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                    [post_content] => Because of the faithful diligence of pastors, lay leaders, parish staff, and the campaign team, the Living Our Mission Campaign has been a great success. Through the campaign, which began in January 2014, many parishes are funding ministry expansions or long-awaited building projects, such as St. Bede, Willimasburg; St. Olaf, Norge; and St. Catherine of Siena, Clarksville. The Diocese will use its share of the funds raised to ensure that it can take care of retired priests, educate seminarians, and provide funding for the New Evangelization, to name just a few areas of impact.

In many cases, pastors, parish staff, and lay leaders have reported that the Living Our Mission Campaign has had a positive pastoral effect on their parish. Parishioners at Church of the Ascension in Virginia Beach wanted to share what it has meant to their parish life. The campaign journey is in some ways typical, in which the idea was met with a bit of skepticism from some but ultimately embraced by the majority. The level of enthusiasm, however, at Ascension has been something to behold.

graphs: living our  mission progress to date

As campaign committee member Tom Steffens told us, When the team from the Diocese first came to pitch the Capital Campaign, I know I sat there with my arms and legs crossed. I was definitely not in the receive mode. But by the time they finished, I realized that what Pope Francis had written about Global Solidarity didn't just mean Asia or South America or Africa, he meant that it starts right here in Virginia. Today, after four months of our Campaign, I truly believe the Spirit stopped by and said: Tom, Wake up!  Vocations, Retired Priests, Health Care for Clergy, Schools, Campus Ministry, Social Justice Programs, and of course, 145 parishes. 145! Who knew? They all touch my life every day.

Fr. Daniel Malingumu set the tone on the parish website, As a Parish Family, we join the Psalmist to ponder in our hearts, what return we can make to the Lord (Psalm 116:12). The Living Our Mission Campaign is now here in our home, Church of the Ascension, and we are all called to cherish and embrace it. This is the time for us to strengthen and deepen our faith commitments, and enhance our relationship with the Universal Church. What a wonderful privilege this campaign offers us, allowing us to share what we have for the well-being of the Church. People don't need to ask for proof of what we are doing, it is easily seen by the way we promote social justice, help to alleviate suffering, serve others and foster hope!

Fellow Ascension parishioner and campaign co-chair Jim Fowler shared his thoughts as well. Our Living Our Mission journey has not just been about raising money. For me it has been about meeting so many members of our Ascension family. Being present at multiple Masses on weekends has provided an opportunity to meet and get to know many new families. So many special interactions have occurred just about every weekend. Hopefully people have had an opportunity to see the face of Christ in each other as we join to build our Church of the Ascension family up to meet the future that Pope Francis has called us to. The campaign has been an exciting opportunity to tell each other the story of our faith journey.

Mr. Fowler continued, The look on people's faces as we began the journey questioned our goal of $1.8M. As they look today and realize we are very much within striking distance to meet and exceed the goal, they begin to understand the real power of community and the generous spirit of Ascension.

As Adm. Steffens reflected, We saw giving at some very high levels and some very low levels. Each according to their means. One wonderful lady came up one day and gave us $7.00. It was all she had, but she knew the church needed it. Gulp!

Adm. Steffens also pointed out that all 77 ministries at Ascension were engaged. In addition, the parish has seen a jump in new parishioner registrations.

Campaign Committee Member Carmen Bojo sums it up by saying, At first, people were intimidated by the goal but by praying together we all gave what we could and were very proud to see that we made a difference. I especially enjoyed talking with people who had not previously registered with the parish who are experiencing Living Our Mission as the first time they really bought into the life of this amazing parish.

The Catholic Virginian, 23 November 2015, Volume 91 Number 2
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                    [post_content] => When he passed away in September 2014, Edgar Anthony Duffy was just shy of his 102nd birthday. He led a long and fruitful life and left behind a tremendous legacy of faith and generosity that will bear fruit for many generations to come.

The Richmond native and former city clerk bequeathed over $4.5 million in gifts to Catholic organizations within the Diocese of Richmond. His gifts to St. Benedict parish in Richmond and the Diocese of Richmond are estimated to be between $1.5 and $1.7 million each. Mr. Duffy also bequeathed part of his estate to Mary Mother of God Abbey, Benedictine College Preparatory, St. Benedict School, All Saints Catholic School, St. Patrick Catholic Church, and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

As Barbara McNeace, his caregiver, and Kathleen Judy, his close relative, recall, Mr. Duffy was deeply committed to the faith. They remember him as an exceptionally kind and generous man who prayed before meals, thanked God every night, attended Mass every week, and honored his deceased family by visiting their graves at Mt. Calvary cemetery often. As an adult, he was a devoted parishioner of St. Benedict Catholic Church in Richmond.

