Together in Mission, part of the annual Catholic appeal in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, makes it possible for 37 parishes and 56 schools to continue serving their communities.
“It appears to be off to a strong start,” said Anthony Sciacca, director of archdiocesan appeals, of the 2014 campaign. This year’s goal is to raise $15 million, money that would go straight to communities most in need.
“It allows a parish community to flourish,” Sciacca said, adding that many of the poor communities have the highest rate of Mass attendance in the archdiocese.
This year, Together in Mission, in cooperation with the Digital Office, has launched a new website and is demonstrating how the money raised serves the community. The website — www.ourmissionla.org — features videos and testimonies from those who have benefited from the campaign.
Lynn Kurata, a parishioner at St. Monica in Santa Monica, shares on the website why she gives:
“I grew up in an immigrant family, and I saw how my parents struggled. They wanted to give me a Catholic education. I was very grateful for the people of faith that supported me.”
Jennifer Beltramo, assistant superintendent of elementary schools, previously served as a principal at Mother of Sorrows School.
“Being a principal is a huge responsibility,” she said. “Together in Mission takes one of the many issues off the plate for principals — it allows them to focus on their ministry to students.”
Together in Mission is a way for all Catholics in the archdiocese to take part in the church’s social justice mission, Beltramo said.
Sciacca described the new approach as "simply to make this important campaign more true to its original intent and true purpose."
"Together in Mission was originally instituted as an expression of stewardship," he said. "And stewardship has to be embraced, not as a 'mandate,' but as an expression of our shared responsibility for the Church’s mission and for our poorest parishes and schools."The archdiocese has given all 293 parishes a goal, Sciacca said, and there are still "rebates" for parishes that exceed their goals.
“We should do it because it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “We can’t recite the Creed every Sunday and not serve others.”
Sciacca said that parishes that have “generously contributed in the past understand the program. Without Together in Mission, many of these schools and parishes simply couldn’t continue their work.
“It’s the stewardship of the archdiocese,” he said. “People need to understand the impact they make and continue to make. What they’re doing is incredible.”
Together in Mission
Learn more about how Together in Mission helps struggling communities continue serving: