Forward in Faith, Hope, & Love Diocesan Campaign

Letter from Father Winslow

Dear Parishioners,

Several years ago administrators in the diocese thought that it was the right time in our young history to look at our current and future needs.  As you are well aware, the population of Western North Carolina continues to grow; a significant percentage is Catholic.  Not so long ago the South was regarded as mission territory, but because of these demographic trends this is no longer the case.  For this reason our diocese has experienced a tremendous amount of growth, unlike many of our hometowns in the North and Midwest or in other parts of the world where church communities are shrinking and Catholic parishes and institutions are closing.  In order to meet the needs of a growing Church, which is to be sure a good problem to have, it was decided that a capital campaign was necessary to support the many works and activities of the Church.  The city of Charlotte in many ways has followed the growth trend of Atlanta.  The diocese there arrived at a similar point several decades ago and also decided that it was necessary to have a capital campaign.  Looking to their experience as a good model for future planning, the Diocese of Charlotte is now doing the same.  It has embarked on the Forward in Faith, Hope and Love campaign.

Sensitive to the fact that Saint Thomas Aquinas is in the midst of our own campaign to address our parish needs, the diocese will modify its capital campaign effort at our parish so that no household will be asked to give simultaneously to two church campaigns.  Those who are financially supporting our parish campaign will be asked this spring to consider participating in the five-year diocesan campaign midstream, once our parish campaign is completed.  Because there are two years remaining in our campaign, these households will be asked to join the remaining three years of the five-year diocesan effort.  Those households  who chose not to participate in our St. Thomas Aquinas parish campaign, as well as those who registered during the past year, will be asked to participate in the full five-year diocesan effort.  The information and request phase of the diocesan campaign will conclude by summer 2014, although many of our households will fall into the category of not making a financial gift for another two years.

Everyone will be receiving information as to which areas of the diocese will be supported by this effort.  To the right is a pie chart that characterizes the campaign goals.  You will notice that unlike most campaigns, which are about building structures, the majority of these goals are about people, ministries, and apostolates.  In nearly every area, our parish directly benefits.  You will notice the largest piece of the pie, 25%, comes directly to the parish.  That portion of the funds raised will be applied to finishing one of the original building goals for the Church, specifically a functional choir loft, as well as major improvements made to the narthex and restroom facilities.  Some of our long-time parishioners might recall that a few of the church construction goals had to be postponed because of diminishing funds.  The loft was one of them.  I think that everyone in the parish will greatly benefit from realizing this long-term goal.  As for the narthex and the restrooms, improvements will be made.  Since I arrived, more than one lady has expressed dissatisfaction with our current facilities.  I would like to remedy that.

Several parishioners have already committed to helping to make this initiative a success.  I ask that you prayerfully consider being open to participating in this effort to better secure the Church in North Carolina now and into the future.  Information will be posted on our website, and volunteers will be reaching out.  As they are taking a leap of faith to help this cause, I hope you will receive them with charity and openness.  As a member of Saint Thomas Aquinas, I made a pledge to our parish campaign last year and I will join you this year in making a pledge to the diocesan campaign, Forward in Faith, Hope and Love.


Fr. Winslow


Letters from the Pastor

Each week Father Winslow writes a letter to the parishioners, you can find each one archived in this blog.

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