From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For March 24, 2019

The diocesan Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) is underway. I hope everyone at least knows where their pledge form is, even if it isn’t filled out yet. I wrote about this a couple weeks ago, but this is an important part that we play in the Church across West Michigan. Therefore, it is worth talking about again.

A common concern that I have heard over the years is that people don’t see the fruit of their donations. The money just seems to disappear, making no discernible difference, while next year they will be asked to give more.

It is easy to understand this because much of what the diocese does is not readily apparent. A couple weeks ago I mentioned several things that the diocese does that many (or even most) people do not have much experience of. Most people do not interact with the Tribunal or the administrative services provided by the diocese. These certainly are not glamorous areas, but they are vital to the parishes and even to your lives. The Tribunal handles marriage and annulment cases to help people get back on their feet. The administrative services provided by the diocese helps us priests, most of whom have no business background, figure out how to do our job in a semi­-competent fashion.

The concern about where the money is going is reasonable: money is hard-earned, and we want to make sure it is being used well. That is a reasonable concern. At the same time, though, we need to be on the look out for a false reason. Concern about the good use of money can easily turn into, “What am I getting out of it?” Not an unreasonable question, but it doesn’t really coincide with the purpose.

As we go through this annual appeal process, please keep before your mind all that the diocese does do, even if those things are not readily apparent or directly beneficial to our lives. We are part of something larger, the Diocese of Grand Rapids, and something even larger than that, the whole Catholic Church throughout the world. We may only have a small part in that much larger whole, but we have an important part to play on behalf of all our brothers and sisters.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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