Your support of the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal is an act of faith, love and stewardship and your support touches the hearts and lives of so many of our neighbours. Today, we are sharing with you stories about how your support is helping the world know that we are Christ’s disciples by our actions.
Growing in Faith and Sharing Love
"Giving and Loving starts at home and then spreads..."
Shannon Cisyk our Archdiocesan Catechetical Coordinator based in Esterhazy, SK sent in a report on the Austin Family. They are Catholic family in Moosomin that has taken their love of God that they grew at home and shared it with others in Ghana.
"Maggie Austin, one of my catechetical contacts and former coordinator, along with her daughter Diana, have been really making a difference in the lives of young people in Ghana. Diana’s Dad, Rob, is a grad of the Lay Ministry Formation Program and has been very active serving their parish, deanery (Esterhazy) and community. A beautiful loving and giving family also includes daughter, Danielle. I am passing this along to let others know of the good works that are being done by our fellow Catholics!"
Their project called "4 Kids in Ghana" works to sponsor 4 children in Ghana. They provide money for the basic living expenses of four children, a woman to cook and look after the children and a home that was purchased and is being improved over time.
Your gifts to the Appeal was an investment in the faith-formation of this family here in Saskatchewan and it's clear that they have taken the values we share as Catholics and found a special way to live the virtue of charity and compassion as a family.
Touching Lives Around the World
"Great Love can Connect People who are Worlds Apart"
In the summer of 2014, support from you was used to send a group of 42 youth and adults to the Philippines on a mission trip. The goal? To build homes for two families. The result? "None of us will ever be the same!" Each of the people who travelled from our Archdiocese felt that their lives were touched as much as they were able to touch the lives of those they helped abroad. They experienced the true meaning of "Communion" with others that happens because of a great shared love that can cross language and cultural barriers in a moment's time.
"We were blessed with an incredible love and hospitality. When we were not working at the building site, we visited orphanages, we were guests at welcome receptions, an ordination, a fiesta, a youth festival and part of the daily lives of our very generous host families. The lessons we learned from the people we encountered on this journey will remain with us forever."
Already your gifts have inspired our young people to radically change how they think about their own futures in terms of how they can become servants of all here at home. One of our young women participating has decided to change her field of study so that she can learn to work wtih at-risk children in our own community.
Your support connected our young people with a world that exists outside of their comfort zone and that needs their love.
"Finally, time to be together!"
Young families today are busier than ever - soccer, dance, school trips, you name it! That's why this summer, thanks in part to your gifts to the Appeal which support our Catholic camps, Camp Kenosee decided to re-introduce a chance for families to come to camp.
Will and Edrina Sinclair, Directors of Camp Kenosee wanted to reach out to families, "People are so busy we want to give them the opportunity to get into the wilderness and the quietness of their heart...there is something about this place that and being in nature that enables you to rediscover God."
You made it possible for families to spend time with the Bible, build relationships with other families, strenghten the bonds that exist within their own family and have fun without the presence of tv and computer screens that so often isolate us from one another.
Your support means that children and parents can have a chance to rediscover the love that binds them together in God and in family.
Hope and Encouragement
"I was in prison and you visited me" (Matt. 25)
You were there for inmates and former inmates and their families this past year through your gifts to the Appeal. Each year, a grant is offered to Friends on the Outside, a group that offers weekly gatherings to create opportunities for socialization and relationship-building for those who are often unable to return to their communities after being released from prison. At times, they also provide one-on-one care based on needs that are often related to poor health, education, unemployment or faith.
My Life in Prison has been one continuous event of cries, sorrows, antipathies and despair. Thirty-four years of animal screams, murders and suicides. The penitentiary system has never touched me with a rose, FOTO has touched me and I love them greatly. - Rick McWhinney
As Ruth Robillard, Program Director, writes in her thank you letter to the parishioners of the Archdiocese of Regina: It is our prayer and hope that through our work we are seen as caring, non-judgemental and Christian persons grounded in the Catholic faith. Again, we thank you for your moral and financial support over the past years and for this year's donation.
Your support to those who have "served time" shows our Catholic commitment to Restorative Justice which seeks to love even those who have hurt society.
Your Gift of Spiritual Healing
“You’re Not Alone”
Jean Mahoney has been a volunteer assisting our Catholic spiritual health care team at Regina hospitals for nearly 20 years. Our team is funded entirely with your support through the Annual Appeal and Jean sees first-hand the difference your gifts are making. With funding for program staff from your gifts, and help from volunteers like Jean, the team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond when a patient expresses a need for spiritual comfort. “Our job is to remind people from all walks of life that they are not alone,” Jean says.
“We’re there to be Christ to people in the hospital. I’m always in awe that people may not be able to communicate in any other way because of dementia or because they are semi-conscious. But once I start to pray, they can often connect with me. They recognize it, and they follow along. I know that we have touched their heart and their soul with Christ’s love. And I see peace wash over them.”
Your support gives spiritual comfort to patients and their families in dark and difficult times.
Your Gift of Inspiring Youth:
“Go Big or Go Home!”
Our Young Adult Leadership Team was thrilled with the funds raised through the Annual Appeal and promised to “go big or go home” in showing young Catholics that Jesus is real, that He loves us and that our youth are part of a faith-family that cares about them. Your gifts to the Appeal have helped put on rallies, camps and retreats. The My Generation Youth Rally, just one of the more than 50 youth activities that you help make possible, is a place for youth to explore and deepen their faith with guest speakers, live music, great food and an evening dance. Here’s what one enthusiastic youth had to say:
“I’m completely grateful for this weekend and this reawakening in my life. You see Christ in others and love people for who they are and where they’re at. I have no doubt that next year’s rally will be even bigger! The word is out...it’s the place to be!”
Your support offers a sense of belonging to young Catholics, keeping them connected to our faith in language and activities that speak to their hearts. And we were thrilled to partner with The Regina Catholic School Division and the Knights of Columbus who journeyed with us on this venture and were a visible and integral part of this amazing celebration with our youth.
Your Gift of Belonging:
“A Joy to Belong at Work”
With your support, we have been able to give 3 members of our Catholic family with disabilities meaningful employment in our faith community. We talk about our family of faith as a place where everyone belongs – your support makes that possible. Your gifts support grants to help those in need in our community. Your support helped a young woman named Amanda find a place of loving acceptance to call her workplace. Here’s what her mom said about how it made an incredible difference to Amanda:
“This program has positively impacted Amanda’s life in many ways. She has learned many new and useful skills and has become much more independent. Amanda has become more confident, responsible, organized and mature overall in her daily life. And she’s met wonderful people who welcome her and offer her friendship, kindness and positivity. The rich, faith-based environment fosters spiritual growth in Amanda’s personal faith life and she is fortunate to be part of it.”
Your gifts to the Appeal are used to make small grants for projects that promise to find a place for everyone in our community.