Catholic Ministries Appeal
Last weekend we kicked off the Catholic Ministries Appeal throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The CMA supports key ministries throughout the Archdiocese. Sometimes there is a misconception that the collection supports bureaucrats that are 100 miles away and don’t do much for the people of God. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I want to share some stories about the CMA and the good work that is accomplished through it. I have shared some of these with people already, but it can’t hurt to hear them again.
The CMA supports our retired diocesan priests. Many of us have priests that we fondly remember that this collection supports. Our retired clergy are also incredibly generous and helpful to us. Fr. Jarred and I are allowed to take three weekends off per year. The difficulty is finding a substitute for the weekend because there isn’t a free priest within 40 minutes of our parishes. Thankfully retired priests generously drive to our parishes for a 7:30am Mass at St. Joseph or 7:45am Confessions at St. John. The CMA supports these priests in their continued service to the Lord and His people.
Secondly the CMA supports our seminary and vocations promotion. This work is vital for the future of our local Church. Thankfully God has continued to bless us with priests and vocations. Our seminary has added a new wing this year which is wonderful. I regularly thank God for the formation that I received from our seminary and continue to ask God to bless the work. As Jesus says, “the harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.”
The CMA also supports the ministry at our public universities. College students aren’t able to fund the campus ministry that happens at their universities, so the good people of the Archdiocese support it. One of my good friends is the priest chaplain at Wright State University and he sees the impact of the Catholic presence on the campus. Recently he told me a story about a young man who took around a statue of Mary on his birthday. He went to class, lunch, and around campus telling people that he wanted to spend his birthday with his mother. The Catholic presence at our public universities is a great apostolate that is supported through the CMA.
The collection also supports prison ministry at our larger county jails and the four state penitentiaries in the Archdiocese. These men and women have hit rock bottom and at these difficult moments the Holy Spirit can stir their hearts. On the day after Christmas, the Archbishop celebrated Mass at the Lebanon correctional facility and baptized two men and brought two other men into the church. This is incredible ministry that we rarely get to see. There are pictures online here: https://www.thecatholictelegraph.com/prison-ministry-archbishop-schnurr/61839.
Finally the CMA supports Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley which is currently working with other agencies in the aftermath of the Dayton tornadoes. Even today as you drive on Interstate 75 through Dayton, you can see the aftermath of last spring’s tornadoes. Catholic Social Services is working on the two to three year plan of helping those affected by the disaster.
The Catholic Ministries Appeal carries out the mission of Jesus Christ in many incredible ways. It spreads the Gospel in places that are often forgotten or bigger than one parish can handle. There is a beautiful video that summarizes the different apostolates that benefit from the CMA. We will post it on our Facebook page and here is the direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nGQkXMTlec
Thank you for your generosity and prayers for the Catholic Ministries Appeal. May the love of Jesus Christ be present in all these different arenas.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson