Dear Parish Family,
With the behind-the-scenes preparations for the upcoming parish-wide events, “Witness to Hope” is underway at St. John! The campaign is unprecedented in our parish and our entire diocese. In one campaign, our aim as a parish is to raise at least $2 million in order to continue the Great Commission that our Lord Jesus entrusted to us, his people in the “Mother Church of Jackson,” and to secure the future of our parish and our wider diocese for generations to come!
The diocesan share of our goal will support God’s people through three primary ways: 1) forming our youth and families, 2) evangelization and outreach through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and 3) caring for priests and seminarians. More specifically, with the $65 million we hope to raise throughout the Diocese, here are just some of the ways our Jackson area benefits:
- Local families will receive need-based financial aid to make a St. John School and Lumen Christi education possible for their children.
- $200,000 of the donations will go to our local Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee, and Hillsdale Counties, the new office of which is on 3425 Francis Street here in Jackson. They are now providing counseling for marriages and families, as well as the addiction epidemic (drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc.) that has hit many communities, including our own.
- More new evangelization grants will help grow our parish. Some of those grants already have helped our parish begin outreaches like Alpha and the Called & Gifted Workshop, which have energized the faith life of our parishioners.
- Through the $4.5 million that will go to a Priest Pension Fund, our funds will help the priests who have served us, like Fr. Jim Shaver. Through the Seminarian Education Endowment, we will help the future priests who have yet to serve us, like our former seminarian intern, Mark Martin. It was through such donations that funded me in my service to the seminarians at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and gave us a priest like our beloved Fr. Brian Lenz.
The parish share of our goal will support the various much-needed projects at our three major campuses: 1) St. John Church, 2) St. John School, and 3) St. Joseph Oratory. Each parishioner, if they choose to do so, can preference from 1 to 3 the case elements that their gift will first benefit. Selecting one of the three campuses as the #1 priority would mean that their entire pledge would go to that priority until it reaches its subtotal goal. If that campus has already reached their subtotal goal, the funds will then go to the #2 priority, and so forth. Selecting “No Preference,” however, will give us the greatest flexibility in having the funds go where they are needed.
Notice there is no “Heritage Hall” priority among the case elements to specifically select. This is because the bishop wants us to focus first on taking care of the top projects of our current campuses before we go forward with Heritage Hall. Thus, all funds in excess of the goal amounts for each campus ($385,000 for St. John Church, $550,000 for St. John School and $117,000 for St. Joseph Oratory) will go to a Future Capital Projects Fund, which will fund our Heritage Hall.
Next week: More details on the top three projects of each of the three campuses.
Yours in the Risen Christ!