New DDD campaign requests financial support of Catholic Church in Utah
Friday, Jul. 31, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY— When the coronavirus pandemic hit Utah and government officials prohibited public gatherings, local pastors temporary closed the doors of their churches to stop the spread of the virus.
Although public liturgy ceased, priests and lay leaders started looking for creative ways to minister to the flock in Utah and keep the Church alive and present.
Without the regular weekly collections, though, “we have a 40 percent loss in donations and gifts,” said Karin Hurley, director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development.
Typically in the summer, Hurley’s office mails a solicitation to parishioners inviting participation in the Diocesan Development Drive, which is the annual appeal that supports the ministries run by the diocese. However, due to the coronavirus, this year’s DDD campaign didn’t have the added advantage of the priest, pastor or celebrant reminding people in person about the need to contribute to the appeal.
Wanting a fresh approach to the appeal, Hurley asked herself, “How can we say to the people that now more than ever the Church needs you? That now more than ever, we need to step up as Catholic people, taking responsibility for the preservation of our Church?”
And then she thought, “That’s how you say it.”
That was how the DDD campaign “Now More Than Ever” was born.
“Now more than ever, communities count and families need support. Now more than ever, life matters, and we are heroes for one another. Now more than ever, we are called, we are sent, we are missionary disciples. Now more than ever we are the Body of Christ, we are the Catholic Church in Utah,” Hurley said.
The campaign, which is intended to motivate people to keep giving financial gifts to the Catholic Church in Utah, launched on July 12 with a video portraying individuals, families, pastors and leaders from all over the Catholic Diocese of Utah.
Among those featured in the video is the Anderson family, parishioners of St. Thomas More.
The Andersons, whose family includes three boys, said in the video that “Now more than ever, families need support.”
“We wanted to encourage other families to know that they are not alone; that despite the challenges we can always celebrate our faith,” said Kira Anderson.
In these hard times, it is important for everyone to step up to support the Church because “we are all part of our Church,” said Anderson, who encourages people to make a gift to the Church in Utah.
“Our gift to the Church needs to be a gift of sacrifice,” Hurley said. “This doesn’t mean that we want people putting themselves in financial harm by giving something to the Church that they cannot financially afford, but that it’s more than simply, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize you were going to ask for a gift and this is the money that I have left in my pocket.’ ... What we are really trying to say is that now more than ever the necessity of the Church is very apparent in the world. … If we truly believe that the Church is vital in our own lives, then we will take the time to make the sacrifice and make a gift to the Church, literally for its preservation.”
The Church continues doing its work in the world: feeding the hungry, praying for the needs of humanity, giving hope in despair, forming faith leaders, giving help where it is most needed, and “we need to keep on giving faithfully and making sure that this will be sustainable,” Hurley said.
While individual parishes continue to need the financial support of their parishioners, “When people donate to the [DDD] appeal they are supporting the wider community,” Hurley said.
For example, in past years the DDD has helped pay for renovations at St. Gertrude Mission in Panguich, for the purchase of St. Paul Catholic Center in Hurricane, and for services to the growing Catholic community in St. George.
In addition, DDD funds go “to providing for the immediate needs of the faithful during COVID-19, modern ministry tools that provide for the ongoing care of the People of God,” said Hurley, adding that when people withhold their financial gifts to the DDD, they may not recognize that there is communal damage, “because we must continue to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
“If we truly believe that our Church has a place in the world and should continue, we need to not only be making a sacrificial gift to the bishop’s appeal, but we need to sign up online, giving to our parishes and giving with regularity,” Hurley added.
For the DDD appeal, a universal giving portal has been set at catholicsaltlakecity.com, click Contribute. One-time, monthly or quarterly gifts may be made. Through snail mail, checks or money orders may be sent directly to the diocese at 27 C St., Salt Lake City, UT 84103.
“Remember the amazing things that Jesus has given you,” Hurley said.