BISHOP ROBERT P. DEELEY
Please accept my sincere gratitude for your generosity to our Church in Maine. This year at Easter, 123 new Catholics came into full communion with the Catholic Church. For me, this is a great witness to the fruits of your support and prayer. Over the past year, our parishes have been even more focused on becoming communities of evangelization and “Awakening the Future of our Faith.” It is my hope for this coming year that you will continue to assist me in doing the work that the Lord asks of us: to bring his Gospel message to others.
I asked one of the young men whom I baptized this Easter what becoming Catholic meant to him. He said: "To be welcomed into the Church was a gift. I am so grateful to God for His goodness and love. He has welcomed me with open arms.” When I asked what attracted him to the Church he said: “Being invited to an Hour of Power and other gatherings where I was able to encounter Christ and other Catholics was really great. That community and being invited to be part of something is what made it feel like home.” It is clear from this young man’s experience that the ministries supported by the Appeal are making a real difference. These ministries create opportunities for people to come together and encounter Jesus, to learn about God’s love for us.
Another young person, a student at the University of Maine, shared her conversion story with me as well. You created the opportunity for her to encounter Jesus. Through a chance meeting, she was invited to visit the Newman Center. The young woman responded by visiting and talking at length with one of our FOCUS missionaries, who are at the University of Maine thanks to your generosity. Because of that meeting, she was helped to know other committed Catholics. She grew to understand more deeply the Catholic faith. The following Easter, she was initiated into the full communion of the Catholic Church.
To help others grow closer to Jesus, I need your help. I ask you to join with me in supporting our Church in Maine through the Catholic Appeal, “Awakening the Future of our Faith.” By supporting the ministries in our diocese that bring Christ to so many in Maine, you help more than 20,000 people receive nourishing food through the Catholic Charities Food Bank and Farm for ME, over 3,000 young people have opportunities to encounter Jesus through campus ministry and Catholic schools, and nearly 100,000 people read stories of faith in Harvest magazine. You are the reason the Church in Maine grows stronger; your kindness and generosity help to make Maine a beautiful place to live. Remember, every dollar raised in the Catholic Appeal stays here in Maine.
Thank you for your continued support of our Church. It is because of you that we are able to serve the people of our diocese and our state in so many ways.