A Note from our Pastor regarding the 2017 Sharing God’s Blessings Annual Appeal

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Welcome to our page on the 2017 Annual Appeal, which we kicked off early February.  It is my hope that our parish will respond as generously to this Archdiocesan Campaign as it has in the past years.

Christ had foretold that the poor and the needy will always be in our midst. He also promised us that whatever we do for the least of his brethren, we do for Him.  When the St. Theresa of Calcutta was once asked why she spends so much of her time helping people who are not even believers in Christ, she shot back, “I do not help them because they are followers of Christ, but because I am a follower of Christ!”

Many of us might feel distant from the programs that the Annual Appeal sponsors.  But the truth of the matter is that one day, it may very well happen that a dying relative of ours will be comforted in a hospital by a Catholic chaplain whose remuneration the Appeal underwrites.  Or that a sibling be visited in prison by a counselor paid through the Appeal.  Or a grand-child receive drug-rehabilitation at a center run by the Catholic Church.  Or a young person from our parish, responding to the Lord’s calling to the priesthood, having some of his needs met by the Annual Appeal.  Or the priest who baptized you, prepared you for marriage and buried your spouse, being able to receive health-care after spending himself in serving Christ’s flock … thanks to the Annual Appeal.

The Archdiocese of Newark utilizes the monies collected in an array of corporal and spiritual works of mercy.  All of us are encouraged to make a pledge by utilizing the detachable envelope at the bottom of the brochures found in the pews of the Church and at the rectory office.  The pledge does not have to be paid now.  Not even anytime soon.  We have a whole year to make good on our pledges, either though a lump sum or installments.

And here’s another reason why we should all consider making a pledge today: should our parish go over the goal (set by the Archdiocese this year at $31,696), St. Peter’s will receive a rebate check, which can be used towards one of the many needs of our parish. We hope that there will be a rebate this year too, and that it could be used towards some of the projects through which we seek to make the love of Christ more visible to those who are most in need of experiencing it.

Someone recently asked me, “How can the Archdiocese expect us to give to a new appeal when we are still paying our We Are Living Stones Campaign pledges?”  That’s a very fair question, to which I’ll respond thus:
The three-year Capital Campaign is a more large-scale campaign that seeks to help our parishes be able to keep their doors open, through improvements to the facilities and repairs that otherwise would never be realized. The Annual Appeal seeks rather to assist the Church’s pastoral activities, including Her responsibility towards the poor.
Here at St. Peter’s, 168 families are participating in the Living Stones Campaign, pledging an average gift in the region of $2,000 per donor.  The Annual Appeal seeks to reach more of our parishioners, especially those who for some reason did not pledge to the prior campaign, and who feel more of an affinity to the charitable works that it underwrites.
To the 156 individuals or families from St. Peter’s who participated in the last Annual Appeal held two years ago goes our sincerest thanks, in the hope that they will also participate this year.  And to the other families in our parish – at least 600 more families are registered - who as yet are reluctant to even make a small contribution, goes our heartfelt appeal for them to experience how the Lord can never be outdone in generosity.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Ivan Sciberras

We invite you to watch the 8-minute Campaign Video provided by the Archdiocese of Newark, either in English or in Spanish.