‘Together Let Us Go Forth’ to make disciples

The “Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” campaign is also known as a Campaign for Discipleship and Evangelization. One of its focuses is to strengthen each Catholic’s own life within the Church and community as disciples.

Discipleship, as the campaign website, togethergoforth.org explains, means “coming in close to the heart of Christ — watching, listening, asking — and then making an active choice to go where Jesus goes, to become more and more like Him” in his teaching, action, joy and hope.

The campaign aims to do that by supporting the following:

Direct Parish Support

$35 million

“This is a campaign first and foremost about engaging people in the life of the Church and in the life of Jesus Christ,” explained Fr. Fred Adamson, vicar general and moderator of the Curia.

Parish life, by and large, is the epicenter of where that happens. It serves 1.1 million Catholics and counting. That’s why an unprecedented 35 cents of every dollar raised in the campaign is intended to directly enrich parish life.

Metro Phoenix was recently ranked among the fastest-growing areas nationwide adding 88 people per day from July 2015 to July 2016. It’s vital parish infrastructure and programming keep up with that growth.

So, whether it’s new air conditioning so the faithful can worship and engage in faith formation in comfort or bringing a program like “Forming Intentional Disciples” to the parish, church leaders will have financial support to make their dreams a reality. They will also pray through what their needs are and work with a dedicated campaign manager at the Diocesan Pastoral Center to prepare a case statement for funding.

“Each parish will be making a plan for evangelization themselves,” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said. Parish campaign members and campaign cabinet members at each parish will guide the process. “This planning is going to happen at the grassroots and at the diocesan levels.”

At least a handful of parishes throughout the diocese are in the pilot phase. When the phased, three-year journey comes to your parish in six-month blocks, Cande de Leon, director of the diocesan Office of Mission Advancement, expects parishioners to be pleasantly surprised at the faith-sharing experience that results. They’ll have a “renewed enthusiasm for the mission of the Church,” he said.

— Ambria Hammel

 

Seminarian Support

$4 million

Financial support and prayers for seminarians is vital to the spiritual health of the Diocese of Phoenix. The seminary and its programs foster the formation of future priests by attending specifically to their human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation.

By fully embracing the seminary life a man can properly discern his vocation to the priesthood. Such an atmosphere of communal living alongside other men seeking holiness provides a special opportunity for self-knowledge, growth in virtue and intimacy with the Lord.

The diocese pays seminary tuition and room and board. The approximate cost for each seminarian is $28,000 plus all costs associated with health and dental, insurance and three stipends throughout the year.

Due to the rigors of course work, seminarians are unable to work and are expected to live as beneficiaries of the generosity of the faithful.

They are also to be an example of Christian charity and selflessness by tithing on all stipends, grants, or gifts they receive.

“Having priests serving faithfully in our parishes for the coming decades follows upon years of formation and that depends completely upon God’s grace and the support of the people,” said diocesan vocations director Fr. Paul Sullivan. “This is just the way it should happen.”

As vocation work is inherent in priestly life, so it is inherent in seminary life, he said. Seminarians fulfill their role of promoting a true culture of vocations through their witness and visible presence in the diocese, especially in their home parishes.

— Gina Keating

 

Ministry Support

$3.8 million

The “Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” campaign commits $3.8 million to ensure the diocese can continue to support and maintain the 71 ministries and apostolates funded by the Charity and Development Appeal.

Among the dozens of organizations that will receive support is the Foundation for Senior Living. Tom Egan, president and CEO of FSL, said that day health centers are half the cost of in-home care and far less than out-of-home placement.

“There is a tremendous demand for affordable senior services,” said Tom Egan, president and CEO of FSL. “Our adult day program is a very cost-effective model for someone to have their loved one be safe.”

 

Life Choices Women’s Clinics will also be a beneficiary of Together Let Us Go Forth. LCWC’s two clinics and mobile unit served the health care needs of 7,000 women last year and is slated to receive $113,000.

Sheila Riley, executive director of LCWC, said funding to keep the doors open is “the difference between life and death for unborn children.” About 400-500 women each year decide to keep their babies rather than have an abortion after they turn to LCWC for support.

“It always surprises me how little help it takes to make such a big difference in their lives,” Riley said. “I certainly would not want to ever be in a position where I would have to shorten hours or close an office.”

The health care provided at LCWC, she said, “helps prevent crisis pregnancies in the first place. It may not be the most glamorous thing we do but in my mind, it’s sometimes one of the more important things we do.”

— Joyce Coronel