Bishop Matano addresses abuse crisis in video for annual Catholic Ministries Appeal
Bishop Salvatore R. Matano is addressing the ongoing clergy sexual-abuse crisis head-on in an introduction to the promotional video for the 2018-19 Catholic Ministries Appeal.
“It is with deep sadness and hesitancy that, this year, I invite you to participate in the Catholic Ministries Appeal,” Bishop Matano said at the start of the video, which can be viewed at https://www.dor.org.
“I understand how deeply hurt you, the faithful of our diocese, feel at this time of great challenge within the church,” he added. “This has deeply wounded the faith of you, our good people, who have supported this (CMA) ministry over the years.”
Bishop Matano continued: “I can only assure you that we are renewing all our efforts in this diocese to truly create a safe environment for our children, which has been our practice, over these last several years, to assure that our children are always, in our parishes, schools, and institutions, in a place that preserves their innocence and fosters their growth in Christ. I also take this opportunity to apologize to all the victims of sexual abuse, whose innocence was so deeply scarred. And we work together now, I pray, to do whatever is possible to heal that hurt.”
“Recognizing the difficulties that are now before us,” the bishop added, “we still must provide for the food, clothing, and shelter of those who come to us in need through the Catholic Ministries Appeal. We have welcomed families to our shores and helped refugees to be resettled. We have reached out to the poor, who have so very little, to sustain them in their lives. We want to assure a quality Catholic education in our schools and religious education programs. We want to continue our ministries to parishes, providing resources they ordinarily would not be able to have without our assistance. We want to assure our seminarians that they will always have the best possible formation, so that they can be good and wholesome priests within the church.”
These and many other good works of the diocese are supported by the CMA, which begins this month in parishes across the 12-country diocese and will run through May 31, 2019. Now in its 38th year, the campaign features a theme of “Sharing Our Blessings” and has a goal of $6.725 million, according to Colleen Brade, CMA coordinator.
Brade noted that the 2017-18 CMA brought in $6.44 million, which was an all-time high, and achieved nearly 98.5 percent of its $6.55 million goal. The average gift per household hit a record level as well, at $242 per donor.
CMA proceeds fund more than half of the diocesan budget. Among CMA-supported programs, services and ministries are faith formation for children and adults; young-adult ministries; Catholic schools; sacramental preparation; youth and campus ministries; diocesan Catholic Charities and its 10 regional offices and agencies; information technology; chaplaincies; social-ministry initiatives; support of priests, deacons, pastoral leaders and vocations, including formation and education through St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry; parish support ministries; the operations and services of the diocesan Pastoral Center; and the ministries and charities of Pope Francis, the United States bishops and Bishop Matano.
“The dollars you give really affect people from all walks of life — your neighbors, your grandchildren, your grandmother,” said Doug Mandelaro, diocesan director of stewardship and communications. Brade added that “every dollar absolutely counts,” saying that donations both large and small are crucial to the appeal’s success.
In the video Bishop Matano expressed his appreciation to all the diocesan faithful while asking them to consider taking part in the CMA.
“I invite you to participate in the appeal this year: ‘Sharing Our Blessings.’ You are my blessing, and your presence and continued practice of the faith remains, for me, an extraordinary grace,” he said in concluding his message, which is followed by a video montage of various parish and diocesan ministries accompanied by Austin Giorgio — a contestant this year on the television show “The Voice” and parishioner of St. Rita in Webster — singing “Blest Are They.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Contributions to the CMA can be made by mail using parish-provided envelopes, or online at https://www.dor.org/giving/catholic-ministries-appeal/. Checks (made payable to the Catholic Ministries Appeal), credit cards, electronic-fund transfers and appreciated securities are all accepted. Pledges are tax deductible. For further information, contact Colleen Brade at 585-328-3210, ext. 1326, or firstname.lastname@example.org.