Hope Appeal gatherings highlight gratitude and mission

While the official kickoff of the 2023 Hope Appeal will take place in parishes the weekend of September 9 and 10, enthusiasm for the new campaign has been building across the diocese in local gatherings where the message is one of thankfulness and, of course, hope.

Each of the seven vicariate areas that bring local parishes together in the diocesan structure will host a gathering where enthusiasm for the upcoming Appeal starts to build.

Vicariate 3 gathering at Immaculate Conception, Fayetteville

Diane Julian of St. Joseph Church in Endicott told the Sun that, from the very beginning, she and her husband give because it connects support with those who need it the most. “It serves so much need in our parishes and our communities, and faith formation for our children,” she said. “I think it’s the best way to do that.”

Vicariate 5 gathering at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel – Blessed Sacrament

Similar comments of support and gratitude were on the lips of attendees at gatherings so far in Fayetteville, Utica and Vestal. Fr. John Kurgan, pastor of Holy Cross Church in Dewitt, who also serves as Vicar General of the diocese, told those gathered at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel – Blessed Sacrament Church in Utica that, while many contributors give because of a favorite ministry Hope Appeal serves, the campaign ensures that many ministries are supported with what is needed.

Vicariate 7 gathering at St. Vincent de Paul – Blessed Sacrament

“And the work of Jesus continues,” he told those gathered. Fr. Kurgan also made it very clear that gifts to the Hope Appeal are restricted and can only be used for the ministries of the diocese, and cannot and will not go to fund the recent settlement of Chapter 11 abuse crisis cases. “This is a very challenging time for our diocese, but I have heard no complaints,” he shared. “What I have heard is that they are glad we are doing something.” Father also reminded that all funds raised by a parish in excess of their goal will come back to them to help fund important parish ministries as well.

Look for continuing coverage of this year’s Hope Appeal campaign in The Catholic Sun (which, too, is a Hope Appeal supported ministry).

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