An investment in the appeal is an investment in our collective communities, children, and our future.
The mission of the Church and the faithful is to bring all people into communion with God, through Christ, and into the fullness of the Kingdom. Evangelization is at the core of this mission, to be carried out in all her forms of ministry, witness, and service. "The mission of the Church is to work toward a civilization of love and a world of justice." These recent remarks by Cardinal Seán O'Malley are at the core of this year's Catholic Appeal. We share and support this vision and are pleased to serve as the chairs of this year's Catholic Appeal.
The Catholic Appeal ensures that the presence and hope of Christ can be felt throughout the 144 communities that comprise the Archdiocese of Boston. More than 250 parish communities make up the collective fabric of our shared faith. The archdiocese's central ministries help support vibrant parishes so they can create programs and initiatives uniquely suited to their priorities and the needs of the communities they serve, such as operating food pantries, soup kitchens, and other outreach to those struggling to be seen. These programs within our parishes serve not only the Catholic faithful but anyone in need of Christ's love and compassion.
Ours is a visible Church, one that is intentional in mission and aspirational in purpose.
The Boston Catholic Appeal lends agency to our parishes, Catholic schools, and the many essential ministries that tend to the needs and growth of Greater Boston. Nearly 20 percent of funds raised through the appeal are directed to formation programs that guide people of all ages through their faith journeys. This includes providing catechists with vibrant religious education sources, overseeing high school and college campus ministry programs (which have led to an increase in religious vocations), and supporting families as they endeavor to develop a stronger connection with Jesus.
Faith in action is arguably the most visible throughout the 100 Catholic schools across our archdiocese, where children of all faith backgrounds realize their value and God-given potential. The pandemic shone a spotlight on the importance and unparalleled value of our Catholic schools, which remained open and served as a constant in the lives of students and their families during a difficult time. Especially in our underserved communities -- and most importantly in times of uncertainty and crisis -- Catholic schools provide a safe and positive space for students to focus on their learning, their lessons, and their spiritual lives.
"Faith into Action" is a call to serve. Mark's Gospel (9:35) reminds us that as our Lord served us, so we must serve one another, and be joyous in that service. As parishioners of the Church of St. Paul in Hamilton, as parents of four daughters, and as proud members of our archdiocese, we have seen firsthand the fruits of the Catholic Appeal. An investment in the appeal is an investment in our collective communities, children, and our future. When you are asked to make your contribution at Mass this weekend, if you have not already done so, we invite you to join us and consider the type of personal contribution that will have a real impact. We also invite you to learn more and watch this year's beautiful video by visiting the appeal website at bostoncatholicappeal.org.
Spring is the season of new beginnings, and, as St. John Vianney said, "It is always springtime in the heart that loves God." Alone we can do great things, but together we can change our world.
It all starts with YOU!
JOHN AND JULIE CORCORAN ARE PARISHIONERS OF ST. PAUL PARISH IN HAMILTON, MEMBERS OF THE CARDINAL'S LEADERSHIP CIRCLE, AND CHAIRS OF THE 2023 CATHOLIC APPEAL.
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