The Development office of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Thunder Bay exists for the purpose of educating the local church, clergy and laity, towards stewardship.
Through the annual Bishop’s Diocesan Ministry Campaign ("SHARING THE CHALLENGES") which funds diocesan services, we reach out to open minds and hearts to the understanding of giving as an expression of our gratitude to God.
While we respect each person's attitude and decision as regards financial giving to the Church, we continue to strive to broaden the horizons of this important element of church membership.
Statement from Bishop Colli
In November of last year, we completed one of the most powerful spiritual years of our Catholic Church community, the Year of Mercy, as proclaimed by Pope Francis for the church and the world. During this year there were many extraordinary acts of kindness and generosity shared among people, not just Catholic people, but all people. This year gave each of us, as a faith community, an opportunity to check our priorities and to see if our lives were examples of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy that should direct us as Catholic Christians.
Some young people asked me, where does the word 'mercy' come from? It comes from the Latin word 'misericordia' and this Latin word is made up of two words: 'miseri' and 'cordia, meaning at heart that takes pity or notice of the poor or of the needy - a heart that reaches out to the suffering, the struggling, the hurting and those who feel alone and unwanted. When we look at this definition we realize that if we are to be true followers of Jesus, we must have a heart that reflects His heart, and we know that He had a very merciful heart. All the stories of Jesus in the scriptures remind us of his love, concern, and compassion for others which we are called to imitate.
In the midst of our world of work, eduction, or raising a family, or tending to the many tasks that mark our daily lives, at the core of all these responsibilities and tasks, we must have a heart that is one of mercy. It is only with this kind of heart that we can bring the Good News of the Lord to the world around us through our words and actions.
That is why this year for our Annual Diocesan Bishop's Campaign we have chosen as the theme: 'At the Heart ... We find Mercy'. This merciful heart is not only for our personal lives, but it is also to be a heart that governs our parish communities, our diocesan fiath family and our greater Church community in general. The Year of Mercy gave us the opportunity to examine and see if our hearts match this call. Do we have a heart that reaches out in pity and concern for those suffering or in need? Do we have a heart that expresses generosity and outreach when we know there is a need out there that is important and needs to be addressed? The purpose of our Annual Bishop's Ministry Campaign is to be that heart that reaches out to others and expresses our desire to imitate the heart of the Lord. We must have a heart of mercy for struggling families and parishes who need counselling and financial support.
We must have a heart for mercy for our young people who are challenged with their understanding of their faith and where it fits in their lives. We must have a heart of mercy for those organizations that respond to the needs of the poor, the refugee, the sailor away from home, the young person struggling with a pregnancy and those who need a daily meal and cannot afford one. We must have a heart of mercy for our clergy, to help them grow in their ministry and be refreshed in faith through retreats and prayer. We must have a heart of mercy for those who seek to learn how to pray, and desire to know more about their faith through education and support.
Our annual campaign seeks to respond to these needs in the northwestern Ontario and to be a sign of that merciful heart that Pope Francis encourages us to have. through your generosity and donations, we as a diocesan family, can respond to many of these needs, and can help strengthen the faith and lives of many in our many parishes and missions that make up our Church. Living with a merciful heart is not always easy and at times it requires some sacrifice, as it did of the Lord himself. We try to avoid sacrifice, it is not a pleasant concept for our North American society. We know, however, that at the heart of mercy is a heart of love, and that to love properly, we must be willing to give of ourselves and what we have, for the good of one another.
As your bishop and spiritual father, I want to thank you for the many works of mercy and compassion that you demonstrated during the Year of Mercy and I want to express my sincere gratitude to you for your support to me and to this annual campaign. I encourage you to participate again this year in helping respond to our needs with a merciful heart. If you have not contributed in the past, I encourage you to participate this year. Let the many and wonderful works of mercy that highlighted the Holy Year, continue to inspire us in all our words and actions.
Let our hearts of mercy grow stronger and swell with the love of the Lord. It is Jesus through the Holy Spirit who guides and directs us, and we know that our generosity is always rewarded by the Lord a hundred times over. Thank you and I ask God's blessings and grace on you and your families.
Sincerely in Christ,
The Most Rev. Fred J. Colli,
Bishop of Thunder Bay
Allocation Amount - $50,000.
Provides support for liturgical ministers and the resource library at the Catholic Pastoral Centre that offers a wide variety of religious materials for workshops, conferences, study programs and sacramental preparation programs for children and adults. The office also offers a variety of books, videos, and articles on religious issues for personal study and gifts.
Allocation Amount - $20,000.
Provides training for youth leaders, retreats for youth and resources for such programs as NET, Salt and Light retreats, and parish youth programs, the Catholic Club at Lakehead University and Catholic Christian Outreach programs.
Allocation Amount - $70,000.
The Catholic Family Development Centre offers a variety of programs to assist those in need of counselling of many kinds and support.
Allocation Amount - $5,000.
Promotes vocations to the priesthood and the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Thunder Bay.
Total Goal: $450,000.
Susan Nistico (Diocesan Ministry Campaign)
Development Office, Diocese of Thunder Bay
P.O. Box 10400,
Thunder Bay ON, P7B 6T8