How funds support outreach to missions

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As director of the Diocese of Richmond’s Office of the Propagation of the Faith, it is my privilege to share with you a report on the activities of that office. The statement of activity shows the financial activity for 2020.

The Mission Cooperative Program assigns mission parishes and other organizations to make an appeal at larger parishes to help support their operations. In 2020, $71,114 was distributed. Thanks to those parishes that allowed pastors and others to make an appeal.

The amount distributed is substantially less than last year due to the inability to visit because of the pandemic. Assignments have been made for 2021 in the hope that visits will be able to resume later this year.

Collections for the program are slightly larger than the distributions as we have retained 3% of the funds to help defray some of the administrative costs. This deduction has been discontinued since the pandemic.

When we celebrate World Mission Sunday annually on the next to the last Sunday of October, a collection is taken up to support mission work around the world. This year the people of our diocese contributed $39,453.89.

The Office of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith has funds that are invested with the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond. Distributions are made from this fund based on recommendations of an advisory committee and the approval of Bishop Barry C. Knestout.

The Home Mission Grant Program is not shown in the statement of activity. The source of the funds comes from a diocesan-wide collection in June and from the Annual Diocesan Appeal. The program is administered through the Office of the Propagation of the Faith in conjunction with a grant committee and the bishop.

This program provides grants for repairs and small construction projects to mission parishes and other smaller parishes. In 2020, grants of $141,997 were made. Information about applying for grants can be found at https://richmonddiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2021-Home-Mission-Grant-Application.pdf. The deadline is Friday, May 14, 2021.

The Office of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith also administers Fuel & Hunger grants. In December 2020, $407,422 was distributed to 90 parishes, Commonwealth Catholic Charities, Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia and conferences of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Funds for these grants come primarily from the Annual Diocesan Appeal.

In gratitude we are called to share our faith as missionaries in our parishes, diocese and the world. Thank you to all who make this work possible — pastors, members of the advisory and grant committees and especially to the generous people of our parishes. For more information, please contact me at bgriffin@richmonddiocese.org.

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