The lives you impact through your support of the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal

Dear Friends in Christ:

One of the many blessings of being Catholic is the great richness and diversity of the heritage of our faith tradition: 2,000 years of saints and scholars, theologians and scientists, missionaries and pastors, educators and health care workers, producers of masterpieces of beauty in art, music, architecture and literature – the list is endless. What is more, we are all called – each of us, with our own unique gifts and endowments from God – to be a part of this great legacy.

As wise and generous stewards of the gifts with which God has blessed us, we each make our own unique contribution to the cause of spreading His love. We do this, as Catholics, by using our gifts and talents to serve others, and it is in serving and loving others that love is returned to us. This includes sharing our gifts of time and treasure as well as our talents. I want to take this occasion to thank each of you for the concrete ways you support the growth of our Catholic faith through generously sharing your time, talent and treasure.

One of the primary ways we demonstrate our love through stewardship of treasure in the Archdiocese of San Francisco is by participation in the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal. The AAA provides Catholics in the three counties of our Archdiocese (San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin) a unique opportunity to come together: through the appeal, the 90 parishes of our Archdiocese unite as one body in mission and ministry.

I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the thousands of parishioners who have so generously supported the annual appeal throughout the years. You have a tremendous impact on many lives. Through the annual appeal, we support retired priests, seminarians, social justice initiatives, our schools, youth and young adult ministry, and ministries to the poor, to name just a few examples. We also support archdiocesan departments such as finance and human resources that through some centralization of services ably support our parishes in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

The theme for this year’s annual appeal is “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” By following Christ’s word, we pursue the path on which we demonstrate our faith – and we do so in countless ways. In this magazine, you’ll see examples of how we demonstrate our faith, and you’ll read about people whose lives you impact through the annual appeal.

A few examples of ministries you support through the AAA are:

Our Chaplain ministry, offered in hospitals and prisons to support individuals during some of their moments of greatest need.

The Rotational Learning Initiative, our program that increases the proficiency of elementary school students who are below grade level in reading and math via software programs and tools that provide personalized learning. You are helping change the trajectory of young lives!

The Gabriel Project, our person-to-person outreach to women who are in crisis pregnancies. Through the appeal, you help these women who have chosen to give birth in difficult circumstances.

Restorative Justice, our ministry involving crime victims and their families, offenders and their families, and the incarcerated. An example: a young man with no family in the U.S. was killed inside a San Mateo County jail. The county contacted the Archdiocese because the deceased was associated with Catholic Charities. Julio Escobar, who heads our Restorative Justice program, went to the young man’s former neighborhood and learned the name of a relative in his country of origin. Julio contacted the family, broke the news about the death, and helped return the young man’s body to his native country.

I encourage you to think about your impact on the people in need of our chaplain ministry, … think about those schoolchildren who benefit from the Rotational Learning Initiative, … think about pregnant women in need, and often with few places to go, … think about the young man killed in the county jail.

Now imagine the consequences if support from the AAA weren’t there. Would the people in need of our chaplain ministry receive the Holy Sacraments? Would they find comfort and peace of mind? Would the schoolchildren in need of additional, more personalized instruction realize their academic gifts? What about the family of the young man killed in jail? On behalf of these individuals, their families and the many others who benefit from the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal, I thank you for your generosity and your commitment to our faith. You inspire me in my ministry.

Our mission as a Church and people of the Catholic faith continues, so I invite you to participate in this year’s annual appeal. Your contribution is a tangible expression of your commitment to bringing Christ to others, and it enhances our ability to spread and celebrate our faith. Your gift makes a real difference.

With my prayerful best wishes, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone
Archbishop of San Francisco