Archbishop thanks area Catholics for support of Catholic Ministries Appeal
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
ARCHDIOCESE — Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr presided at three Masses of thanksgiving in August to thank area Catholics for their generous support of the Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) and the vital ministries it funds in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
|Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr chats with Molly LaForm and her daughter, Elizabeth, at a reception following the Catholic Ministries Appeal Mass of thanksgiving at Holy Angels Parish in Sidney. (CT/Jeff Unroe)|
The first Mass was held on Aug. 1 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. It was followed by another at Holy Angels Parish in Sidney on Aug. 8, and the final Mass on Aug. 22 at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Kettering.
Archbishop Schnurr chose to wear the pallium that he received in June from Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, marking the first time he has worn it in the archdiocese. An ancient symbol of the teaching and shepherding authority and responsibility of a metropolitan archbishop, the pallium is a liturgical vestment meant to be worn by the archbishop when he presides at celebrations in his archdiocese and his province, and only on special occasions, the archbishop explained during his homilies at the respective Masses.
The significance of his wearing the pallium for the occasion was related to the unity that it symbolizes, the archbishop said, unity that is represented by the communion between the pope and the archdiocese, the local church and the whole church in following the call of Jesus.
“It points to the two things Christ calls each of us to take up and bear — the yoke of discipleship and the cross of sacrificial self-giving,” Archbishop Schnurr said.
He noted that the pope has stressed the importance of working together as church to bring the good news of salvation to a world that grows more hungry for it every day. “His words are particularly appropriate in our celebration of gratitude for the Catholic Ministries Appeal,” the archbishop said. “Together, we did much this year to meet the needs, both physical and spiritual, of our sisters and brothers throughout the region. Through your generosity and God’s bountiful grace, the scant loaves and fishes of a difficult economy have been multiplied and shared beyond measure.”
“I am so very grateful to be united with you in our archdiocese, which is so rich in what matters to God,” Archbishop Schnurr added. “Your generous response to the Catholic Ministries Appeal is just one manifestation of what we can to do together to answer God’s call to feed the hungers of the world. That generosity is what makes the yoke easy and the burden light.”
According to Michael Vanderburgh, director of the archdiocesan Stewardship Department, which administers the CMA, to date this year’s appeal has received pledges totaling 91 percent of the $4 million goal, which is a 5 percent increase in donations from last year, and a 1 percent increase in the number of gifts. This year, more than 33,000 people have made gifts to the appeal, he said.
“This is an especially encouraging response, since our 2009 October count showed a 5 percent decrease in Mass attendance from October 2008,” Vanderburgh said. “When parishioners aren’t at Mass, they don’t hear the appeal from their pastor. The single most important reason why people give to the CMA is that it was a request from their pastor or other priest.”
Gifts toward the 2010 CMA will be accepted through Dec. 31, Vanderburgh said.