Dear Parish Family,
Every year our parish rallies to raise funds for our annual Diocesan Appeal. St. Mary’s parishioners never fail to respond to a call for help and the pastors here have always been
grateful for people’s generous sacrifices, in good times and bad. For example, last year our
parish raised $49,794 for the needs of the Diocese. Given the times we experienced in 2020
and 2021, this was a mighty feat and a cause for pride.
Some people find it hard to picture the destination of their Diocesan Appeal gift or the true
value it offers, so this year I wanted to direct our gifts to something tangible and toward
someone our parish remembers very fondly – recently ordained Father Matt Duclos.
In 2020, Bishop Ed chose Fr. Matt to take on an extra 2-year degree program on top of his four years of seminary in Rome so he could have additional training to be of special service to our Diocese. The cost for his tuition and room & board is over $50,000 a year. So
our plan has been to raise as much of the $108,000 his education is roughly expected to cost so that our Diocesan Appeal sacrifices could be “offered up” (as we Catholics like to say) for Fr. Matt’s ministry.
So here are the results of those efforts! I am delighted to tell you that 177 households from St. Mary’s came forward in our campaign to offer their assistance to Fr. Matt. And, incredibly, of those 177, 28 of them chose to make more than one gift for this appeal! And because of these sacrifices, together we raised $68,760 – an incredible sum of money – and we’re spiritually directing every penny to the Diocesan fund for special priest education that finances
Fr. Matt’s expenses in Rome. Although this year we weren’t able to pay for the entire degree he’s undertaking, we did manage to pay for over 15 months of his 24-month program, about 64% of the total cost. And our gifts represented a 28% increase this year over the 2021 Appeal.
Fr. Matt has returned to the U.S. for the summer and will be doing a special internship as part of his coursework this fall. To everyone’s delight, under the leadership of SMA graduate (Class of 1981) Fr. John O’Kane, he’s been assigned by Bishop Ed this summer and fall to serve the parishes of Bolton Landing, Chestertown, North Creek and Hague. Perhaps your summer travels will enable you to catch Mass with him some weekend and let him know how much you support him and the special work he’s been chosen to undertake.
And know, St. Mary’s, that you have made me so proud to be your pastor and witness your love and generosity in full display.