Deacon Paul Mahefky, who serves St. Benedict Parish and took Holy Communion to Mr. Duffy for the last four years of his life, remarked that Mr. Duffy would always say an Act of Contrition before I gave him Communion. That says everything about him. He was so humble.

living mission capaign

 link to www.livingourmission.org 

Due to family financial difficulties during the Depression, Mr. Duffy lived with his grandmother as a child and grew up in the Fulton neighborhood attending St. Patrick parish. He graduated from Benedictine College Preparatory in 1930 and, as a cadet, loved the priests and loved playing basketball.

In 1943, he joined the Office of the City Clerk as assistant clerk and was eventually promoted to city clerk, serving the city of Richmond over 30 years. As Pat Gilman, a close friend and fellow parishioner at St. Benedict, recalls, Mr. Duffy joined an investment club many years ago and purchased shares in Brown-Forman Corporation, the large spirits company known for Jack Daniels and Woodford Reserve. Those shares grew and grew over time and turned into a small fortune by the end of Mr. Duffy's life.

That fortune will benefit many Catholics and those they serve throughout the Diocese of Richmond and beyond, especially by supporting Catholic education, St. Benedict parish, and the ministries of the Diocese.

Mr. Duffy's $450,000 gift to St. Benedict School, the parish's pre-K-8 school boasting a classical curriculum in the heart of the Museum District, will be used to establish a scholarship endowment in honor of his parents, John and Anne Duffy. Half of his $300,000 gift to All Saints Catholic School was also designated as a scholarship fund, and his generosity to Benedictine College Preparatory will help to ensure that young men continue to benefit from the same formation Mr. Duffy received.

Mr. Duffy's sense of gratitude for his Catholic education and his care for the welfare of children make his designation for Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Richmond a great tribute. To honor his request, The Edgar A. Duffy Scholarship Fund will be established, funded by his residuary bequest worth over $1.7 million. The Fund will be managed in the McMahon-Parater Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond.

His generosity will also tremendously strengthen St. Benedict Catholic Church. Located on N. Sheppard Street directly across from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the parish entered a partnership in 2011 with the Diocese of Richmond. They purchased the parking lot adjacent to the parish and the priory formerly used by the Benedictines serving Benedictine College Preparatory. The parish will be opening the priory in October 2015.

In addition to making this major investment, St. Benedict parish has significant additional capital needs including repairing the church roof, heating and air system, stained glass windows and renovations needed at the school.

In a letter addressed to parishioners on August 29, Father Anthony Marques, the pastor, remarks that the needs total $3.2 million and that Mr. Duffy's gift will go a long way toward meeting the parish's capital needs. His gift will anchor a parish-wide campaign to help meet these immediate needs and build a Preservation Fund for future needs.

The parish is seeking additional funds to meet other needs through the Living Our Mission campaign, the diocese's first-ever comprehensive capital campaign to fund Catholic education, priest retirement, seminarian education, and other critical needs of the diocese and its parishes.

The historic campaign has ushered new life and hope into many parishes not only by addressing diocesan-level needs, but also by the parish-sharing formula at the heart of the campaign. The formula brings a portion of the funds raised back to the local parishes, enabling them to complete long-awaited building projects and fresh ministry initiatives.

Through their participation in the campaign, thousands of Catholics throughout the diocese have joined together and made sacrifices to build the future of the Church. So far, donors have pledged over $55 million toward the $65 million goal. The campaign has inspired many Catholics to make bequests, leaving a final legacy of faith, and Mr. Duffy's gift is the largest gift so far received.

As Barbara McNeace said, His purpose in life was to give back. By saving and not having many expenses, he was able to do that. He lived a quiet, reserved life of great faith, and he is a shining example of generosity and discipleship for all. Many people throughout the Diocese of Richmond will be very grateful for a long time to come.

The Catholic Virginian, 28 September 2015, Volume 90 Number 24
                    [post_title] => Generosity of Edgar Duffy to Benefit Many Catholic Organizations
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The Living Our Mission campaign has eclipsed the $40 million mark, with $40,952,710 raised as of May 15.  The remarkable success is due to extraordinary generosity from parishioners in every corner of the Diocese of Richmond, who have made decisions of faith to support their parishes and this diocese.  This historic campaign will better enable the Church to advance its sacred mission by providing funding that can be used directly by the parishes for their own local needs as well as funding for important ministries and initiatives at the Diocesan level, such as caring for retired clergy, supporting programs for youths and young adults, and financing seminarian education.

