Dear friends,

This weekend Bishop Christopher Coyne officially kicks off the Diocese of Burlington’s first-ever Christ Our Hope: Building a Vibrant Church campaign managed by the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation.

After two years of planning, and based on the outcomes of the Diocesan Synod, this campaign is centered on the works of Jesus: “And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people” (Mt 4:23).

We cannot have a vibrant church if we do not have vibrant parishes. Parishes are the heart of our church where the preaching occurs. That is why 60 percent of donations raised by each parish will go back to support its urgent needs. Twenty percent will be used to strengthen our faith formation programs or teaching ministries, such as Catholic education and youth and lay ministries. The final 20 percent will support the healing works of Christ by expanding emergency aid to the most vulnerable among us through Vermont Catholic Charities. I invite each of you to please watch the campaign video and read the “Frequently Asked Questions” flyer to learn more about why now, more than ever, we need to move forward with this statewide campaign: christourhopevt.org.

Many parishes have seen significant downturns in funding and they need our help. Others have urgent projects that must be addressed. Each parish has created its own goals based on its specific needs and has recruited tremendous volunteer leadership teams.

Over the next several weeks, you will receive communications about the campaign through multiple platforms, and a packet of information with your specific parish goals will be mailed to your household with an invitation to prayerfully consider a sacrificial gift to the campaign over a three-year period. This is an invitation not an expectation.

Due to the pandemic, some families will not be able to make a gift above their annual parish and Bishop’s Appeal support. But all are invited to participate by praying the campaign prayer and supporting your pastor and volunteer leadership team in this effort. With Christ as our hope, whatever we receive will be used to glorify Him and spread the Good News.

With gratitude,

Ellen Kane

Executive Director, Development and Communications

We are so grateful to announce that we received $22,583 in One-Time Gifts on July 29 Founder’s Day of Giving, meeting our challenge match in one day! We also received an additional $33,325 in pledges which well exceeded our expectations. God is good. Thank you to all those who were able to give. If you would still like to make a gift please visit: bishopsappealvt.org.

Campaign Prayer

Almighty and eternal God, we place our hope in You to guide the Catholic Church in Vermont to renew our parishes, and engage our youth; to form lay leaders and serve the most vulnerable among us. In the power of the Holy Spirit, help us build a vibrant Church in this time and place and for generations to come. Seeking the intercession of our first bishop, Louis deGoesbriand, we pray this through Christ Our Lord, Amen. Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.

—Originally published in the Aug. 15-21, 2020, issue of The Inland See.

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