Joyful recipients, cheerful givers: End-of-year giving in the Archdiocese

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The end of the year is a time to celebrate with gratitude not only the first coming of our Lord and our hope for his second coming, but also the many material and spiritual graces we have received during the year. And the sign of a joyful recipient is a cheerful giver, as we desire to reciprocate our gratitude toward God by helping others in need when we realize how much we have received from him. Below is a list of all the ministries that fall directly under the umbrella of the Archdiocese of Denver. Giving to any of these organizations will make a direct impact in the charitable and evangelizing efforts of the archdiocese as it reaches out to the poor and builds up the kingdom of God.

Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal

Benefiting nearly 40 ministries, the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal is one of the best ways to support the outreach efforts of the Archdiocese of Denver. Donations from the faithful allow these ministries to focus on what they were created to do: minister to people and lead them closer to Christ. Visit archden.org/donate.

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities of Denver is the archdiocese’s “charitable arm,” which seeks to extend the healing ministry of Jesus by helping the poor and those in need. For more information visit ccdenver.org/ways-to-give.

Annual Seminaries’ Appeal

The St. John Vianney and Redemptoris Mater Seminaries of the Archdiocese of Denver are nationally-recognized for their exceptional academic and spiritual formation. Currently, 128 seminarians would benefit from this much-needed support, which helps provide funding for academic programs, food and housing, seminarian health insurance and more. Visit sjvdenver.edu/support-sjv-today.

Seeds of Hope

Seeking to cultivate minds and hearts for Christ, Seeds of Hope strives to make Catholic education accessible to families who desire it. By providing scholarships, the organization gives families the opportunity to provide for their children a Catholic education where spiritual, mental, academic and physical formation is provided. Visit seedsofhopedenver.org/donate.

Centro San Juan Diego

A nationally-recognized organization that provides services to members of the Spanish-speaking community in the Archdiocese of Denver, Centro San Juan Diego helps form tomorrow’s Hispanic leaders. In partnership with the Office of Hispanic Ministries of the archdiocese, it hosts numerous faith-based courses and programs. Visit centrosanjuandiego.org/donate.

Bishop Machebeuf High School

Named after the first bishop of Colorado, Bishop Machebeuf High School has been recognized as a Top 50 Catholic High School by the Cardinal Newman Society in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012, based on its strength in academic excellence, civic education and Catholic identity. Visit machebeuf.org/donate.

Holy Family High School

Holy Family High School was founded in 1922 and “seeks to provide a Catholic learning environment that stresses academic excellence, fosters mutual respect, demands responsibility and encourages self-growth,” based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Visit holyfamilyhs.com/donate.

Prophet Elijah House

This new retirement center for priests is located on the St. John Paul II Center campus of the Archdiocese of Denver and is set to open in early 2019. Consider giving to this center, which will enable those priests who have dedicated their lives to the spiritual nurturing of the faithful by providing the sacraments to live in fraternal community. Visit elijahdenver.org/support-our-priests.

Annunciation Heights

Annunciation Heights is the archdiocese’s new Catholic youth and family camp and retreat center located just south of Estes Park. Displaying the beauty of God’s creation, Annunciation Heights is a place where people can “withdraw from a hectic and busy culture and come to know and experience a true friendship with Jesus.” Visit annunciationheights.org/get-involved.

Catholic Biblical School

The Biblical and Catechetical Schools under the Lay Division of St. John Vianney Seminary are helping form a new generation of missionary disciples in Denver. Through the St. John Paul II Scholarship Fund, the Lay Division grants around $150,000 yearly in scholarships to nearly half of its student population. Visit sjvlaydivision.org/donate.

COMING UP: St. Scholastica parish in Erie has served community for well over 100 years

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For more than a century, St. Scholastica Catholic Church has served the faithful in the northern community of Erie, Colo. Over time there have been many changes to the structure of the parish, but it still stands on the same foundation that Benedictine pastor Father Cornelius Enders set in place in 1899.

Vibrant, spiritually alive, and welcoming is how St. Scholastica can be described. For years, the church formed part of a circuit assigned to one priest of different parishes and missions, but four years ago, Father Robert Wedow was assigned to St. Scholastica as its first full-time pastor in history.

Since day one, Father Wedow knew there was a lot of work to do for the growing community: “To do what Jesus told us. To go to the ends of earth and baptize all the nation,” said Father Wedow to the Denver Catholic about his mission.

In order to accomplish that mission, he and the pastoral council came up with a parish plan that consists of three goals for the church.

“One of the goals is what we call our spiritual needs, to understand and begin to use our resources to meet the spiritual needs of the people of Erie. The second one is the evangelization of ourselves and others. And the third one is the development of our parish so that we will put ourselves to be able to have a brand-new parish,” he said.

The altar at St. Scholastica was recently renovated and blessed by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila. The Erie parish has served the community for over 120 years. (Photos by Brandon Young)

When he first became the pastor of St. Scholastica, Father Wedow noticed things in the church that required maintenance and renovations in order to keep serving the community in Erie. Among those renovations were the floors, the carpet and the altar of the church that was starting to break apart. On Oct. 13, after months of hard work and dedication, parishioners and friends attended a special ceremony in which Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila dedicated the new altar at St. Scholastica, one of the biggest renovations.

For a parish of approximately 200 families, St. Scholastica offers a wide range of ministries to meet the needs of the whole family. From youth groups, bible study and the Knights of Columbus, the community stays involved and keeps growing bigger and stronger.

To serve the community and continue evangelizing, the church holds a variety of fun events throughout the year where parishioners have the opportunity to help others while having a good time. Among these events is St. Scholastica’s Annual “Cookies and Caroling,” where the community gathers to make delicious cookies, then goes door to door and hands them out to the neighbors while caroling and wishing them a Merry Christmas.

“I personally think what’s unique about my parish is the powerful love of the volunteers and the way in which they show their love for God and for their neighbor,” Father Wedow said.

Although there is still much work to be done in the 120-year-old parish, Father Robert continues to work hard and does everything in his hands to meet the needs of his growing community.

“It’s a great privilege for me to be able to serve the people of Erie and to be a part of this growing community. May the joy of seeing the face of God overwhelm us all, as we celebrate the true gift of Christmas at Christmas night mass,” concluded Father Wedow.