About 23,000 Catholic households in southeast Michigan have pledged over $34 million to the Archdiocese of Detroit's Changing Lives Together capital stewardship initiative, the largest such effort in the 300-year history of the Archdiocese.
"People have been very, very generous," said Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron. "We're not asking everyone for an equal amount, but we're asking the faithful to make whatever sacrifice they can in their parishes to help accomplish our goal of changing lives, of strengthening the Church, and strengthening our service to the Lord Jesus Christ."
The Archbishop provided an update on the archdiocesan-wide effort at a campaign gathering at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Monroe County, where nine area parishes are among more than 40 poised to launch their campaigns.
Launched last fall, the $135 million Changing Lives Together campaign is intended to provide parishes throughout the six-county Archdiocese with the financial means to fulfill their pastoral plans. "It's very much a parish-focused initiative," said Archbishop Vigneron. "At least 70 percent of what each parish raises stays in the parish to fulfill what the pastor and parishioners have decided is necessary to be a vibrant community and to pass on our faith to our children and our grandchildren." The other thirty percent of campaign proceeds will increase funds available for Catholic school tuition assistance, priestly formation and lay leadership training, and to support Church ministries in the city of Detroit.
Sixty of the 267 parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit have largely completed their campaigns, generating more than $34 million in pledges toward a target of $37 million. "We are humbled and pleased and so thankful to God that, in these challenging economic times, we have seen such an exceptional outpouring of generosity from our parishioners," said Dave Kelley, archdiocesan Director of Development.
A pilot wave of 18 parishes has reached nearly 98 percent of its pledge goal. A second wave of 42 parishes has surpassed 83 percent of its pledge goal. The third of five waves in the campaign is now underway. Each wave is approximately six months in duration. The timing of parish participation in Changing Lives Together has largely depended on what works best for the parish, as determined by pastors and parish lay leaders.
"Every parish needs to be engaged in Changing Lives Together because this is something that belongs to all of us as one family of God in southeast Michigan," observed the Archbishop. "The important thing is for our parishes to be stronger, our communities to be more tightly bonded together through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, and that we have a renewed sense of mission."
To learn more about Changing Lives Together, visit www.aodclt.org.n/a