Name: Barry and Adelaida Severson
Parish: St. Anne, Gilbert
Role with the Campaign: CDA co-chairs
How did you get involved in the CDA?
Adelaida: We were blessed to be the chairs last year and were asked to chair it again this year. I’ve served on the Diocesan Stewardship Council, which has overseen the Charity Development Appeal (CDA), since the council’s inception eight years ago.
What do these campaigns mean to you?
Barry: They mean hope, inspiration and success … moving forward with the accomplishments of the past. As our diocese advances, you see that hope and success — it is what inspires people when they see that goals are met and we are helping those in need at the same time.
Adelaida: For me, the CDA is that unity of our diocese. I am from Hawai’i, and “ohana” means family in Hawaiian. Our message has been that charity begins at home with your ohana, then your parish family, our diocesan family and then our Catholic family as a whole. If someone in your family is sick, lonely or in need, you help them — that is what we are doing with the CDA and teaching our kids about stewardship as well. Because if they don’t carry it on, who will?
How do these campaigns speak to evangelization and discipleship?
Adelaida: Every year, we have training sessions for parish leadership and volunteers involved in the CDA at the Diocesan Pastoral Center (DPC) on chosen dates. Last year, we traveled with Bishop [Thomas J. Olmsted] to selected parishes in the Northern Deanery for training, then celebrate Mass and host a reception. This year, we decided to mirror what we do up there, here in the Valley.
Barry: Instead of them coming to the DPC, we went out to them. We chose two parishes, one in the East Valley and one in the West. Afterward, Bishop [Olmsted] celebrated Mass and hosted a reception to gather everyone at the start of the CDA. For us, this is what evangelization and discipleship means — since not everyone gets to celebrate Mass with the bishop, it was a nice treat. It was a great way for people from different parishes to gather at one place and worship, while celebrating the onset of the CDA and deepening their faith.