Is your church important to you?

Is your church important to you?

Meryl Cerana of Mary, Mother of Mercy Parish, Glassboro, prepared the following comments for commitment weekend at her parish.

Americans are unapologetic capitalists. As such, money plays a significant part in every American’s life. A great deal of time and focus is spent on the pursuit of money, the allocation of money, and the management of money. We all know, too, that those with the most money have the most power in our society. We Americans demonstrate what is important to us by how much money we invest in the areas of our lives. We invest in our families and children with training, and lessons and activities. We invest in our homes, our cars and our lives with material things. But current research demonstrates that American Catholics, on average, invest in their faith with 1 percent or less of their money.

Our church, the Catholic Church in America, is in a state of crisis right now. With abuse, cover-up, sexual scandal and broken trust, our church is on the edge. It’s almost as if God is asking us, “Is this church, and your faith, important to you?” For American Catholics of this diocese, we have an “American-style” opportunity to show God how important his church is to us with our Catholic Strong Campaign. We can “put our money where our mouths are,” and give to this campaign at a level that shows our commitment to God’s church and our parish, without jeopardizing our own financial stability, but is unmistakable in resolve and scope. It is our chance to strengthen our parishes and our church as a whole diocese, and prove its importance in our lives.

And so, we ask you, who demonstrate the importance of your faith by showing up at Mass, to stand up to the evil of this world; to demonstrate God’s church’s importance to you by supporting it now with your money, so that we may all thrive in the future, for our children and their children. Please take this time to make a firm commitment, and a significant gift to God’s church, so that together the church of South Jersey may be strong enough so that “the gates of hell shall not prevail.”

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