My dear friends,
In the fourth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, we hear how the early Christian community placed their offerings at the feet of the Apostles to distribute to each according to their need. They were cognizant of the poor in their midst and because of their generosity, we read that “there was no needy person among them (Acts 4:34).” Such was the love the early Christians had for Christ and the trust they had in the Apostles to distribute their goods to the poor “each according to their need (v.35).”
This tradition lives on in the Church today as each year we place our offerings at the feet of our Archbishop, a successor of the apostles, so that he may help the poor in our Archdiocese through the Archbishop’s Charities and Development Campaign (ABCD). We do this as a sign of faith. Faith that Christ will provide for the poor through us. Faith that our Archbishop will take our offering and distribute them “each according to their need.” And while we still have not reached that ideal of the first Christian community where there was no needy among them, it is at the heart of our faith to help the poor as we strive to make a difference in the lives of the most needy and the most vulnerable.
After nearly two years of pandemic, there is still great need in our Church beyond the boundaries of our parish. ABCD has helped so many families who have been directly impacted by COVID who have lost jobs or lost loved ones. It has helped poor parishes whose collections almost disappeared overnight and helped those pastors pay their bills and tend to the needs of their communities. One of the beautiful marks of the Church is that we are One. We are united by the love of Jesus Christ, and when one part of the Body of Christ is hurting, we run to their aid.
The last two years, our ABCD parish goal was impacted by the pandemic. Many of our families could not give what they usually give or could not give at all. We went from 490 donors in 2020 to 424 donors in 2021. This year, I am asking each and every one of you, my dear parishioners, to pitch in not only so that we can surpass our parish goal of $309,765.40, but more importantly, so that we can make a significant impact in the lives of our brothers and sisters who are struggling as a result of the pandemic. The generosity of the parishioners of the Church of the Little Flower is so beautiful to behold, and I am confident that this generosity will be seen by our Archbishop this year.
In all this, we cannot forget that ABCD also helps our Respect Life ministries that have seen their rent rise in their Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Through our gifts, we also support our seminaries who have also felt financial hardship as well, and we need the seminaries thriving as they educate and form our future priests. There is so much good that you can do with a simple gift, for when we give a gift to the Church, we do so with the faith that it will reach those in need.
I want to end this letter on a personal note. During this pandemic, I have sat in on many meetings with the Archbishop who has remained steadfast in his commitment to ABCD and implored his priests to do the same. As a pastor, I can only imagine that he has had many sleepless nights worried about so many suffering members of his flock here in Miami and how to properly tend to their needs. Every day since March 2020 has presented a different challenge, but the Church, filled with the Holy Spirit, always rises up to meet them. As your pastor, I ask you to make a gift to the ABCD today as Father Omar and I have. We strongly believe in the importance of this campaign, and the impact that it makes in the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
On behalf of Archbishop Wenski, thank you for your generosity. God bless you all,