Parishioner Call for Commitment

ONE Campaign Commitment Weekend

Presentation by Chairperson Erin Jacobs

My name is Erin Jacobs and my husband and I have been parishioners here for the past 10 years.  My parents were parishioners for a few years before my mom passed away. 474295_10151478900306025_2131636216_o

My husband Michael may be more recognizable than I am around the parish. Since he became Catholic 3 years ago, he’s become an officer in the Knights, he’s the Athletic Director at the school, and he volunteers in various other ministries. I thought it was time I got more involved in the Parish myself, not to mention as a cradle Catholic he was making me look bad.

So here I am. Thank you for having me.

In all seriousness though, I’m here because the church and my faith has made all the difference in my life. It’s the greatest gift my parents gave to me and it has transformed my family since Michael converted.

I’m here today because I want the church to be a strong support for our daughter Reilly too; when she’s old enough to realize the depth of love and the grace it brings when you need it most.

By now we’ve all learned about the One Campaign which has been laid out on a diocesan level, details have appeared in the bulletin the past 6 weeks, and I know you read every page of the bulletin, right?  Every parish in the Diocese is taking part, and each is given a specific financial goal. For us here at St. Dominic’s, our goal is a little over $900,000 of which 25% will be used right here.

It’s a big ask. And it can feel daunting when we have campaigns of our own running, maybe even one or two at home. St. Dominic’s will utilize our 25% (Over $227,000) to support the following initiatives in our own strategic plan:

  • Developing Youth Ministries
  • Building needs for repairs and expansion
  • Supporting our Parish Catholic School- which really struck a chord with me.

We are fortunate to have a thriving parish school; however that isn’t without continued support from this community. The students at SDS benefit from the amazing Dominican priests that are in their classrooms every week and the strength of our faith as a community. The kids that leave here are well rounded, service minded, and most importantly faithful. I see this in my friends’ kids that go or have graduated from the school. However having a very strong public school district here in Benicia means we have to invest to remain competitive. This is something that is on my mind daily when Mike and I discuss whether we will send Reilly here or the school around the corner from our house. St Dominic School and its students need technology advancements, tuition assistance, and additional space but most importantly we need to hire the best leaders for our kids.

I didn’t attend Catholic School myself. Growing up in Moraga, like Benicia, we had great public education; I consider my faith no less than that of my friends that attended Catholic Schools. When I grew up more than half my class was in CCD every Wednesday, attended Mass every Sunday with their families, and we had a list of activities to participate in at St. Monica’s all year long. I’m convinced that much of who I am today is a result of my family’s active participation in our parish and the amount of resources they offered for young people.

Now I see many of my friends from high school and college that were raised Catholic attending non-denominational churches, simply because the programs for their kids are better there. It’s heartbreaking to think of what they are giving up out of convenience.

So for me, supporting this ONE Campaign is personal.  It is a way to give back for what I have been given and to make sure the church, not just St. Dominic’s, but the entire diocese is strong so that when we visit my in-laws in South Lake Tahoe that St. Teresa’s is a thriving parish, if Reilly goes to college in Davis, Sacramento, or Chico (where I went) the parish’s and Newman Center’s on campus there are strong and that she remains an active and faithful Catholic as I have.

A few months before my mom lost her battle with Cancer she was interviewed by Amgen for a patient documentary. She was asked by the narrator “what are you most proud of in your life”. She reflected and answered that she had friends that were Vice Presidents of Banks or had made other corporate achievements, but she said “now I see many of them, and most of their adult children no longer attend church.”  With a gentle smile she offered, “I was never vice president of anything, but I was a good mother and none of my girls have ever lost their faith.” That was her legacy, and I want it be mine. We should all want that.

At the heart of this campaign is the revival of the Catholic Church in Northern California.  This takes financial commitment from each of us, but also a commitment to service and prayer- the other 2 critical components in this campaign.  100% of those efforts stay with us here in Benicia.

You are asked to make your pledge this weekend, there are cards and envelopes in the pews and you may have received one in the mail at home too.

A pledge of $3000 over 4 years turns out to be just $1.85 a day, (that’s a cup of coffee) or $56 on a monthly payment (with a 10% upfront donation). My family has made our pledge already and others have too, but we are a long way to reach our goal.

Finally I want to say, that much of what we have today is due to the tremendous faith and sacrifice made by Catholics that came before us. It is critical for the success of the campaign, and our individual and communal spiritual growth that we give in all three areas- Financial, Faith Formation, and Service.

We simply ask that everyone participates as generously as your means allow. This campaign is about equal sacrifice, not equal giving.

We are being asked to share lovingly the many gifts with which God has blessed each one of us.

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