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Question Title Posted By Question Date
Multiple requests for various pledges and campaigns Annabelle Sunday, April 7, 2019


I am a widow on a fixed income. (Very fixed.)

I live in an affluent area of the suburbs, but I have a modest home, which I have a reverse mortgage on. If I don't keep it up, HUD will foreclose and take the property.

Many of my neighbors are quite well-to-do, owning both a house back east and a home here to spend the winter. They play golf, go on cruises, and have a nice retirement.

Our parish has two churches about five miles apart. They are huge churches, and have a lot of things going on.

I do what I can to contribute to the support of the church, but then there are other things that come up, such as pledges for the diocese. We have the Catholic Charities campaign every year. Now we have another pledge campaign going on where we are expected or encouraged to give thousands of dollars over the next five years. I cannot pledge because I don't know if I can handle it financially. I do pledge to Catholic Charities, but I find I can't pledge to this new campaign which seeks to build Catholic schools and expand all over. I don't want to make promises I can't keep.

This is a major pledge and the amount they hope for is enough to put me in a bind. Social Security is not that lucrative, and I don't have much in a retirement portfolio. So my question is, am I wrong? I used to think supporting the church was sufficient, but they keep coming up with new things which means extra pledges.

Question Answered by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OMSM(r), LTh, DD

Dear Annabelle:

Thank you for your interesting question.

While one of the precepts of the Church is that we are obligated to financially support our parish, the Church does not require any particular amount or percentage. The Church certainly does not expect you to put yourself in a bind. If all you can do is $5/month to the parish, God understands.

As for all the other campaigns, appeals, and pledges, these are all voluntary. Do not feel obliged to give to these. Under no circumstances ought you to place yourself in a financial bind. Do not feel guilty, either.

Instead of donating money you do not have, offer something far more valuable — prayer. Pray for the parish, the diocese, Catholic Charities, and the rest. In this way, you are contributing to these causes.

God Bless,
Bro. Ignatius Mary

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