This last couple weeks we had the kick-off of the Diocesan Annual Catholic Appeal. I have been told that every household has received a mailing by now. I encourage everybody to give something, no matter how small the gift. Together I’m sure we can reach our goal; and once we surpass the goal, our parish begins getting rebates. Throughout this past year, the rebates have come in quite handy for special projects. In order to encourage our giving, let me briefly describe some of the many ways that the diocese has been very helpful to our parish, even in the past seven months that I have been here.
Very soon after my arrival, the Diocesan Finance personnel performed an official audit. The audit helps a new pastor tremendously, analyzing for him areas of strength and weakness in the parish financial system. Three people came from Toledo for over a week to perform the audit; and the parish was not charged at all for their work. When we had to search for a new finance manager, the Human Resources Department of the Diocese consulted with me and helped me through the entire process. Before the hiring of Dianne Jones, the Diocese again sent somebody down at least one day a week to keep running the most basic elements of our finance office. Once Dianne was hired, the Diocese sent a couple people down again for several days to help her become familiar with parish financial protocols. Again, we did not reimburse the Diocese for all these personnel hours. Also, for the many projects that have been accomplished in the past number of months, the Diocesan Finance Office has helped handle needed money transfers and checks. The same office has given us guidance for rewriting the statutes for our school endowment. Also, on numberless occasions we have called for advice as we clean up the accounting system.
Consider the diocesan Tribunal, which, since my arrival, has helped me many times to handle marriage and annulment questions for the parish. Then the Marriage Office of the Diocese has continued to provide support by means of the marriage prep and NFP brochures that I published in the bulletin, as well as organizing engaged couples’ retreat days throughout the year.
Or consider the Legal Council of the Diocese, which fielded many questions regarding properties, cemeteries, outstanding school tuition and various contracts whenever they arose. For example, the deed for property adjacent to the Paulding narthex had to be reworked when the neighbors wanted to sell their property. It was diocesan Legal Council that gave me advice on how to collect on outstanding school tuition.
Then we have had a number of school-related questions that the diocesan Schools Office answered for us.
The Hispanic Life Office consulted with me on a couple of occasions regarding some Hispanic marriage situations.
The Worship Office, along with the diocesan Chancellor, helped the Bishop consider our proposal for the new air conditioning project at Paulding. The Chancellor helps the Bishop consider any really expensive project. When I came aboard, Fr. Fillman already had a list of projects for which he had obtained permission from the Chancery.
Of course, we can finally consider the Bishop himself, and all of the support personnel who help him lead us to become a holy Diocese, with holy families and holy vocations. This was the vision the Bishop indicated upon his initial trip to our deanery last November.
I hope that as you consider these many, very concrete ways the Diocesan Offices have helped us already since my arrival, you will respond as generously as you are able to the Bishop’s Annual Catholic Appeal. It just makes sense generously to support the ACA, given that we are constantly getting help from the central offices of the Diocese in one way or another. If you have any questions about the appeal, please call the parish office.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,