Cleansing Fire

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Stewardship, DOR style

June 28th, 2010, Promulgated by Mike

I can think of many ads the Catholic Courier would never run, not because they contained falsehoods, but because they were too close to the truth.

This would be one of them  …

DOR Pastors and Pastoral Administrators,

Are you running a progressive Catholic parish in the Diocese of Rochester and watching your weekend Mass attendance plummet? Are your offertory collection totals going south right along with your head count?

Well, there is a solution to your dilemma.

No, it doesn’t involve reaching out to your strayed sheep and inviting them to return. And you won’t have to get rid of your liturgical dancers, or rewrite all your “Jesus loves you; don’t litter” homilies, or start teaching your flock right out of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Rest assured, you will not have to shift towards orthodoxy in any way, shape or form.

All it takes is a single phone call and our highly experienced and fully professional fundraising staff will come riding to your rescue.  For a modest fee our experts will be more than happy to design a tasteful campaign fine-tuned to get more money out of the few parishioners you have left.

Over the years dozens of your fellow pastors and pastoral administrators have taken this simple step and many of them have seen a dramatic uptick in their weekly collection totals.

It’s called Stewardship, DOR Style.

Why not give it a try?

Call 1-800-SQUEEZE

This ad may be a bit over the top but there is a group of consultants out there whose mission in life is helping Catholic parishes bring in more money.

One of them is Cunneen Fundraising, Inc. and, according to their website, they have worked with Catholic parishes all over the country on both capital campaigns and offertory collection enhancement projects.

In DOR alone Cunneen claims to have been retained by some 69 different parishes over the years in an attempt to bring in more money each weekend (see their client database here, selecting Campaign Type=Stewardship, State=New York and Diocese=Rochester).

Cunneen seems to have been especially successful in enhancing offertory collections in at least a few local parishes, as evidenced by glowing thank-you letters written by some of our pastors. This letter from Fr. Ed Palumbos of Fairport’s Church of the Assumption is typical:

Cunneen’s files contain similar letters from pastors or staff members at St. Matthew (Livonia), St. John the Evangelist (Greece), Our Lady of Lourdes (Elmira), St. Cecilia and St. Pius X.

Interestingly, every one of these letters mentions increased offertory collection amounts (i.e., more treasure), while not a single one has anything to say about getting their parishioners to give more of their time and talent.  The priorities – or lack thereof – are obvious.

Like the ad says, “It’s called Stewardship, DOR Style.”

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3 Responses to “Stewardship, DOR style”

  1. avatar Nerina says:

    Mike,

    Thanks for my morning laugh. I especially love this line:

    “And you won’t have to get rid of your liturgical dancers, or rewrite all your “Jesus loves you; don’t litter” homilies, or start teaching your flock right out of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.” It’s funny because it’s true.

    Actually, I sat on my church’s stewardship committee for three years and we were absolutely afraid to talk about the treasure component of Stewardship. We spent the first year studying the Bishops document on Stewardship and then we started to introduce the concepts of Time and Talent. Finally, in the third year, Treasure was emphasized.

    Again, and as we have said often here, if churches would only teach the Truth they would not need to have stewardship campaigns. I truly believe that when the Gospel is presented in its entirety, leaving out pet causes and issues, it motivates people to discipleship and therefore stewardship. Instead we seem to have a “they can’t handle the Truth” attitude and are presented with a Christianity Lite that will hopefully not offend anyone.

  2. avatar Dr. K says:

    That would explain why they show “Keeping the Spirit Alive” videos during Mass at Assumption. Bringing in the bucks is their top priority over celebrating a reverent Mass and maintaining/growing the number of parishioners.

  3. avatar Mike says:

    Nerina,

    Holy Cross is also pretty low key on the treasure part of stewardship. Once a year Fr. Wheeland sends out the annual financial report and asks people to commit to giving a set amount for the next year for “planning purposes,” as he puts it.

    Invitations to donate time and talent are much more frequent.


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