Monday, January 25, 2021
Ana Rodriguez Soto - Florida Catholic newspaper
MIAMI | After nearly three months of lockdowns with no public Masses, and nearly a year of living with a pandemic, the 2021 ABCD campaign focuses on a simple question: What does it mean to be Church?
Is it about going to Church to fulfill a Sunday obligation? Or is it about being Church by making Christ present to others through the work we undertake outside of Sunday Mass?
The answer, of course, is both. We need to go to Church. And we need to be the Church.
On both counts, the people of God in South Florida did well during pandemic-marred 2020. They donated over $330,000 to help families affected by COVID-19. They helped more than 5,000 families through the Respect Life Office. They served over 121,700 individuals through social service programs. And over 3.5 million tuned in to attend Mass online when they couldn’t do it in person.
“This is the Church. Bringing Christ to you wherever you are,” says the narrator in this year’s ABCD video. Produced in three languages – English, Spanish and Creole – it was shown at all parishes on the annual drive’s kick-off weekend, Jan. 23 and 24, 2021.
The video highlights some of the initiatives South Florida parishes undertook last year: taking food to the elderly in Little Haiti; visiting the homebound to offer spiritual solace; and livestreaming Masses and Bible study to get around physical distancing requirements.
Through their prior donations to ABCD, Catholics also helped support 58 archdiocesan schools and the more than 121,700 students enrolled in them. They supported the education and formation of seminarians, clergy, deacons and religious to the tune of over $3.4 million. They supported ministries of evangelization and faith formation to the tune of over $3.6 million. And they supported the Church’s charitable work to the tune of over $4.6 million.
“Our faith is not confined to a physical building. The influence of the Church does not stop at its front door,” says Archbishop Thomas Wenski in the video.
“This past year we have come together to overcome every obstacle that has come our way,” he notes, and that is only made possible by people’s donations to the ABCD.
Those donations come in the form of pledges paid in installments, from March 2021 to March 2022. Donations to the ABCD do not go to support the individual parishes and are separate from the weekly offering.
ABCD funds directly support the work of archdiocesan ministries to groups such as black Catholics and people of different cultures; college students; youth and young adults; children and adults in faith formation; seafarers and travelers; immigrants and refugees; and people in prison.
They also help fund Catholic Charities' services such as childcare, counseling and substance abuse, homeless prevention and rapid housing, and elderly care centers; along with Catholic Health Services’ rehabilitation hospitals, senior living facilities and Catholic cemeteries.
“Your generosity to the ABCD serves the Church so that the Church can serve you,” Archbishop Wenski points out. “Together we can continue the work of Christ no matter what challenges come our way.”
WHERE TO DONATE
- ABCD pledge cards and materials are being mailed to people’s homes and distributed in every parish.
- Pledges also can be made online by going to https://give.adomdevelopment.org/abcd.