To date, seventy five of the 145 parishes in the Diocese of Richmond have participated in the campaign, which has an overall goal of $65 million.   Many parishes have exceeded their initial goal, and in those cases the majority of the money raised over goal is returned to the parish. Three parishes completing their campaigns this spring, St. Gabriel in Richmond, Good Samaritan in Amelia, and St. Joseph in Petersburg, are excellent examples of inspiring leadership and generous parishioners.

At Saint Gabriel and Good Samaritan, Fr. Eric Ayers experienced success early in his campaigns. Good Samaritan, a mission parish located in Amelia, conducted their campaign over a shortened timeframe, and in only a matter of a few weeks, was able to exceed its goal of $27,000. To date, they have raised over $35,000. Fr. was able to accomplish the goal rapidly by bringing together the Hispanic and Anglo populations to accomplish their shared mission. With the funds that will be returned to them, Good Samaritan will be able to provide formation for youth and adult leadership as well as augment their building and grounds fund. The Living Our Mission campaign is helping this small but growing parish develop the next generation of Catholic leaders and continue to provide a welcoming home to those who want to experience the Catholic faith in Amelia.

At Saint Gabriel, Fr. Ayers is looking to use the proceeds from the campaign to develop a new pastoral plan for the parish, build their emergency maintenance fund, and pay off their capital debt. Over the past few months, Fr. has conducted a series of one-on-one meetings and gatherings to encourage early pledging to the campaign. The response from these meetings has been tremendous. To date, Saint Gabriel has already exceeded its goal of $689,000 in advance of their participation weekends. Because of this early success, Fr. has decided to set a challenge goal of $900,000 in order to pay off the debt faster as well as help support their youth ministry program full-time.

In the Creed at each Sunday Mass we all pray  I believe in the Church, The Living Our Mission Campaign has given people an opportunity to show, in a concrete way, their faith in the Church. I have been overwhelmed with the level of generosity from parishioners, which is a clear indication of their trust in the Church and its leaders, and peoples'  belief in the importance of the mission of the Church at both the Diocesan and parish levels, said Fr. Ayers.

With Fr. Brian Capuano's determination and vision, Saint Joseph in Petersburg challenged itself to raise two times their annual offertory through the Living Our Mission campaign.  Saint Joseph is receiving 2/3rds back for anything collected up to their goal and 90% for anything collected over, because they are conducting a larger combined campaign. The main focus of their local case is to finance a new parish hall (the previous one was destroyed in a fire). In addition, they will be able to continue renewing their church and school and build endowments for their church and school.

Part way through the campaign Saint Joseph received an incredible gift of $350,000 to establish a tuition endowment for Saint Joseph School. This set the parish up to exceed the initial goal of $702,000, so they set a higher challenge target of $1,000,000 in order to focus on raising the money needed to build the hall. Fr. Brian Capuano has been the model of what it means to be a leader in this campaign.  Since the campaign began, he has inspired people to contribute their best sacrifice in order for the parish to address their local needs while helping meet the larger needs of the Church. From the beginning, Fr. has been calling people himself to bring them in for meetings as well as leading gatherings in parishioners homes to gain support. Because of his enthusiasm, people have risen to his call for support, and the parish has now exceeded their challenge target of $1,000,000.

These three parishes, all now over goal -- and still going -- are examples of how every gift counts and can help a parish accomplish its local needs.  Across the expanse of the Diocese, there are many more similar examples  parishes using campaign funds to rebuild after a fire, to build a new church, to make urgent repairs.  In other cases, parishes are using some of their funding to enhance or expand ministries or to begin an endowment to secure their future.  To check the progress of your parish in the campaign or to learn more, please go to www.livingourmission.org.
                    [post_title] => Living Our Mission Campaign Eclipses $40 Million Mark
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                    [post_content] => One initiative being funded by the Living Our Mission campaign is the Distance Learning and Ministry Training Network.  By utilizing the latest communications technology, this network will bring broad access to programming for our Catholic schools, adult education, and ministry training for staff and volunteers serving in parishes and schools. During the last week of May, the Sullivan Conference was simulcast from the Kelly Room here at the Pastoral Center to Jubilee House in Abingdon.  This is a pilot of the Distance Learning network and was made possible by the hard work and talents of our IT department, as well as excellent coordination by the Office of Christian Formation.  We look forward to expanding the network so that all corners of the Diocese can benefit from this initiative.
                    [post_title] => LOM Campaign funds Distance Learning
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                    [post_content] => 2015 May LOM e-Newsletter

2016 May LOM e-Newsletter
                    [post_title] => Campaign Newsletters
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            [post_content] => Because of the faithful diligence of pastors, lay leaders, parish staff, and the campaign team, the Living Our Mission Campaign has been a great success. Through the campaign, which began in January 2014, many parishes are funding ministry expansions or long-awaited building projects, such as St. Bede, Willimasburg; St. Olaf, Norge; and St. Catherine of Siena, Clarksville. The Diocese will use its share of the funds raised to ensure that it can take care of retired priests, educate seminarians, and provide funding for the New Evangelization, to name just a few areas of impact.

