This past January, Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Mead celebrated the dedication of its brand new church building. Among the excitement surrounding the new church was also a need for funds to support the project.
That’s when the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal (ACA) rebate the parish received last year came to the rescue.
“It was put into operating expenses, which really helped us out because having just built a new church, we now have a loan that we need to pay off,” said parish pastor Father Alan Hartway.
“By using that fund in operating expenses, we were able to cover a lot of those moving costs,” he said.
The appeal rebate occurs when parishes exceed their ACA fundraising goal and receive money back, which they can use to benefit the parish.
Last year was the first time Immaculate Heart of Mary in Northglenn received the rebate since Father James Spahn has been the parish’s pastor.
“Every year I’ve been here these four years, it’s been going up and up,” said Father Spahn. “Finally, this year, we reached our goal.
“It just made me proud of my people,” he said. “The people at the parish are very generous to so many causes.”
Parishes use the rebate funds in a variety of ways.
For St. Thomas More in Centennial, the rebate they received last year was put into a general operatory fund, said pastor Msgr. Thomas Fryar. That money was likely used in several ways, including adding more cantors at church services, bringing in visiting priests to hear confessions, and helping the parish pay for new renovations.
St. Thomas More’s ability to exceed their goal of over half a million dollars was deeply inspiring to Msgr. Fryar.
“It speaks about the commitment of our community to the wider Church,” he said. “When we are aware of and reach out to the wider Church, you can’t help but have the blessings that come back upon our people.”
Like his fellow priests, Msgr. Fryar is encouraged by the generosity of his parishioners and the action they take to give back to the archdiocese.
“As a pastor, it’s nice to see the parish alive,” he said.
Father Hartway notices a similar generosity among his parishioners and explained that the ACA connects them to the entire archdiocesan family.
“They feel like there’s a bigger team with the archdiocese,” he said. “They feel that they are supported by the archdiocese. It’s not just taking money from us, it also gives it back.”
To motivate his parishioners during the ACA and beyond it, Father Andrew Kemberling, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul in Denver, emphasizes the need each person has to give.
“We have found that you have a need to give before giving to a need,” he said. “But if you lead with the idea that you’re giving to a need and you satisfy the need, then people are left with the false conclusion that you don’t need to give anymore. But you always have a need to give.”
And responding to that need to give doesn’t go unnoticed, Father Kemberling added, as portrayed in through the ACA rebate.
“God’s generosity will be rewarded back to you,” he said.