This time of year, many of us are blessed to enjoy an abundance of fresh-picked vegetables, straight from the garden. Fertile soil, the optimal amounts of sun and water, and attentive care by the gardener are important to cultivating a garden that thrives, but we also have to dig a little deeper. Buried in the soil beneath any flourishing plant you are likely to find a strong, healthy root system. Without that root system, no plant can survive much less bear fruit.
We think of our faith in a similar way, as Jesus tells us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 5:15). The Love One Another Capital Campaign, which Fr. Linn and I have spoken of in recent weeks, is rooted in the belief that our families and parishes are the foundation of our faith. They are where we deepen our love for God and one another, are taught the truth of our faith, receive Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and are spiritually strengthened. This campaign is an opportunity for our faith community to create the conditions in which our Catholic roots are strengthened by investing in needs of our parish and supporting important Catholic ministries for the poor and those in need, Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, the permanent diaconate, Catholic schools and other vital ministries throughout the 10 counties of southeastern Wisconsin.
We have been preparing for the Love One Another Capital Campaign at St. Mary for several weeks, and I am pleased several parishioners have already stepped forward to assist Fr. Linn and me as we present the campaign to parish families and invite their financial participation. In the coming weeks, you will hear from these parishioners as they share their stories about stewardship. Next week, you will also have an opportunity to learn more about other opportunities to become involved in the campaign at an informational meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 6 pm in the St. Mary Parish School Lower Level Conference Rooms.