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Partners director calls 2012 givers pathway to goal

Posted By June 6, 2013 | 1:16 pm | Local
Partners in Charity is keeping an eye out for those who have yet to make a donation to the Annual Partners in Charity Appeal this year. Michael P. Gillespie, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development, said that close to 5,000 donors who gave in 2012 have yet to contribute and they are his hope. “If even half of these generous donors would give an identical gift this year we would raise an additional one million (dollars). Thus, I am cautiously optimistic that we still have a striking chance with everyone’s help,” he said in a letter updating pastors on the appeal.

Partners in Charity is keeping an eye out for those who have yet to make a donation to the Annual Partners in Charity Appeal this year.
Michael P. Gillespie, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development, said that close to 5,000 donors who gave in 2012 have yet to contribute and they are his hope.
“If even half of these generous donors would give an identical gift this year we would raise an additional one million (dollars). Thus, I am cautiously optimistic that we still have a striking chance with everyone’s help,” he said in a letter updating pastors on the appeal.
To date the appeal has raised 88 percent of its diocesan goal of $5 million. Mr Gillespie said that $4,408,022 has been received in pledges and cash.
“To achieve our 2013 goal we need to raise $591,978. We are $122,921 ahead of where we were one year ago,” he said.
Mr Gillespie took a look at the difference between today’s method of fund-raising and how things were in the 1960s. He noted that family life is different now and so the way we reach people has had to change.
“The vast majority of our donors remember the ‘old days’ when the Bishop’s Fund was begun and completed in just eight days. What a relief (then) to be finished in so short a time.
“In the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s it was neighbor visiting neighbor asking for a gift to support the appeal, it was most successful then. Because of our busy lives, most people now prefer to make a gift at church, by mail, or online. In fact, most of our younger families are simply not home on the weekends; the new reality for many,” he said.
So we have to find them in new ways and new places, he said. “Evangelization calls us to meet our brothers and sisters where they are, and to indicate that God is present in all the circumstance of our lives,” he said.
One of the circumstances is weekend sports which takes up the time of many young families with children, he noted. “One specific parish I know of is in fact meeting parents on the bleachers encouraging them to come back church,” he said.
“Again, I am very appreciative for all that everyone is doing to have another successful year.  I am grateful, too, for all those who collaborate in this great and necessary work,” Mr. Gillespie said.
Partners in Charity 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.
On June 14 The Catholic Free Press will publish a parish listing of what each parish has currently raised for the appeal.