In many cases, pastors, parish staff, and lay leaders have reported that the Living Our Mission Campaign has had a positive pastoral effect on their parish. Parishioners at Church of the Ascension in Virginia Beach wanted to share what it has meant to their parish life. The campaign journey is in some ways typical, in which the idea was met with a bit of skepticism from some but ultimately embraced by the majority. The level of enthusiasm, however, at Ascension has been something to behold.

graphs: living our  mission progress to date

As campaign committee member Tom Steffens told us, When the team from the Diocese first came to pitch the Capital Campaign, I know I sat there with my arms and legs crossed. I was definitely not in the receive mode. But by the time they finished, I realized that what Pope Francis had written about Global Solidarity didn't just mean Asia or South America or Africa, he meant that it starts right here in Virginia. Today, after four months of our Campaign, I truly believe the Spirit stopped by and said: Tom, Wake up!  Vocations, Retired Priests, Health Care for Clergy, Schools, Campus Ministry, Social Justice Programs, and of course, 145 parishes. 145! Who knew? They all touch my life every day.

Fr. Daniel Malingumu set the tone on the parish website, As a Parish Family, we join the Psalmist to ponder in our hearts, what return we can make to the Lord (Psalm 116:12). The Living Our Mission Campaign is now here in our home, Church of the Ascension, and we are all called to cherish and embrace it. This is the time for us to strengthen and deepen our faith commitments, and enhance our relationship with the Universal Church. What a wonderful privilege this campaign offers us, allowing us to share what we have for the well-being of the Church. People don't need to ask for proof of what we are doing, it is easily seen by the way we promote social justice, help to alleviate suffering, serve others and foster hope!

Fellow Ascension parishioner and campaign co-chair Jim Fowler shared his thoughts as well. Our Living Our Mission journey has not just been about raising money. For me it has been about meeting so many members of our Ascension family. Being present at multiple Masses on weekends has provided an opportunity to meet and get to know many new families. So many special interactions have occurred just about every weekend. Hopefully people have had an opportunity to see the face of Christ in each other as we join to build our Church of the Ascension family up to meet the future that Pope Francis has called us to. The campaign has been an exciting opportunity to tell each other the story of our faith journey.

Mr. Fowler continued, The look on people's faces as we began the journey questioned our goal of $1.8M. As they look today and realize we are very much within striking distance to meet and exceed the goal, they begin to understand the real power of community and the generous spirit of Ascension.

As Adm. Steffens reflected, We saw giving at some very high levels and some very low levels. Each according to their means. One wonderful lady came up one day and gave us $7.00. It was all she had, but she knew the church needed it. Gulp!

Adm. Steffens also pointed out that all 77 ministries at Ascension were engaged. In addition, the parish has seen a jump in new parishioner registrations.

Campaign Committee Member Carmen Bojo sums it up by saying, At first, people were intimidated by the goal but by praying together we all gave what we could and were very proud to see that we made a difference. I especially enjoyed talking with people who had not previously registered with the parish who are experiencing Living Our Mission as the first time they really bought into the life of this amazing parish.

The Catholic Virginian, 23 November 2015, Volume 91 Number 2
            [post_title] => Living Our Mission campaign touches Ascension, Virginia Beach, in a special way
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Post: Living Our Mission campaign touches Ascension, Virginia Beach, in a special way

Because of the faithful diligence of pastors, lay leaders, parish staff, and the campaign team, the Living Our Mission Campaign has been a great success. Through the campaign, which began in January 2014, many parishes are funding ministry expansions or long-awaited building projects, such as St. Bede, Willimasburg; St. Olaf, Norge; and St. Catherine of…

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Post: Living Our Mission Campaign Eclipses $40 Million Mark

  The Living Our Mission campaign has eclipsed the $40 million mark, with $40,952,710 raised as of May 15.  The remarkable success is due to extraordinary generosity from parishioners in every corner of the Diocese of Richmond, who have made decisions of faith to support their parishes and this diocese.  This historic campaign will better…

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Post: LOM Campaign funds Distance Learning

One initiative being funded by the Living Our Mission campaign is the Distance Learning and Ministry Training Network.  By utilizing the latest communications technology, this network will bring broad access to programming for our Catholic schools, adult education, and ministry training for staff and volunteers serving in parishes and schools. During the last week of May,…

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