By Kathy Gaito
The Holiday Inn in Norwich was the setting for the Diocese of Norwich Annual Catholic Appeal Leadership Meeting on March 7. Priests, parish secretaries and parishioners from all across the diocese who volunteer their time to assist with the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) came together to begin the vital work that will make a difference in the lives of God’s children and help make this year’s appeal a success!
At the meeting, the ACA leadership teams were the first group to see this year’s ACA video, “Hand in Hand with All God’s Children”. The video, (available online at www.norwichdiocesedevelopment.org) provided the leadership teams with a first-hand view of the work that is performed by three of our ministries: Ministry to the Sick/Hospital Chaplaincy, FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and Prison Ministry. The good works of these three ministries allowed all at the leadership meeting to identify with the important missions that our over 25 ministries and programs undertake on a daily basis in the Diocese.
The ACA video is a tool used by the Office of Development and the ACA leadership teams at the start of the Annual Catholic Appeal to bring to the people in the pews examples of the strong dedication of our ministries to serving the people of our communities.
At the meeting, Mary Ellen Mahoney, Executive Director of Development offered, “While the ACA and our generous donors are essential to the survival of our ministries, we are also very thankful for the crucial assistance from our leadership teams comprised of priests, parish secretaries and ACA chairpeople who bring the ACA to the parishioners. Tonight, we stress the need to increase participation. Our goal is to have as close to 100% participation as possible. We realize that only by all of us coming together as one Church will we be able to support our ministries as they do the work of Christ.”
A volunteer who assists with the Annual Catholic Appeal shared her thoughts about the ACA and why she chose to help with this important endeavor. "This is my eleventh year as ACA Leader at Saint John Church located in Old Saybrook. I volunteer in support of the Annual Catholic Appeal because I know that, with 25 ministries supported by ACA funding, our donations touch all aspects of Catholic life, covering many more than I would be able to support individually. Our 2019 theme "Hand in Hand with All God's Children" truly captures the range of ministries that our diocese supports, as we walk hand in hand with all God's children through our own ACA donations." – June Getchius
If you’ve walked hand in hand in the past supporting the ACA with your parish leadership team, thank you and we hope you will join us again this year. If you haven’t participated in the ACA, we hope this year you are able to extend your hand to help others.