|Launching of the Archbishop’s Appeal - Oct 24|
|2010 - Archbishop's Column by Archbishop Gilbert|
|Friday, 22 October 2010 14:46|
I am using my column to share the text of the address I gave at the launching of the Annual Archbishop’s Appeal held at Assumption Parish Hall on October 18. Fr Harris at launch of Archbishop’s Annual Appeal: Help restore our sacred spaces - Oct 24
“My Sisters and Brothers, I thank you for your presence at the launching of the Annual Archbishop’s Appeal. I am especially grateful to everyone considering the traffic congestion caused by the heavy rains.
There are many examples of launching important educational and pastoral projects in the history of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain. Each launching in its own way has contributed not just to the life of the Church but also to the life of the nation. The Church has always had that ecumenical and interfaith openness in its programmes.
For example, the launching of the Values and Virtues Programme a few years ago which serves about 4,300 post SEA students a year and the equally recent launching of the Catholic Religious Education Development Institute (CREDI) which introduced Catholic Tertiary Education into the Archdiocese and serves a broad base of students.
We continue the tradition of launchings tonight. We are here because, after consultation with the Archdiocesan Clergy and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, I have introduced an Annual Archbishop’s Appeal into the Archdiocese of Port of Spain. I stress the word annual. Since the Appeal will be an annual event, a permanent Archbishop’s Appeal Committee has been established. A gender balanced group makes up the Committee. The Archdiocesan Financial Council will act in support of the Committee to ensure full transparency.
Will the Appeal Work?
Nothing is automatic! However, for your information, I introduced a similar appeal when I served as the Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau in Dominica. I consulted with the people in Synod. I explained the purpose and the method of the Appeal concept. Even though the people had no experience of such an annual appeal for funding, they cooperated. We began a new page in the history of the Diocese of Roseau.
The Annual Appeal has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ministries of the Diocese. It continues to function today. There is no reason to believe it cannot be successful in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain.
The Purpose of the Appeal
The launching of the Archbishop’s Appeal has a specific purpose: to support the mission of the Archdiocese to its people. The operative word is ‘people.’ Everyone knows that implementing the mission of the Archdiocese depends on parishes, schools and pastoral programmes along with spiritually committed and professionally trained personnel. What people frequently forget is that the mission of the Archdiocese also depends on buildings.
Can you even imagine the Archdiocese without a Cathedral? Or a parish without a Church and other buildings through which it supports its programmes and gathers its people? It is unthinkable!
The primary goal for the Archbishop’s Appeal is to restore and modernize the Cathedral of the Archdiocese, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, which is the Mother Church of the Archdiocese. Without a doubt the Cathedral Project is the most ambitious project ever attempted by the Archdiocese. It is estimated that forty million dollars over a ten-year period will be needed to complete the project.
I want to offer some brief comments on two important facts: 1) Buildings serve people; and 2) Many buildings of the Archdiocese are in need of serious and significant attention.
When buildings do not serve the needs of people, the people can become discouraged. When buildings are in poor condition they do not contribute to raising the confidence level among the people about the future. The pictures of the condition of the Cathedral which will be presented by the architect tonight will speak to your hearts more than any words of the presenters. In many ways they are discouraging to view. We are here to begin the process to reverse the condition of the Cathedral and the churches of the Archdiocese.
Dialogue and Adjustments
As the dialogue about the Cathedral project developed, people who responded to the consultation stated that there are also other churches in the Archdiocese that are in serious need of renovation. Having listened to the dialogue, the Council of Vicars adjusted its plans. A formula was developed to address the challenge to our buildings: 80% of Appeal Funds will be used for the Cathedral; 17% for other capital projects; and 3% for administration.
The Financial Goal
The financial goal for the first year of the Appeal is $3,500,000.00. Based on the fact that the Archdiocese raised $2,500,000.00 in just two weeks to respond to the tragedy in Haiti, the administration of the Archdiocese thinks the goal is achievable. The dates for the first year of the Archbishop’s Appeal are October 18, 2010 through October 17, 2011. The first annual collection in the parishes of the Archdiocese has been scheduled for the weekend of November 21-22, 2010, the Solemnity of Christ the King.
I want everyone to know that the Council of Vicars not only thinks that goal is achievable, is also believes that the restoration and modernisation of the Cathedral will contribute positively to the recently revived and ongoing discussions to develop the eastern part of Port of Spain.
Roles in the Process
How can you help the Archdiocese? The answer to that question applies not only to the Catholic people throughout the Archdiocese but also to Catholic people from Trinidad and Tobago who now live in other countries. It applies to Embassies, Foundations, the Heritage Fund, the private sector, and support from the friends of the Catholic Church.
It also involves the media to help the Church in this important venture by publicising this launch and by using the materials in the packets provided to you this evening to provide accurate historical information on the Cathedral project. We must find ways to contact people from Trinidad and Tobago who live abroad.
In addition to the annual Archdiocesan collection already mentioned, the last page of the brochure lists the various ways donations can be made. In the near future, the Archbishop’s Appeal Committee and CAMSEL will provide detailed information on the methods of making donations. The brochure also contains the address for the website for the Annual Archbishop’s Appeal.
I respectfully ask for your collaboration, your generosity and your prayerful support as we begin the Annual Archbishop’s Appeal with the primary goal of restoring and modernising the Cathedral of the Archdiocese and secondarily addressing other capital projects in the Archdiocese.
Please help us to publicise this new reality in the life of the Archdiocese, the Annual Archbishop’s Appeal.”________________________________________________________________________________________ **DISCLAIMER**: User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Camsel/Catholic News or its staff. Camsel/Catholic News accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments. Please help us keep our site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option. Camsel/Catholic News reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed. Before posting, please refer to the Comments Policy under Resources