Remaining Faithful to Synod Outcomes
Every day, in big and small ways, God’s love is made manifest in our local parish and school communities in the Diocese of Bridgeport. In our pews, church halls, soup kitchens, classrooms, and pastoral ministries we are transforming lives through the experience of Christ’s presence. Recognizing all that we do today, we must also reflect on how we as a community of faith can increase and expand the ways in which we live out the Gospel, now and in the future. A vibrant Church relies on healthy parishes along with dynamic ministries, increased evangelization, superior Catholic schools and robust charitable programs and agencies.
The We Stand With Christ Campaign will address significant priorities and help prepare the Church to meet the challenges and opportunities we face now and for decades to come. The objectives of We Stand With Christ are:
- Strengthening local parishes to encourage a vibrant Catholic life;
- Ensuring the vigor of Catholic education;
- Enriching religious education, faith formation, and youth ministries;
- Providing for the future care of retired priests;
- Educating young men for the priesthood;
- Meeting the pastoral needs of the elderly in nursing homes;
- Supporting those with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
- Increasing participation in parish life and fostering evangelization; and
- Expanding works of charity for the poor and disenfranchised.
While a small number of targeted leadership commitments ($250,000+) will be directed to current use purposes in support of these objectives, the vast majority of these monies will be placed in endowments or current use funds to provide a sustainable source of income. These funds—which will be raised by We Stand With Christ, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation separate from the Diocese of Bridgeport—will be overseen by a Board of Directors charged with ensuring the funds are used for their intended purpose.
Recognizing the need to invest in our parishes, 50% of the funds raised or $37,500,000, will be for parish needs. The remaining 50% of the funds raised, will be invested in the following three Foundations:
- Foundations in Education: $12,500,000
- Foundations in Faith: $15,000,000
- Foundations in Charity: $10,000,000
As a people of Catholic faith, steadfast in proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed, we confidently embark on the ambitious We Stand with Christ campaign. Our goal is to sustain and grow the works of the Church in Fairfield County for generations to come. A campaign of this magnitude can only succeed through the generosity of our entire community of faith.
This effort is being led by Bishop Caggiano and a 26-member Campaign Executive Committee, with the support of our priests, deacons, religious, and lay leaders. Each parish will participate in the campaign, and every Catholic household will be invited to prayerfully consider a multi-year pledge. We also invite you also to consider becoming a campaign volunteer, as many involved parishioners are needed for this initiative to be successful.
Gifts of cash, appreciated securities, matching gifts, retirement plans and bequests are welcome. All gifts are fully tax deductible as allowable by law. Funds raised through the campaign will be used exclusively for the purposes detailed within this case statement. An annual report will be published by We Stand With Christ, Inc. for the parishes and benefactors detailing the use of the funds raised.
Funds will be disbursed by We Stand With Christ, Inc. to each parish and three Foundations: Foundations in Education; Foundations in Faith and Foundations in Charity, each of which has its own Board of Directors. The endowments established through the campaign will continue to grow through reinvestment and the addition of new gifts. The interest income generated by the endowments will provide a steady source of revenue for these Foundations. The Diocese of Bridgeport, through a participation agreement, will make available to the Foundations its Investment Committee to provide expert counsel in the investment of the principal of the endowments.
We Stand With Christ marks an exciting time in our brief, yet significant, 64-year history. In that time, we have faced distinct challenges, each of which has afforded us an opportunity to grow stronger in our commitment to Christ.
As we embark on our most significant fundraising campaign yet, we pray that our community will once again come together as members of the Body of Christ to advance the works of His Church. You are asked to prayerfully consider how you can support this critical endeavor and we thank you for your prayers, participation and generosity.