Annual Catholic Appeal – April 29, 2012 Witness Speaker – Scott Edwards
April 28/29, 2012
My family and I have been parishioners here at St. Cecilia’s for about 12 years, since we
moved to Bainbridge Island in 2000. The first Sunday we came to mass at St. Cecilia all
those years ago, Brendan Curran came up and welcomed us to the parish; we have been
appreciating the warm and welcoming spirit of St. Cecilia’s ever since.
Over those dozen years, our two youngest kids were born and were baptized at St.
Cecilia’s, while the two oldest have celebrated first communion and first reconciliation. I
went through RCIA here, and all three kids have been involved in PREP (the Parish
Religious Education Program formerly known as CCD, and altar serving. The musicians
in the family, Christine, Catherine, and Julia all play cello with the choir from time to
During the past twelve years St. Cecilia has been a major part of our lives. And every
spring for the past 12 years I’ve sat right where you’re sitting and listened to someone like
me encouraging us all to donate to the annual catholic appeal. This year father asked me
to give the talk and I feel honored to be here this morning to ask each of you to
participate in this year’s appeal.
Catholic means universal. To me, one of the many wonderful aspects of the catholic
church is that it is bigger than each of us, bigger than the parish.
You can walk into any catholic church, anywhere in the world and celebrate the same
mass we are celebrating here today. I’ve been blessed to have experienced the
universality of the catholic church on the Oregon coast, in Alaska, in Mexico, Germany
The annual catholic Appeal asks us to look beyond our own parish and support more than
60 ministries and services of the archdiocese of Seattle in furtherance of the work of the
universal church, many of those ministries and services have a direct impact in this parish.
I was blessed to have served on the parish council during the our faith our future
campaign, and had the opportunity to see first hand the guidance St. Cecilia received
from the archdiocese Office of Construction throughout the process – from fundraising to
assistance with design and construction in vetting and selecting the architect and
contractor – staying with the project from start to finish. That office is one of the more
than 60 services and ministries supported by the annual catholic appeal.
The appeal also supports faith formation, catholic schools, retired priests and nuns as well
as supporting the training of new priests and deacons among many other ministries and
services of the archdiocese.
The appeal is just once a year, hence annual. No one parish can accomplish the entire
mission of the church. As Catholics we belong to the body of Christ and in communion
with neighboring parishes help advance the church’s universal mission.
Your support is critical to the causes of the Annual Catholic Appeal and its many
ministries and services. Today I am asking every one of you to commit to making a gift
to the Annual Catholic Appeal. The reason is not just because the church has a need,
which it does and not just because the causes are worthy, which they are, but especially
because this is part of what it means to be Catholic.
The total archdiocese goal this year is $14 million. St. Cecilia parish’s goal this year, our
share of the total is $68,000. All amounts raised in excess of the goal are rebated to the
Please know that every gift, no matter the amount can and will make a difference.
However, the reality in this continuing difficult economic environment is that some of
our fellow parishioners will not be able to financially support the Appeal this year. If you
are not already doing so, the Archdiocese asks that you please consider a gift of $1 a day
that is $365 or more to make up for those who are not able to give in 2012.
There are various options available to fulfill your pledge, you can spread the payments
over 10 months using a credit or debit card, use electronic funds transfer or monthly
billing. You can also go online to pledge or give. The web address is on the pledge
envelope in the pew. That is what I did and it was very simple to do.
If you are unable to give, please fill out a pledge card and write “I am offering a prayer.”
This will let the archdiocese know that you are participating and will prevent you from
receiving follow up letters.
Keep in mind that every dollar given over and above our goal is returned directly to the
parish. As a member of the finance council I have seen how important that rebate is to
supporting the many parish ministries. This year Christine and I increased our gift to the
Annual Catholic Appeal by 10% over last year, I encourage you to consider doing the
same. Thanks to your generosity, our church is here in times of need, providing comfort
and hope. On behalf of Father Emmett, I want thank you today in advance for your
support of the Annual Catholic Appeal.