Don’t forget 13 things for which to show our gratitude

Categories: Editorial

What does the diocese do for our parishes? Let me count the ways

February 28, 2014, edition
By Bob Zyskowski

Before it slips your mind, now would be a good time to write a check or make your pledge to the Annual Diocesan Appeal.

If you’ve already done so — thanks! — and you can stop reading right here. If you’ve been hesitating, though, here are a baker’s dozen reasons you shouldn’t wait any longer.

1. Permanent deacons. We’ve come to appreciate deacons because they do so much at our parishes. Donations to the appeal help pay for their training.

2. The newly updated diocesan website. Folks across Central Minnesota are finding the information they need on www.stcdio.org. With its new look and user-friendly format, answers to your questions, news about our church and a calendar of important dates and activities are just a few clicks away. The Internet may be free, but it takes money for people and technology to bring it to you fresh 24/7, 365.

3. Curriculum recommendations. A professional staff help both faith formation programs at parishes and Catholic school staffs utilize effective and appropriate religious education materials, plus recently developed technologies.

4. Stewardship assistance. Staff from the Office of Stewardship and Development make presentations to parishes and parish councils to provide information and resources so parishes can maintain fiscal stability and encourage parishioners to be good stewards of God’s gifts.

5. Marriage preparation weekends. Held at various sites across the diocese, these sessions intended to strengthen sacramental marriages are one of the many activities of the Office for Marriage and Family that appeal donations support.

6. Endowment funds. The Catholic Foundation enables parishes and schools to set up endowment funds and manages the assets of those funds that will help meet their financial needs in future years.

7. Priests. Before he can assign a priest to a parish, a bishop must have men to assign. That’s partly the work of the diocesan Office of Vocations, which, along with encouraging, educating and supporting candidates for the priesthood, assesses the candidates in order to recommend them to the bishop for priestly ministry.

8. TV Mass. Thanks to the work of the Office of Worship, parishioners with physical limitations who are unable to get to church are able to view Mass each week on television.

9. Human resource guidance. Pastors and parish staffs find help for any number of activities, issues and concerns in which employee relationships are involved from the Human Resources Office of the diocese.

10. Better liturgies. When questions arise, parishes are able to turn to the Office of Worship for guidance in the preparation, music and rites for liturgy.

11. Training for catechists.  Those who volunteer to teach in our parish faith formation classes are able to enrich their own faith understanding through the “In the Ministry of the Word” program that Catholic Education Ministries began 20 years ago.

12. Bishop Donald Kettler. During March alone, our new bishop is scheduled at events at nine different parishes and a handful of other sites as he both gets to know and ministers to Catholics across the diocese.

And, of course:

13. The Visitor. Your award-winning diocesan newspaper informs and inspires parishioners, supports parish programs, activities and celebrations and connects Catholics to their parish, to the diocese and to the church across the nation and around the world.