The Forward in Faith, Hope, and Love effort has been blessed with strong leadership by both clergy and laity. At Holy Family Catholic Church, in Clemmons, NC, parishioners Chris and Heather Parker accepted the position of General Chairpersons.
On the weekend of June 21 and 22, Chris shared why he decided to become a leader, and the tremendous impact he felt the campaign will make on Catholicism in western North Carolina. Here is an excerpt from his very moving testimonial:
I read a statistic that within 10 years of Confirmation, 75% of young people will walk away from the Church. 75%. This made me very sad. As I looked out at the kids in our Confirmation class of 20, I did not want only 5 to still hold onto our faith. Not 10 or 15. I want all 20. The sadness began to turn into a burning – a burning in my soul because we as Catholics have a better way of life. Do you agree that we have a better way of life? Well, I wanted to make sure that my wife and I did everything we could to catechize our youth to stand firmly in their faith so they can have a better way of life for their entire lives and for generations to come! I cannot change the world by myself. But God gives us opportunities to work together to move our world forward in faith, hope and love, and as a result, I am standing in front of you today.
Now, the Holy Spirit has also shared a similar vision with Bishop Jugis and the Diocesan leadership. They saw what was happening in the Northeast and Midwest with the closing down of parishes and Catholic schools. They also saw the dynamic growth rates in our Diocese. They realized that we must pray and plan for the future success of our diocese, and after much discussion and prayer have developed this campaign. 75% of the money we raise will be used by the diocese for many areas including seminarian education and priest retirement. There is also a strong focus on educating and catechizing our youth through enhancing faith formation programs, Catholic school tuition assistance, and College Campus ministries…. Please join us as we continue to complete the visions set forth by past generations and ensure the Church’s presence in the lives of our children and grandchildren.
As many parishes conclude their campaigns in the coming weeks and months, we hope parishioners are inspired to participate at whatever level they can, and join the other 12,500 Catholic households who have already committed to leaving a legacy for future generations.