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In-pew collection, March 17-18

Posted By March 8, 2012 | 1:02 pm | Lead Story #3
There’s something new on this year’s “in pew” pledge envelopes for the annual Partners in Charity Appeal, according to Michael P. Gillespie, director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development. The envelopes include a box to request: “Send me information about including Partners in Charity in my will.” Mr. Gillespie said this was added because people have requested such information in the past. He said the appeal never previously initiated an offer to send it. Bishop McManus is asking all parishes to conduct the traditional “in-pew weekend” for the appeal, preferably March 17-18, or as close to it as possible, Mr. Gillespie said.

There’s something new on this year’s “in pew” pledge envelopes for the annual Partners in Charity Appeal, according to Michael P. Gillespie, director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development. The envelopes include a box to request: “Send me information about including Partners in Charity in my will.”
Mr. Gillespie said this was added because people have requested such information in the past. He said the appeal never previously initiated an offer to send it.
Bishop McManus is asking all parishes to conduct the traditional “in-pew weekend” for the appeal, preferably March 17-18, or as close to it as possible, Mr. Gillespie said.
The process is set up to go like this, according to Mr. Gillespie and the 2012 Campaign Manual.
A homily or presentation about the significance of Partners in Charity is given during weekend Masses.
All parishioners, even those who cannot give financially, are encouraged to commit to praying for those “who need our care, the agencies and programs who support them and for the success of the appeal.”
Parishioners are provided with the pledge envelopes and pencils, and are invited to fill out the requested information then and there.
The envelopes give them options of making a one-time gift or a pledge to be paid over eight months, though Mr. Gillespie said that can be extended to 10 months. They can pay by check or credit card or ask to be billed for their pledge. Those who pledge without using their credit card will be mailed monthly reminders about keeping up with their pledge, he said.
Pledging enables donors to give more, which has a greater impact on the benefitting ministries, he said.
The envelopes list the website www.Partners-Charity.net for donors who prefer to give online and for any donors wishing to see if their employers will match their gifts.
After conducting the in-pew collections, parishes are to send the envelopes, with individual checks or one whole-parish check, to the Stewardship and Development Office.
“It’s been proven to be successful for those parishes that follow the script,” Mr. Gillespie said of this process. “It’s been proven throughout the country,” and in the Worcester Diocese. “You’ve got a captive audience of parishioners attending a Mass. Plus, it saves on mailings. Why not be eco-friendly?”
The in-pew collection gives everyone at Mass the same opportunity to give, Mr. Gillespie said.
“We’re all called to respond with a generous heart, to fund these 28 ministries,” he said of the work Partners in Charity supports. “In the world that we live in, we’re so busy. Mail collects. Having it at Mass – it’s a wonderful forum, where everybody’s on the same page.”
This year’s appeal goal is $5 million, the same as last year, and all parish goals will remain the same, Mr. Gillespie said. Blessed John Paul II is its patron.
The annual Partners in Charity Appeal helps to support charitable, educational and ministerial organizations in the diocese. They include:
Charity
Catholic Charities, Clergy Retirement, Retired Priests Health Ministry, Haitian Apostolate, McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys, Pernet Family Health Service, Seminarian Health Insurance, St. John’s Diocesan Cemetery System, Diocesan Development, Stewardship.
Education
Catholic Campus Ministry, Catholic Schools Department, The Office of Religious Education, Ongoing Priestly Formation, Diocesan Youth Ministry, Grants-in-Aid for Catholic School Students, Seminarian Education, Central Catholic Schools Subsidy, Advanced Studies for Clergy and Laity.
Ministry
African Ministry, Hispanic Ministry, Office of Marriage and Family, Ministry to Priests, Office of the Diaconate, Respect Life Office, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Vocations Office, Office for Divine Worship.