St. John is incredibly blessed with such a vast spectrum of individuals and families that we call our Parish Family. Some have been parishioners for 25+ years, having helped established this church when it was meeting next door at Naples Park Elementary. Others just joined last week. Some have watched the buildings and events mature over decades. Still others have only just begun to explore the vast array of programs and opportunities to engage their faith. One term that those who have been part of our Parish Family for many years will recall is the Catholic Faith Appeal (CFA). There are many, however, who may not know about the CFA, or what it is for. This week I would like to explain this very important and worthy cause.
The CFA is a Diocesan contribution in which all the members of the churches in Southwest Florida work together to support the central services we all rely on as Catholics and active community members. There are several essential efforts that rely on the CFA:
- Catholic Charities: As a leading provider of social services, Catholic Charities supports over 40,000 people with programs like direct assistance to pay their utility bills, emergency intake programs for those that have become homeless, ending human trafficking in our backyard, citizenship assistance, and veteran housing.
- Catholic Schools: It costs a tremendous amount to provide a high-quality education, and the CFA supports the Catholic Schools in the area to ensure members of our community can have access to this faith-based education system through high school
- Vocations: From the Seminarian programs that instruct our future priests and deacons to providing support for the 35 different women’s religious orders and 26 different communities of brothers and priests within the Diocese, the CFA ensures we provide for the education and well-being for those who have dedicated their lives in service to us and our faith.
Every year, the Diocese of Venice places a goal for each parish to provide a certain amount towards an overall need the Diocese has. For 2019, we have been asked to contribute $575,000. While we were able to overcome a significant shortfall at the end of last year, we would rather fulfill our obligation early and ensure our support for these essential programs for the Southwest Florida community. We ask if you have any additional resources you wish to support Catholic organizations with, that you make a donation to the Catholic Faith Appeal. We will be having a special CFA Weekend on February 16 & 17 to assist us with our goal. Your support, which is fully tax deductible, will provide assistance to thousands in our area. You can make a donation via Saint John by calling the office, giving to the Diocese directly, or on the website: https://saintjohntheevangelist.com/ways-to-give