This past weekend I had the privilege of visiting St. Bridget of Kildare parish in Pacific and speaking on behalf of the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA). Aside from my support of the ACA, I had been looking forward to the weekend not only because of my fondness for St. Brigid of Ireland (my name is Michael Patrick Meehan after all), but also because this year represents the 175th anniversary of the parish. What a warm welcome I received from Fr. Holbrook and the parishioners, including Wayne and Renee Myers who took on the task of running the parish’s ACA campaign! It was a great weekend from start to finish, and I am grateful to have met so many generous and faith-filled people.
At the heart of my brief talk was the importance of the ACA to the day to day ministry of the Archdiocese. Here is a piece of that talk:
The theme of this year’s campaign is the Courage to Love, and the ACA is the single most important philanthropic tool our Church has live out its mission to love the people of God—all people. The ACA is the engine that drives the Church’s work, and our collective donations put gas in the tank and provide a means for us to fulfill our own call to love. Without those donations each and every year, that engine stalls, and many of those services stop. That mission includes schools, outreach, the seminary, care for our aging priests and religious, the youth and respect life apostolates—-nearly endless works of love and mercy. Philanthropy is a wonderful word—from the Greek word, philanthropos, meaning loving mankind…loving people. Isn’t that what the Holy Father has been talking about throughout his entire papacy, especially in this Jubilee Year of Mercy? Loving people? Needing to love more, give more of ourselves? On Easter and the days that follow, we celebrate the one true sacrifice that secured our salvation—the ultimate story of the courage to love. We are this Church, and if we’re to love as Jesus calls us to love—especially now, in the face of unprecedented persecution, challenges to our religious liberties, babies still aborted every minute of every day, crushing poverty and suffering all over the world and in our own community—-it means giving ourselves over. Giving, loving, trusting, and sacrificing—and that’s where courage comes in.
Good Shepherd is deeply grateful for the support Catholic Charities receives from the Annual Catholic Appeal, but Catholic Charities is only a small part of what the ACA makes possible. If you’ve not made a commitment to the ACA for the coming year, I urge you to consider prayerfully a meaningful and generous gift.
Yours in Christ,