ACA 2020: Generosity During Trying Times
Early last summer, Bishop Thomas Daly and diocesan leaders met to discuss the upcoming 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal. In light of COVID-19 and the restrictions it brings, some voiced concerns about how our parishes would continue to receive the support they need, let alone support the annual appeal.
Bishop Daly’s letter for the 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal recalled that the Diocese of Spokane is currently in a “Year of the Eucharist,” and our annual appeal’s name is “One Body in Christ,” as it is the Eucharist that brings us together and forms us into one body. Bishop Daly also made a point to be as present as possible during the closing of public Masses during much of 2020 by creating several videos where he spoke to the Church in Eastern Washington, and by livestreaming his weekly Mass from the Cathedral. His presence and message were essential for us during what became a very divisive time and trying time in our country, and even in the church.
Bishop Daly’s appeal letter went on to remind us that “as one body, we are called to assist the Church in her material needs, each according to their own ability.” For many, this was challenging, due to changes brought on by COVID-19. For others, it heightened their awareness that regardless of circumstances, the mission of Church will continue and the Church will need our support.
In years past, the diocese has launched the annual appeal with a special dinner for Bishop’s Circle members. The Bishop’s Circle was created to recognize and celebrate individuals who sustain the Diocese of Spokane’s ministries and programs through significant gifts to the Annual Catholic Appeal. Due to pandemic restrictions, the diocese was not able to host the dinner this year. Again, Bishop Daly, along with diocesan leaders, wondered what impact this would have on the Bishop’s Circle members’ support. Bishop Daly confidently said, “Our Lord may not give us what we want, but we will have what we need.”
As the appeal launched in September, diocesan leaders watched the numbers and made comparisons to years past and it was evident that we were behind. However, as the weeks passed by, the appeal gained momentum and the Church in Eastern Washington, once again, displayed its generosity. Currently, the annual appeal is 95% towards reaching its goal. This is due to people who were willing to prayerfully consider making a gift to the annual appeal. It was also due to the understanding that it is through our collective effort that we can make a difference.
Bishop Daly is grateful for the generosity of the church in Eastern Washington. He also continues his invitation to you, as one body, to be part of the collective effort to support the Church in her material needs, according to your ability. If you have not yet made your gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal, visit www.dioceseofspokane.org to make a safe and easy contribution.
Let’s join Bishop Daly as he prays in the Eucharistic prayer that “we who are nourished by the body and blood of your son, and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ.”