Summary of today’s show: The Catholic Appeal is to the Archdiocese as the weekly offertory is to the parish and this weekend is the launch of the annual Appeal. Scot Landry and Fr. Mark O’Connell talk with Fr. John Mulvehill and Chris Kierce of St. Anthony Parish, Cohassett, and Susan Abbott of the Office of Religiou Education about the importance of the Appeal to the more than 50 diocesan ministries that would not be able to function with it and the parish ministries that wouldn’t be effective without those diocesan ministries.
Listen to the show:
Watch the show via live video streaming or a recording later: BostonCatholicLive.com
Today’s host(s): Scot Landry and Fr. Mark O’Connell
Today’s guest(s): Fr. John Mulvehill, Chris Kierce, Susan Abbott
Links from today’s show:
Today’s topics: Catholic Appeal 2013
1st segment: Scot Landry welcomed everyone to the show. He said today is important because of the launch of the Catholic Appeal but also because of the events going on in Rome. Fr. Mark said he was watching the coverage on the news yesterday about how all the pageantry, but then taking a bleak outlook on the Church. Fr. Mark said we’re not hopeless, were popeless! Scot noted that the work of the College of Cardinals in setting the date for the Conclave won’t happen until Monday so today is a breather in Rome from all the busyness.
Scot and Fr. Mark discussed the importance of the Appeal toward supporting all the ministries housed in the Pastoral Center, including The Good Catholic Life radio program.
Scot said first we would hear the audio from the Catholic Appeal video, linked above, that will be played in parishes this weekend first.
Scot said they present on 5 of the more than 50 ministries supported by the Appeal. Fr. Mark said it was moving and what moved him most was that he had a tiny part in some of that.
Joining the show, Fr. John Mulvehill and Chris Kierce from St. Anthony’s in Cohasset. Fr. Mulvehill said the video indicates the vast extent of the Appeal. They have a large religious education program and their people receive a lot of training. He was once head of religious ed for the archdiocese and knows how important the appeal is. Chris said it shows the diversity of the Archdiocese.
Susan Abbott said she loved the cultural diversity office part of the video as well as Deacon Nieves.
Fr. Mulvehill talked about the advice and support of the Facilities office as St. Anthony’s built a new parish center.
Chris said he tells other parishioners about their youth ministry and their permanent deacon and how they all receive support from archdiocesan central ministries. Chris then talked about why he gives his spare time to help coordinate and promote the Catholic Appeal in his parish and beyond.
Scot said he frequently heard from people who thought the Appeal only paid for things that happen at the Pastoral Center. Susan said any successful parish ministries often receive support from central ministries. She said when she lead a parish religious education ministry, they won a diocesan award, but she knows they won only because of the help from archdiocesan religious education office. Their work is to support, advise, and offer guidelines. As a director of religious ed, she has been able to some of the people who have donated to support the work they do.
Scot said the deaf apostolate ministry would never be possible in just one parish because you wouldn’t have a critical mass of people in one place. But the archdiocesan ministry can put the resources together. Fr. Mark said many dioceses don’t have a deaf ministry because they can’t afford it. He said Cardinal Seán and Cardinal Law before him put many resources into forming the deaf apostolate. The Archdiocese was able to send Fr. Shawn Carey, the director of that office who is himself deaf, to seminary in California where they had a program to educate deaf seminarians. That could only happen through the generosity of the Appeal.
Scot said the goal is to sustain and grow the Appeal each year. He asked Fr. Mulvehill why it’s important to be generous to the Appeal. Fr/. Mulvehill said it’s important to have someone like Chris explain from their perspective. Chris said he changes his talk to parishioners each year based on the theme, but the most important parts don’t change. What he says comes from the heart and that’s what’s most important. He’s been able to pick out areas in the ministries that relate to their parish and at the end of each Mass, he seeks out people who might have questions, then mingles at the post-Mass coffee time.
Scot said the Appeal message this is “There is a Good Samaritan in each of us.”
The Appeal categorizes the ministries in four basic categories: Strengthening families, advancing Church leadership, inspiring future generations, enriching parish life. Scot asked Susan to reflect on inspiring future generations. She noted that religious education spans both inspiring future generations and strengthening families because they do adult faith formation as well. She noted her office does catechist formation and certification; they do online learning with online accredited universities; they provide regional and parish services; and more. She said they start with the adults because faith formation is a lifelong process.
Chris said the parish guide provided by the development office makes a good resource and is a good step-by-step plan for a successful appeal. Fr. Mark said some priests hate to ask for money and parishioners can stand up for him and do it for him. Chris said every pastor should have a lay co-chair for the Catholic Appeal to take the pressure and legwork out of the Appeal. The lay co-chair could one of the top five or six donors to the Appeal or someone who has a sales background.
Fr. Mulvehill said the Appeal is the diocese what the weekly offertory is to the parish. He said the pastor gets up a dozen times per year to announce a second collection, so the Appeal should be set apart and thus a lay co-chair can say it more forcefully than the pastor can.
Scot said in parishes that can’t play the video, they will hear an audio homily from Cardinal Seán which we will hear now.
He said Cardinal Seán tells us that the Appeal calls us all to be Good Samaritans through love of God and love of neighbor, helping us grow as Catholic disciples.