Fr. Gallatin’s Address Regarding the Capital Campaign

The following is a transcript of an address regarding the upcoming Capital Campaign that Fr. Gallatin gave at all parish masses the weekend of Oct. 13 & 14.

Whether it is a short journey or a trip to another country on the other side of our world, traveling can be a wonderful experience. Yet we all know how good it feels to come home to the comfort of our residence, our routine, and our family, friends, and neighbors, to the familiar and the known.

This feeling is the same for many of us when we think of the Church of St. Peter.  Being here, sharing in the Eucharist, is coming home to our spiritual family. Now, when I think of the value of this spiritual home, there is no way to attach an amount of money to it; it’s priceless. What we are doing is creating a tomorrow for ourselves and our children.  The body and the soul of this faith community will be nourished and renewed by our actions today.

When I accepted the archbishop’s request to become your pastor four years ago, I began to see how the people of this parish demonstrate their faith by consciously choosing to act on that faith, as more and more people step forward to help make this an even greater parish than it has been for going on 175 years. Each day talented volunteer leaders and dedicated staff members continue to develop strategies to help our parish move forward in faith. God is providing the wisdom, guidance, and blessings to do great things, and now he wants us to take part in his plan for our spiritual home.

In a little more than a week, every registered household will receive information in the mail that will invite each of us to offer a new financial commitment to help service and reduce our debt, repay our archdiocesan obligations, and complete several important repairs and improvements over the next three years. In the past several weeks we have shared facts and we have created a transparency of information, which is essential to understand the numbers and background of our debt structure, obligations, and the needed repairs.  However, beyond the knowledge of these facts, must come our deep faith that God will continue to guide us on our journey.

We all know the difficulty of the current economy.  However, parishioners in this faith-filled community have banded together in the past to overcome challenges not unlike those we face today.  So, through our belief in the power of God’s love, we know that we can meet and overcome any obstacle before us.

Sometimes the term “stewardship” has mistakenly been assumed to mean “fundraising.” But it’s a way of living our lives that you and I consciously choose to guide our priorities every day. There are endless needs.  There always seems to be a request for our time and our money – so many needs, so many choices, so much day-to-day pressure on our time, energy and financial resources. Many charitable organizations need our time and financial support. But I believe there is an even greater spiritual need that God gave each of us at birth: the need to give back, based on our blessings and capacity to respond.  As Catholic Christians, we are called to respond with an attitude of gratitude, as a sacrifice, and as part of our core beliefs.  This is the real meaning of the term “stewardship.”

Stewardship also calls us to remember we’re part of the family of God, with each member pulling

together and supporting others based on our individual talents and resource – and most importantly, our capacity to respond.  St. Peter’s Parish is a vital, living, family of God.   It is also an extension of each one of us and our families – a place where we can celebrate the joys and sorrows in our life. We have so much to be proud of as we offer worship, education, outreach and fellowship to each other.  Yet there is so much more we can do and can be if we examine our capacity to respond, and think about taking an individual and collective leap of faith based on our blessings. It was just that kind of leap that the rich man from today’s Gospel reading was not prepared to take – yet. Jesus is encouraging us not to go away sad, but to trust in him.

As we move forward to launch our debt reduction campaign, I invite you to renew your energies toward our faith community.  I hope you will take time in private prayer and reflection to evaluate the importance of St. Peter’s Parish in your life and determine how you may prioritize your blessings for the work that we do here.

On the weekend of Sunday, October 28 and for the following two weekends, we will invite everyone over the age of 18 to offer a new commitment to our debt reduction campaign.  This invitation will take place here in church. Commitment cards, envelopes and pencils will be available and you will be able to offer an individual or family commitment over the next 36 months from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2015.

So, please take time to review the information when it arrives in your mail the week of October 22.  Resist the temptation to set it aside.  Study it and pray for God’s direction to help you respond. The information will help you and me to come prepared to offer our planned and proportionate financial commitment at one of the Masses the following three weekends.  We trust this process will be an efficient and respectful way to invite your support, without imposing on your busy schedule, and interfering with our liturgy. From a practical standpoint, this approach will really help save us the time and expense of contacting you later through a follow up process.

I also encourage you to take time in the coming weeks to offer a prayer for the success of our collective efforts, remembering that anything is possible with God’s help and the power of our prayers and financial commitments! May God bless the Church of St. Peter, our spiritual family.   Thank you for your faithful support and confidence in all we do.  May God bless you!


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