Lenten Season: A Time for Sacrifice

March 31, 2014
Issue 27
Lenten Season: A Time for Sacrifice
The holy season of Lent is a 40 day journey leading up to the Sacred Triduum. The traditional disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are opportunities for us to deepen our relationship with the Lord. Prayer involves giving time to God through praise, petition and thanksgiving. Fasting helps us focus on God and not the things around us. Almsgiving allows us to share our resources and lighten the burden of others.
The extraordinary generosity and support of parishioners to Forward in Faith, Hope, and Love demonstrates their commitment to the Catholic Church throughout western North Carolina: to follow Christ’s mission to lead people to the faith, and to teach and help those in need. The Case for Support reflects that mission in each of the five components.
In the last several weeks, a number of parishes in Block II have initiated the campaign process through pastor visits with parishioners and volunteer meetings. With the addition of the 48 parishes in Block II, nearly 90% of parishes throughout the diocese have either completed their campaigns or are currently engaged in some level of the process. We congratulate Pilot and Block I parishes for their tremendous success as they conclude their campaigns, achieving 116% of their aggregate $29.8 million goal!
Campaign Statistics
*A portion of the Leadership Gifts Phase total raised is shared with parishes, therefore the overall total is less than the sum of the individual phases. 
Individual parishes were offered the opportunity to set a challenge goal over and above their FFHL goal. In addition, parishes receive a benefit from surpassing their regular FFHL goal. All dollars raised are included in these totals.
* Retired, but pastor when campaign was conducted. 

Good News
Block Two
The Ambassador Team at St. Matthew in Charlotte continues to visit with parish families. An Ambassador recently shared that although asking for financial participation “made me a little nervous at first, I realized that it really speaks to our community’s dedication. This is evidenced by the fact that our team is out there personally visiting each family. It speaks to our generosity, commitment and dedication to St. Matthew and to the greater Church of North Carolina. After I realized this, inviting their financial participation wasn’t as scary.”
Father Burke, Deacon Andy, and the Leadership Team at Immaculate Conception in Forest City received 11 gifts this past week totaling more than $57,000. One Ambassador has already personally visited with more than ten families. She is excited about the opportunity to share the message of Forward in Faith, Hope, and Love, and even more thrilled about the opportunity to meet new parishioners through her visits, “I believe in FFHL, and I want others to have the opportunity to learn more about it and make a decision about supporting the campaign.”
Father Miller and the Leadership Team at St. Dorothy in Lincolnton have raised more than $328,000. Through the generous participation of 44% of the parish, St. Dorothy is currently leading the diocese in participation inForward in Faith, Hope, and Love. As they move into the final two weeks of their campaign, Father Miller anticipates that even more parishioners will consider making sacrificial commitments to support the greater work of the church throughout western North Carolina.   
At St. Thomas Aquinas in CharlotteFather Winslow shared Forward in Faith, Hope, and Love with 28 parish leaders. While introducing the campaign, Fr. Winslow made a point to highlight the difference between Forward in Faith, Hope, and Love and the capital campaign St. Thomas Aquinas finished last year. “This is about people.  Our previous campaign was about bricks and mortar, but this is about the people of our diocese and investing in our future.”
Fr. Roger Arnsparger welcomed two pacesetting commitments to the effort at St. Mark (Huntersville), totaling $125,000. These commitments bring St. Mark to $328,500 total raised and surpass their first benchmark of 10% of their total goal from just nine families. Fr. Arnsparger looks forward to visiting with more families and sharing details of the effort. 
Five parish families at St. Paul the Apostle (Greensboro) attended a special reception hosted by Fr. Joseph Mackto learn about the Ambassador role to the effort. Families were interested to hear about the capital improvements to be made at St. Paul the Apostle as well as impressed by the positive response already garnered throughout the diocese.
Ambassadors at St. Vincent de Paul (Charlotte) are finding that parishioners are supportive of the case components and also inspired and motivated by Fr. Mark Lawlor’s commitment to strengthening the Church. As representatives of Fr. Mark and the Church, Ambassadors have been warmly welcomed by their fellow parish families and are continuously humbled by the community’s kindness and generosity.