Clergy Trust to launch 'Give Thanks for Priests' campaign in September
BRAINTREE -- This September, Clergy Trust will launch a campaign dedicated to giving thanks for the role of priests, promoting prayers for their ministries, and raising funds for their health and wellbeing.
Clergy Trust supports the archdiocese's active and senior priests in good standing through three core programs: the Intentional Living Program, which provides preventive health guidance; the Dedicated Care Team, which offers one-on-one support for priests with health concerns; and Regina Cleri, where senior priests can live in community and receive the care they need as they approach the end of life.
For the past 13 years, Clergy Trust's primary means of fundraising has been the annual Celebration of the Priesthood. This gala event has usually been held each September at the Seaport World Trade Center, with the last two taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But this year, Clergy Trust is shifting the way they honor and raise funds for the diocesan priests. Maryellen Barrett, vice president of finance administration for Clergy Trust, cited an expected uptick in the coronavirus, as well as the fact that the World Trade Center is undergoing construction, as reasons for this decision.
"Because everything is looking so different ... a smaller, different event, made sense," Barrett said.
Clergy Trust has been collaborating with Boston Catholic Development Services (BCDS) to organize a "Give Thanks for Priests" campaign, which will take place Sept. 1-18. This digital outreach campaign will encourage the laity to pray for priests, share stories about their impact, and financially support their healthcare.
The campaign will include a daily prayer challenge. Participants can sign up to receive a text or email with a link to a different prayer each day, some of them adapted from the words of saints, giving thanks for priests and praying for them in their mission.
"The main goal of the prayer challenge is to involve the greater community," Christine Warner, digital marketing director for BCDS, said in an Aug. 15 interview.
She explained that it will be an opportunity "to get more engaged in the Clergy Trust mission overall" and "to express gratitude to the priests that have given us so much through their service."
Another aspect of the campaign will be sharing stories about the role of priests in the lives of the faithful. Clergy Trust is inviting people to submit personal testimonies, which may be shared on their website and social media channels.
"If there was a specific priest who made a big difference in their life, or their loved ones' lives, they can submit a story expressing gratitude and explaining what that impact was," Werner said.
The Give Thanks for Priests campaign will culminate with a special collection for Clergy Trust taken in parishes on the weekend of Sept. 17-18.
Clergy Trust and the archdiocese will promote the campaign through email and social media. They also will encourage parishes to promote it through announcements or bulletins.
Registration for the prayer challenge can be found at clergytrust.org/prayerchallenge. Stories of priests can be submitted at clergytrust.org/share-your-story.