Our guests, donors and sponsors showed incredible generosity and more than $80,000 was raised for our beneficiaries!
More than 800 guests including over 100 youth and representatives from 35 parishes, all 5 school boards, 16 Knights of Columbus and Catholic Women's League Councils, and 11 businesses, community partners and lay organizations attended this year's event at the Commonwealth Centre on October 19, 2017.
Guests enjoyed being entertained by singer & songwriter Janelle and the Bishop Carroll High School Choir before being inspired by the words of Michael Chiasson and Bishop William McGrattan.
Click the photo below to browse through the 2017 Bishop's Dinner Album
If the slideshow does not play in your browser, please view directly in the FLICKR PHOTO ALBUM HERE.
If you make a donation to the Diocese this year, you will notice your tax receipt speaks to the integral part of stewardship to our faith.
Biblical stewardship is more than giving of time, talent and treasure. “True generosity has no limits. When we say that mature disciples are to answer the call of Jesus Christ regardless of the cost, we are inviting good stewards to embody this type of generosity. We can be the person who does not respond to the call, be the person who responds and gives what is required, or finally, be the person who seeks to give above and beyond what is required. God doesn’t just give us what we need, but He gives us more than we need. Made in His image, we are called to do the same. If we try to live in this manner every day, then we might just succeed on leaving this world a little better than the way we found it” [Tracy Earl Welliver, Catholic Stewardship Coach].
At the core of all the charitable work we as Catholics engage in is a desire to live Christian stewardship in all we do, striving to make the world a better place. Each parish has elements of community outreach; many parishioners volunteer with or donate to their favourite charity. At a diocesan level, the Together in Action (TIA) Granting Program is one very tangible way in which our efforts to make the world a little better can be measured. We wanted to share a story with you in celebration of your generous giving to TIA and to encourage all of us to find other ways to make a difference in our communities around southern Alberta.
This year, Catholic Family Service (CFS) is celebrating 60 years of providing for the needs of people in Calgary and the surrounding area. The Diocese is honoured to partner with this amazing organization through the TIA granting program and this year marks 20 years of support of CFS’s Family & Schools Together (F&ST) program. This ground-breaking program, recognized by the United Nations, has connected families with their schools and communities since 1996. Recognizing that feeling connected and being part of a community has a big impact on our quality of life, the program works to give parents the support they need to be positive role models within their family and the community. Parents are empowered through education, group sessions and mentoring to: be leaders and role models for their family; be involved in their child’s school; and ensure their children are healthy and thriving both socially and academically.
We know that the ties that bind and make us strong go beyond just our immediate families. Relationships with friends and neighbours, schools, teachers, coaches, etc. are just as important to our health and well-being. Knowing we are not alone in our life journey can make all the difference. As one program parent explained it:
Our family enjoys every component of F&ST! My husband and I especially like being in Parent Group and find it very helpful to talk with other parents who are facing the same challenges as us. Each week our family is becoming more and more connected through F&ST. Our house is calmer after the program, my stress levels are reduced and we have started opening up our communication at home.
We all have gifts and talents that we can share by volunteering in our local communities with organizations like CFS. And by supporting TIA with your contributions, you are helping CFS and more than 40 other charities locally and internationally help make the world a better place! Thank you for working Together in Action with your fellow Catholics.
As part of our Diocesan mission and obedience to the words of our Lord to “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep,” Together in Action granted “good gifts” of funding to many amazing organizations across southern Alberta in 2016. In Lethbridge, we granted to the Interfaith Food Bank Society, run almost entirely by volunteers. Each year, more than 100 volunteers come through their door to give “good gifts” of time to the lives of the food bank’s clients. Many of them are passionately committed, serving regularly, often several times a month. Staff are committed to giving their volunteers a positive experience. Funds from Together in Action ensure they have a quality volunteer program. This commitment promotes long term volunteer retention and helps manage organizational costs effectively.
A bit farther north, in Airdrie, Deacon Gary Haney works with St. Dismas Prison Ministries. This organization works with an extremely marginalized population – recently released inmates. Together in Action funds the organization’s Let’s Journey Together Program. Volunteers with this organization give “good gifts” of circles of support around released inmates, helping them transition back into the community. The connections built within these circles anchor these vulnerable individuals to stability, acceptance and often, housing and employment. Deacon Gary Haney loves to tell the story of this organization and passionately believes in the work.
Do you or your parish support a charity that you are passionate about? Do you have an organization that you love and give the “good gifts” of your time or money to? We’d love to hear from you! Connect with us to tell us about it! If we feel it’s a good fit for the Together in Action Granting Program, we will solicit an application from the charity. After that, it will be up to the committee and the Bishop. As the donors who make Together in Action possible, we believe you have a voice in suggesting the spread of “good gifts.” Contact the Charities & Development Office at (403) 218-5534 for more information or to get the nomination form.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary is honoured to partner with Blue Sea Philanthropy, KAIROS Calgary and the Mustard Seed to host Coldest Night of the Year.
The Coldest Night of the Year is a non-competitive 2, 5, and 10km winter-walk happening in more than 90 communities across Canada. Charities in each community raise funds and awareness in support of individuals experiencing hunger, homelessness and hurt.
In this current economic climate, trying to raise funds through events has become a worrisome endeavour. Everyone’s dollars, both personal and corporate, are being stretched a little farther. As part of my job I recently spent the day out at the stunningly beautiful Silvertip Golf Resort in Canmore, Alberta hosting a very generous group of people golfing in support of the Diocese’s Feed the Hungry Golf Tournament. I spent a lot of the day monitoring the bottom line of our event, praying for success.
Despite our tournament not selling out for the first time in four years and the cancellation of our silent auction we raised $55,000! These funds will help Feed the Hungry continue its mission: to create a different type of Sunday for Calgary’s impoverished. We do that by serving a family-style sit-down dinner to almost 500 of our neighbours most Sundays in Mission at St. Mary’s Hall. How did we raise that $55,000? Because God provided for us. Whenever I was worried about how the event was going to turn out, I prayed. And He answered. First by giving me peace about the event, but then also with financial provision, including $38,000 in corporate sponsorships!
As I pondered how to share the story of our success, Matthew 6:28b came to mind, and I realized the story isn’t just about our event. It’s about the lesson learned. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.” This whole passage of St. Matthew’s Gospel exhorts us not to worry. That as God cares for the creatures and the earth, so much more abundantly does He care for us, His children. If you are worried about a situation in your life, I encourage you to read this scripture and rest in His peace. If you are feeling called to reach out and help those in need, we can help connect you. Visit the Charities & Development website page at www.calgarydiocese.ca. Thank you to all our supporters who continue to give of their resources. We appreciate you so much.