Gifts last year to the Disciples Response Fund had a significant impact at a time when the Church was being asked to contribute above and beyond to families impacted by the pandemic. Last year, in fact, due to the generosity of our faithful, we were blessed with the ability to increase our aid to those in need.
While the pandemic dominated our lives, our diocesan efforts did not stop serving. Our staff checked in on thousands of homes and prayed for hundreds of families. Many parishes began live streaming Masses and reached out to their parish families. We maintained contact with calls, letters, videos, Zoom and other forms of communication. The pandemic experience should give us all a deeper sense of appreciation for the gift of being “present” to each other in liturgy, ministry and mission!
As this year’s Disciples Response Fund Appeal comes around, it is my hope and prayer you will be able to respond generously.
In his book “Let us Dream,” Pope Francis challenges all of us to be a different type of Catholic community post coronavirus. He doesn’t just encourage us to pray for each other, but he says again and again that we should be people who lift each other up. In life we can spend too much time on what’s wrong with humanity, instead of celebrating the things that are right with us and our Church. He is encouraging honest dialogue and a sharing of faith. As the old saying goes, he’s telling us to be a fountain and not a drain!
Your generous gift allows the diocesan community to focus on resources that assist every one of our Catholic families. The Disciples Response Fund supports our retired priests and priests who are in the infirmary. We invest in family life, ongoing marriage enrichment, and our couples preparing for marriage. We support college campus ministries and the Gasper River Catholic Youth Camp & Retreat Center. We assist parishes with small group and faith sharing opportunities. We support school and parish efforts of religious education. We also heavily subsidize parish efforts that provide hospitality, liturgy, and
religious education to marginalized communities. And of course, we must continue investing in solutions for families that lack basic food, clothing, and shelter. There are far too many efforts to list here, but our ability to grow our Catholic faith is in direct proportion to your generosity.
We all had a lot of time to reflect during the pandemic. The separation from going to Mass and seeing our fellow parishioners has given us an incredible appreciation for our need to be part of an active, engaged Catholic Church.
Thank you for your support to the Disciples Response Fund, which helps provide for the work we are doing around the diocese and the world.
Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend William F. Medley
Bishop for the Diocese of Owensboro