…..from your Pastor’s Desk:
As you know I was a Military Chaplain for many years. I returned to the Diocese to Parish Ministry in 2003. Until then the acronym ‘A.M.A.’ meant one of four things to me: American Medical Association, American Motorcyclist Association, American Music
Awards or ‘Against Medical Advice’. I soon learned that it had a fourth; Annual Ministry Appeal. Something you are very familiar with. Looking at last year’s records I see that we have been very generous and timely in our response to this appeal. Nice.
So – why do we have this A.M.A. every year? Don’t we send the Diocese money every month anyway? Didn’t we just finish a ‘Capital Campaign’? Well…yes…and yes. Let me take a few moments now to explain the relationship between parish and Diocese. All Roman Catholic parishes worldwide, including ours, do not stand alone as separate entities. They only exist as part of a Diocese – we only exist as part of the Diocese of Santa Rosa – which is a part of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and on and up all the way
to The Vatican.
The Church gives us spiritual guidance and direction. To achieve this it depends upon a formal hierarchal and institutional structure for administrative purposes. Similar to secular organizations and institutions it is dependent upon its constituents for its
support – both financial and in our case – spiritual. Here at our parish we take in a weekly collection to meet our weekly expenses. The Diocese does not have such a capacity. They depend on the individual parishes to fund the various programs that serve the Diocese as a
whole. Some of the ministries included this year had been suspended (due to financial restraints) when the diocese went through its ‘darkest hours’ a few years back. It is time to bring them back to better serve God’s people here.
So, how are these monies collected and amounts determined? Each parish is assessed a figure based on previous two years ‘plate’ (money you put in the basket on Sundays) contributions. This year our portion towards the A.M.A. is $27,866. (If by chance
we exceed our goal then 100% of that excess comes right back to us). I have looked into this in comparison to all the other parishes and their assessments and can say that this is a fair and just valuation. And, it is actually about $2,000. lower than last year due to a
recalculation of figures at the Diocese.
BEFORE I CONTINUE – THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT – ANY CHECK OR CASH CONTRIBUTION MUST HAVE OUR NAME – HOLY SPIRIT PARISH ON IT –
so that we get the credit towards our goal. At this point we need to raise $22,293. to make our minimal goal. I’d like us to get to the 100% if possible. Some of you have already received an A.M.A. mailing. Some of you may have already contributed. Some will soon. In a few weeks there will be an ‘inpew’ solicitation. Envelopes and pencils will be handed
out and you can take a few moments to write your contribution amount and how you will provide it. The envelopes are self-explanatory. I prefer that you drop them in our collection baskets or at the parish office. But, If you have already contributed via mail – there is no need to fill out another one. We will collect the envelopes at the end of Mass – and send them all together, or you can bring it to the next Mass you attend here. Either way it is imperative that they know you are sending it from this parish so we get full credit
towards our goal. If you choose to mail it, please ensure you have our parish name on it (Holy Spirit Parish) so that we will receive full-credit towards our goal. Okay? Okay…
It is up to you how you want to contribute to the A.M.A.; either to the general fund – or – just one or a few Ministries. Please make a note with your donation. Although all ministries are worthy and in need. On the insert is a list of the specific ministries,
several of which [IN BOLD] relate specifically to the people of Holy Spirit. I have always encouraged you to take ownership of this parish. In this way you can extend that same sense to your Diocese. On the same insert is a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ list provided by the Diocese. But feel free to ask me directly for any clarification or guidance.
Note: Not one cent of monies collected through the A.M.A. goes towards any legal or
settlement fees. They ONLY go to the ministries you will see mentioned in the insert.
Just so you know I have personally pledged $200.00 and have already kicked in $100.00. So – only $22,093 [minimally] more to go! My hope is that with each household giving what they can, 100% participation can be a reality. Together – we can do this!
God bless you, our parish and our diocese.