As we launch the first statewide Catholic campaign in Vermont during these challenging times, we are working hard to share as much information as possible in a timely matter, but are experiencing some postal delays. By now every Catholic household should have received a letter from Bishop Coyne along with the campaign FAQ flyer and prayer card. We are grateful for those that immediately responded and have made gifts! By early October, you will receive a campaign packet of information from your pastor and Bishop Coyne with the case statement, your parish goals and an invitation to consider a specific gift amount over the next three years. We ask that you prayerfully consider this invitation based on your current circumstances. We understand some will not be able to commit at this time, while others can make a sacrificial gift that will stabilize and renew our Church for the future. Below is a description of the initiatives your gift will support. For more information please visit:



VIBRANT PARISHES ($6 MILLION) Our parishes are the heart of the Church. They provide the foundation upon which our greater faith community is built. Addressing individual parish needs is a paramount goal of the Christ Our Hope campaign, especially in light of the pandemic. At least 60 percent of the dollars raised at each parish will fund priorities such as a parish reserve fund, new initiatives, capital improvements, etc. The pastor and parish leadership teams will work together to identify these needs. Vibrant parishes will be the catalyst and hope for advancing the mission of the Church in Vermont.



FAITH FORMATION ($2 MILLION) The future of our faith depends on solid formation for children and adults alike. During the pandemic, our ministries and schools quickly adapted to create new remote learning opportunities. Twenty percent of funds raised will support an endowment that allows for flexibility to be creative during times of crisis and support catholic schools, youth ministry and evangelization — no matter the circumstance.



SERVE THE POOR ($2 MILLION) Serving people experiencing poverty, especially at times of greatest need, is integral in sharing and communicating the love and compassion of Christ. Funding an endowment for Catholic Charities emergency services will help bridge the gap for the most vulnerable people in our Vermont communities, especially those families impacted by COVID-19. Catholic Charities is only able to cover about 20 percent of the amount clients need in emergency aid each month. Given the limited financial resources, it is unable to serve, on average, 70 families per month. That is 280 individuals every month, over 3,300 people every year, that we are currently unable to help.

INITIATIVES Endowment funds will be held at the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation. The VCCF is a stand-alone nonprofit corporation that is separate from the Diocese of Burlington. The endowment funds for these ministries are designed to serve the ministries in perpetuity. All contributions made by benefactors to the Christ Our Hope campaign are restricted to uses outlined in this case for support.

—Originally published in the Sept. 19-25, 2020, edition of the Inland See.