DIOCESE OF LANSING
Under the tremendous leadership of Bishop Earl Boyea and with the assistance of a Greater Mission team led by Executive Vice President & Partner Tony Gwiazdowski, the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan successfully completed its first ever diocesan campaign called Witness to Hope.
The underpinning of the campaign was a Pastoral Letter written by Bishop Boyea called “Announcing the Gospel of the Lord”, which challenged the people of God in Lansing to grow in faith and evangelize their Catholic faith. With a goal of $65 million, the campaign raised over $81 million for Catholic Schools, Catholic Charities, Evangelization, Seminary Education and Formation and Priest Retirement.
Over 70% of the parishes exceeded their goals, and over half of these parishes had in excess of 33% of their participation.
The Diocese of Lansing consists of 76 parishes over 10,000 square miles and includes parishes in Flint, Lansing, East Lansing and Ann Arbor. Over 70% of the parishes exceeded their goals, and over half of these parishes had in excess of 33% of their participation. Among these a number of parishes exceeded 40%, 50% and even 60% participation, a sign of great solidarity with the Bishop and wider Church.
With Greater Mission’s focus on the spiritual value of the campaign, which invites Catholics throughout the Diocese to prayerfully consider their best sacrifice to help build the future of the Church and the Kingdom of God, the campaign garnered the broad support of pastors throughout the Diocese. Led by Vicar General, Very Rev. Timothy MacDonald the Lansing presbyterate proved to be tremendous advocates for the campaign.
The highly-tailored campaign model the Diocese has implemented under Greater Mission’s counsel has been adapted for each parish and has enabled many parishes to address significant local needs while supporting the work of the larger Church. For example, St. Rita Parish in Clark Lake, Michigan home to a vibrant Catholic community, needed to make major renovations to its church and parish center an ambitious project for a parish with an offertory of $404,000. Combining the local effort to raise funds for the renovations with the overall Witness to Hope campaign enabled the parish to surpass its $1.2 million goal in only four months. The parishes of the city of Flint, Michigan ravaged by the water crisis and the major loss of jobs collectively surpassed their goal by 20% with an average participation rate of 40% raising over $1.7 million for their own needs and that of the wider Church.
These parishes and many others took advantage of the experience and commitment of the Greater Mission team to engage their parishioners in a prayerful and meaningful way. This great success bodes well for the future of the Church in south central Michigan.