2020 Parish Share campaign begins with focus on funding of important ministries

Saturday, February 29, 2020 - Updated: 3:45 pm

By Bob De Witt Correspondent

The 2020 Parish Share campaign is underway with a renewed focus on how donations help parishes and the Church of Pittsburgh respond to critical needs.

The program promotes vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life, helps to form seminarians, strengthens parish outreach to youth, and supports college campus chaplains to keep young people growing in the faith while they are away at school.

Each parish must contribute to these services, whether or not donations cover the parish’s annual goal. When giving to Parish Share falls short, the parish must make up the difference. Any funds raised beyond the assessment stay in the parish for its own needs.

Parish Share is different from a parish’s weekly offertory, which supports parish ministries, staff salaries, utility and insurance costs, and similar expenses.

“Parish Share provides services to your parish that would come at a far higher cost if each parish had to provide it separately,” Bishop David Zubik wrote in a letter to parishioners. “Parish Share also supports ministries that are beyond the scope of a single parish.”

Parish Share gifts benefit parishes in many ways:

• Funds support outreach to men and women who are discerning God’s call to serve the church through the priesthood, diaconate and religious life.

• Parish Share helps to pay for the education and formation of seminarians preparing for the priesthood and men who are in formation to become permanent deacons.

• As a direct result of Parish Share gifts, children and teens learn the faith in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs.

• Parish Share provides payroll services and audits to parishes and schools so that employees are paid on time and gifts are used properly.

• Parish Share supports those working with youth and young adults, in evangelization and digital communications, who help parishes strengthen those ministries.

• Catholic Charities, Roselia Center and Mon Valley Social Services are among many social programs receiving Parish Share money.

“These are important ministries,” said Father Joseph McCaffrey, pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in the New Castle area. “And once a parish has achieved its Parish Share goal, any additional funds stay in the parish without an assessment. The more you give, the more you keep.”

“It’s all about sharing and being the church together,” said Father David Bonnar, who is helping to bring together the parishes of St. Bernard and Our Lady of Grace in the South Hills. “We are building a bridge to form one new parish community, and we couldn’t do it alone.”

“We try to educate parishioners about Parish Share,” said Father Robert Miller, administrator of St. Benedict the Abbot, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Isaac Jogues parishes in Peters Township, Finleyville and Jefferson Hills.

“If they realize the good that Parish Share does, and how it helps the parish, people usually are pretty supportive,” he said.

“As Catholics, we give back to God in thanks for his grace and mercy toward us,” Bishop Zubik said. “When you pray over what you will give, Jesus is looking into your heart rather than at the amount you give.

“Please give generously, in thanks for God’s generosity to you.”

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