It’s ‘Pay It Forward’ time again

Categories: Around the Diocese

The Visitor offers seed money to those who will make the investment grow for a charitable cause

Jan. 17, 2014, edition
By Nikki Rajala

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of a rich man who leaves a portion of his wealth with three trusted servants. Each used the money differently and those who increased it were rewarded.

That’s the inspiration for The Visitor’s “Pay it Forward for Lent” annual contest.

This year, our sixth, we offer $100 seed money to three individuals or groups with creative ways to grow those dollars.

Here’s how to participate:

An individual or group chooses a way to multiply $100 during the 40 days of Lent, which they then donate to a charity of their choice. They describe their detailed plan — in 300 words or less — telling how they’ll intentionally increase their seed gift and naming the charity receiving the gift. Unique concepts to multiply the grant especially interest us.

Entries — the 300-word plan — must be received by noon Feb. 14; in addition we need a contact person’s name, their daytime telephone and email address and the name and address of the parish. Participants can submit their entry by:

• Email to, with the name of your town and “Pay it Forward” in the subject line.

• Mail to “Pay it Forward for Lent,” The Visitor, P.O. Box 1068, St. Cloud, MN 56302.

• Deliver to the Pastoral Center at 305 N 7th Ave., Suite 206, St. Cloud.

Questions: Call Nikki at The Visitor at 320-258-7622 or 320-251-3022.

We’ll announce winning projects in our Feb. 28 edition. The projects begin Ash Wednesday, March 5, and should be completed by Easter Sunday, April 20 — so we can share their results in our April 25 edition.

2013 Pay It Forward a huge success

In 2013, four groups grew their $100 grants into $14, 279 to donate to charities.

The Worship Ensemble of Sartell’s St. Francis Xavier Parish presented a “Music for the Masses” concert. Their proceeds purchased wireless microphones for recording TV Masses at the diocesan Pastoral Center.

With donations of cash and supplies, The Catholic Foundation filled 100 Easter baskets for youth and families at Catholic Charities St. Cloud Children’s Home and five other programs — 35 more baskets than expected.

Member of St. John Parish in Foley, Miara Cash and her apologetics class organized an informal 5K run; the dollars pledged by participants benefited the Eugene Pullis Women Religious Fund and additional needs of the diocesan Vocations Office. Besides training their bodies, the group fortified themselves for a “spiritual race.”

Loretta Giroux, a member at Ave Maria Parish in Wheaton and a Gold Star wife, supported treatment for emotionally wounded veterans at Eagle’s Healing Nest near Sauk Centre. Giroux died Feb. 7, shortly after hearing her project was chosen. Her daughter Kathy Malacek mailed 172 letters written by her mother and completed the project.

Jump-starting the process

Before Pay it Forward projects even started, two families — Bonnie and Ronald Loidolt of Holy Family Parish in Belle Prairie and an anonymous donor — assisted to increase the number of projects The Visitor could fund.