,000 toward his goal from student donations alone.
Father Hilaire Belizaire at Sacred Heart of Jesus, Cambria Heights, hosted a reception for parishioners to learn about Generations of Faith. Father Belizaire’s campaign team served refreshments, and also decorated the parish hall for the event.
Father Brian Dowd, pastor of Queen of Angels, Sunnyside, and his Campaign Executive Committee have designed volunteer-led question- and-answer sessions after every Mass so parishioners can learn more about Generations of Faith. Father Dowd and representatives of the campaign team at Queen of Angels will also speak during Mass to increase awareness of the campaign.
At Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary-St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr parish, Ozone Park, Father Paul Palmiotto hosted a weeknight campaign dinner for parishioners involved in many of the parish activities. More than 30 families attended.
Father Kevin Abels, pastor of St. Sebastian parish, Woodside, and Father Rick Beuther, pastor of St. Bartholomew, Elmhurst, invited members of various ministry groups, in their respective parishes, to attend barbecues and dinner receptions to learn about ways to help through volunteering. Father Abels has also been working with the Hispanic, Filipino and Korean communities at St. Sebastian by hosting weekly receptions.
Over 7,000 parishioners have contributed to Generations of Faith. This success would not be possible without our pastors’ efforts. I am most grateful for these efforts.