Pastor's Corner 031614

posted Mar 25, 2014, 1:01 PM by Music Director

Each year at this time we conduct the annual diocesan House of Charity-Bishop’s Annual Appeal.  This is one charity I wholeheartedly support, as I’ve seen first-hand the good that comes from it.

The House of Charity supports the many diocesan agencies that help so many in need.  It helps fund several Catholic nursing homes, 2 with which I have become intimately familiar.  I served on the Board of Our Lady’s Residence in Pleasantville for 7 years, and my mother was a resident at St. Mary’s Catholic Home in Cherry Hill.  The care that residents of these facilities receive is absolutely exceptional; care that might not be available if not for the House of Charity. 

The Appeal also supports assisted living facilities and retirement homes, including Sacred Heart Residence for the retired priests who served the diocese.  It supports the formation of seminarians studying for the priesthood, and the formation program of candidates studying for the permanent deaconate.  The Appeal helps to provide individual, marital and family counseling services, and food, housing, medical and legal assistance for the poor in every county of the diocese; campus ministry at all public colleges and universities; formation programs for lay liturgical and catechetical ministers, and other services.           

Our parish goal this year, which is determined as a percentage of our regular yearly income, is $157,080.  As of this writing, $63,944 has already been raised from a total of 76 gifts. I am most grateful for the generosity of these parishioners who have helped us to reach nearly half our goal.  I am depending on the rest of you to help us achieve our noble purpose.

The good news is that if we make our goal we get 10% of it back, which can be applied to our own needs.  So please think about it, ALL of you: not just the moms and dads, not just the senior citizens, but all wage earners.  If you’re young and still living at home but are working, please contribute something to your family’s pledge, or even better, make one in your own name. 

Remember, this appeal is not for the bishop or diocesan administration, but for the people we, the Church of Camden, are called to serve who are in desperate need of help.  Please consider now what kind of sacrifice you are willing to make to help us and the diocesan church to which we belong accomplish our goals.  If at all possible, please make it a true, sacrificial gift, not just a small donation.  For the last several years I’ve pledged $500, tough on my salary but doable, and I’ve renewed it for this year’s appeal.  I challenge all of you who are able to do likewise.  If you give to just one charity, please make it this one.

Given that it’s Lent, and part of Lent is about sacrifice on behalf of others, about “giving up” things to grow in holiness, why not make this appeal part of your Lenten observance?  “Give up” whatever would prevent you from sacrificing for this extremely worthwhile charity, that you might give not grudgingly but with a cheerful heart.  As it is written, “the Lord loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). In so doing, may the blessings of the compassionate be yours!


Let’s Go Flyers, Sixers…and Phillies!


In His love,

Fr. Mike