As we are now
in the final weeks of 2014, I would like to reflect on another year of
generosity within the Archdiocese of Toronto.
I have been
with the ShareLife and Development office for the past ten years, and over that
time have come to learn of the many ways that we as a Catholic community unite
to support our brothers and sisters in Christ. The past year was no exception, as our parishioners contributed
generously to the ShareLife appeal, raising over $12.2 million, and over $14.2
million from our parish, corporate, schools, and employee campaigns.
one of the ways that we extend the hands of Christ to the marginalized in our
communities. At this time of the year,
many of our parishes are participating in the distribution of food hampers and
setting up giving trees to provide food and Christmas presents for families in
need. Throughout the year, there are food banks, out of the cold programs, and
poor boxes that provide support in difficult times. A large number of parishes are sponsoring a
refugee family, helping them to flee a difficult situation and escape persecution
for their religious beliefs. These are
all in addition to second collections in our parishes to support the work of
the church both locally and across the world.
I had the opportunity to visit the relief effort taking place in the
Philippines after the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda a year ago. In addition, I also visited five areas where
funds received from our Pastoral Mission Fund or Mission Co-operative Programs
are making an impact. This visit gave me a new appreciation for the
humanitarian relief work of the Catholic Church in the greater world, and
showed me how our support of these programs here is making a difference in a
country thousands of miles away from us.
people shared their stories of thankfulness for the generosity of our ShareLife
family. Stories like the one of young Kendra, who received compassionate care for
herself and her new baby from Vita Centre, or Robert, an intellectually
challenged man from St. Jude’s Academy of the Arts in Toronto, who received the
loving support he needs to succeed in his life. We learned of a family dealing with
difficult times who received counselling from one of our Family Service
Agencies, and celebrated the ordination of priests and deacons who were formed
through St. Augustine and Redemptoris Mater seminaries. These are just a few examples
of how our donations to ShareLife are touching those in need around us.
We are extremely
thankful for the generosity of our supporters.
We know that your contributions of time, talent and treasure are
significant and are greatly appreciated. Throughout the year, please continue
to visit our website to see stories of how your contributions to ShareLife are
helping those in need. We look forward to sharing these precious reflections with
you in the year ahead.
ShareLife family to you and your loved ones, we wish you a Merry Christmas and blessed
New Year in 2015.