Extraordinary

07-08-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The “C-word”.  I haven’t really used it before but here goes.  The “C-word” as in Campaign. There, it’s actually a pretty nice word. Now mind you, not a political campaign but campaign as in the Diocese of Phoenix Campaign: Together, Let Us Go Forth, Juntos Sigamos Adelante. Our number has been called and it is time for us to participate in the Diocesan Campaign.

This is a rare opportunity for all of us to exercise the gift of extraordinary stewardship on behalf of the Diocese and our Parish Community. Our ordinary stewardship, the Sunday offering, the Charity and Development Appeal help keep the “bricks and sticks” that make up our local Catholic world strong and fruitful. This Campaign is a moment for us to invest in the future growth of the Church here in central Arizona.

In December our Diocese will begin its 50th Jubilee celebration. Many of you were here when we were still part of the Diocese of Tucson. But in terms of the Catholic Church fifty years is the blink of the eye. As a Diocese we are pretty much still in our infancy stage, comparatively speaking. Many of you, like me, are transplants from other parts of the country or world. When you think of the Church in places like Chicago, New York, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee, Philadelphia or Boston or even Lima or Mexico City, Berlin, Madrid, Manila or Goa there is an extensive infrastructure that was built by generations past spanning often centuries. The Phoenix metro area and the Diocese of Phoenix are just about the fastest growing areas of the US. All of that means, is it falls to us, as it did to previous generations of Catholics, to build up the local Church so that we can make new disciples through evangelization.

Our participation in the Campaign extends from July 1 until the end of 2018, God-willing we meet our goal. But why should we just meet our goal? Let’s strive to surpass the goal after all God is not outdone in generosity.

Over the next few months, you will be hearing A LOT about this and how you can participate. I will be contacting you in many different ways and inviting you to carefully consider supporting the mission of the Church here in the Diocese of Phoenix. I have asked both Deacon James Carabajal and Sister Monica to assist me with the Campaign.

For now, I would ask you to pray that God cultivates your hearts to make them fertile for the seeds he wishes to plant in you and in your family and in our Parish. The first prerequisite for participating in the Campaign is to make sure that you are daily living as a generous believer answering the call of Jesus Christ no matter the cost. Now is the time to focus on our personal relationship with the Living Christ.

Sometimes we think, “what do I have to give?” The answer is “everything”.  Though we all can’t give equally, we can all equally sacrifice.

So please join me as Together We Go Forth and make disciples as we strengthen the mission of the Church here in Tempe and beyond.

Love,

Fr. John B.

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