Cleansing Fire

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Show Me the Money

April 10th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

We have obtained passages from the Diocese of Rochester 2009 Catholic Ministries Appeal campaign manual (small excerpt seen above). In these passages, one can plainly see that we live in a diocese more concerned about collecting dollars and cents than they are about promoting reverent liturgies and respect for the House of God.

The following are all real passages from this document, emphasis added:

“Ask your choir(s) to learn the campaign song [“Keeping the Spirit Alive” – see here] and sing it at weekend liturgies… In November – use the in-pew pledge cards as needed & keep singing the song.”

“Promote the CMA with an emphasis on participation at all masses throughout October in your announcements, prayers of intention and homily references.”

“Select one weekend in October to do a special presentation to include a homily address, a lay witness, and most importantly ? please show the video.”

“Parish Phase ? September 26/27 + October Weekends
Every parish is expected to devote at least one weekend in October to the CMA. It is helpful to alert the parishioners beforehand that you will be addressing the CMA on a certain weekend. Please include a screening of the video…and a singing of the song.”

“MAKE IT A BIG DEAL: Consider a special blessing, coffee hour or ceremony to launch the appeal and publicly ask God for success to help the Church and generate some enthusiasm. Link the CMA to liturgical rites or other spiritually oriented activities.”

“SHOW THE APPEAL VIDEO: The video is a great tool to ?humanize? the campaign and communicate the need through the power of images and testimonials. Parishes that show the video at mass [Is nothing sacred in the Diocese of Rochester? Why must we transform Domus Dei into a movie theater? Why must the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass be disrupted with campaign pledge videos?] attest to its effectiveness. The Office of Stewardship and Communications can advise you on logistics and equipment.”

PUBLISH DONORS? NAMES: Not only is this a great way to acknowledge donors? generosity, it likely will spur others to join them. For privacy?s sake, we suggest you do not publish the amounts given.” [Is this why people donate… for public acknowledgment of their good deed?]

“REPETITION IS KEY TO UNDERSTANDING: Each week as part of the post-communion announcements [This may surprise some, but “post-communion announcements” are not a regular part of the Catholic Mass, nor should they be!], include gentle but constant status reports with praise and thank you’s for those who have pledged. Offer thanks for people?s good stewardship to the Church of Rochester during the presentation of the gifts.”

“Campaign Video & Song – Each parish will receive a DVD for showing at parish masses, meetings and receptions ? the video can also be viewed on-line at www.dor.org (and it will be uploaded to www.youtube.com and bliptv.com). Special bookmark cards w/the original lyrics to the ?Keeping the Spirit Alive? song are available upon request – use them to learn and sing the song as well as to thank your donors.”

And finally…

“Homily – Time and time again, volunteers and parishioners have identified a pastor?s or pastoral administrator?s homily [Pastoral Administrator’s homily?] or talk during the weekend liturgies as an important factor in motivating them to get involved and to give. Some points you might consider in your talk are [The homily is when the priest or deacon explains the word of God to the people; not when they beg for CMA money!]:
– Introduce the Catholic Ministries Appeal and explain the parish action plan.
– Highlight the theme ?Keeping the Spirit Alive? Tie-in the concept of Stewardship ? recognizing our time, talent and treasure as gifts from God and sharing some of these gifts with our parish, the diocese and our community.
Show the video?and/or explain that the appeal funds vital programs, services and ministries that impact every parish directly and indirectly. These components are usually efforts that could not be run by one parish. It is an important undertaking of our diocesan church. Ask people to read the brochure, to give prayerful consideration to their participation and to make a gift or pledge to this year?s campaign.
Thank everyone for what they have done in the past.

Encourage parishioners to sing the song ?Keeping the Spirit Alive?.”

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9 Responses to “Show Me the Money”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    If they spent as much time promoting the REAL church instead of all this nunsense, things would have been much different. I pity the poor souls they have recruited to do their dirty work.

  2. avatar MD0852 says:

    This sounds like it came from a propaganda minister in a totalitarian state. Play the video over and over, sing the song over and over and they will believe! A lie told often enough becomes the truth!

  3. avatar Gen says:

    The thing which really gets me is the encouragement to use the song in a liturgical fashion, as well as showing the video during Mass. This, above all else, shows how detached from the sacred Buffalo Road really is.

  4. Dear Archbishop Sambi….

  5. avatar Gen says:

    I think by this point, all we'd need to say is,

    "Dear Archbishop Sambi,

    Yadda yadda yadd, Bishop Clark, yadda yadda yadda, Diocese of Rochester, yadda yadda yadda.

    You know the drill,
    Mr/Mrs./Miss/Fr/Sr. _________"

  6. avatar Anonymous says:

    The DOR and it's leader are little different from southern Baptist, hand clapping, foot stomping, guitar playing, drum beating born again's on a crusade.

  7. avatar Nerina says:

    Dr. K,

    I take a break from my usual blogs for my Lenten sacrifice, and the first post I read, post-Lent, is about the CMA and the manipulative methods the diocese employs to get donations! You're killing me :).

    The irony here is that if the diocese worried more about conveying the fullness of the faith, and not some social-justice only version of it, it would have money coming out of it's ears. Mike, over at his blog, notes in the book "Why Catholics Don't Give and What Can Be Done about It" that the people who give most are those with more orthodox leanings. Truly, this is not rocket science.

    As for publishing the names of donors, I repeatedly objected to this practice while on parish council. I argued that it contradicted Scripture (don't let your left hand know what your right is doing, etc…). Now I see why our leadership was so insistent on maintaining the practice (they have done so for 3 years, now). I hate it. Clearly it is coercive and the diocese is counting on good old-fashioned peer pressure. Now that's true charity!

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    Show the video, show the video, show the video. I'm afraid if I watch the video my mind will melt!

  9. avatar Sister Emily says:

    That video should be R rated. NOT SUITABLE FOR CERTAIN AUDIENCES. In fact not suitable for any audiences!

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