Thursday, September 16, 2021

Faith in Action Today: How the Donors to the Diocesan Annual Appeal Gave Back in 2020

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Suzanne Hammons
Suzanne Hammons is the editor of the Voice of the Southwest and the media coordinator for the Diocese of Gallup. A graduate of Benedictine College in Kansas, she joined the Diocesan staff in 2012.

With so many organizations and people still grappling with the economic and medical struggles brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be easy to succumb to a sense of fatigue when considering each others’ hardships. But the work of the Church continues, even in a year as tumultuous as 2020, with parishes, schools, and Catholic organizations striving to meet the needs of their communities.

Much of the good work done in 2020 was made possible by those who generously donated to the Diocese of Gallup’s Faith in Action Today (FIAT) Appeal. This annual event kicks off around the beginning of Lent, and is one of the most important means of financial support for programs and ministries throughout the Diocese. Catholic schools, seminarians, retired priests and religious, rural parishes, Catholic Charities, hospital chaplains – these are just some of the people and programs which rely on funding from the Appeal.

As the 2021 Appeal kicks off, here a a few stories from those who benefited from FIAT funding in the last year.

St. Francis School, Lumberton NM – New furnaces

By Madeline Lyon, Principle

“St. Francis of Assisi School in Lumberton, NM, had the misfortune of losing two furnaces which heated two classrooms and the kitchen area. A third heating unit in the main cafeteria/gym area became too dangerous to even light. Two other classrooms were not receiving heat from the existing furnace, so a different thermostat and sensors were required. All of this added up to more than $26,000, an amount we simply did not have.

“I applied for assistance to the Bishop’s Appeal fund and received approximately $6,500! I am happy to say that the furnaces and other necessary items are now in and operating well. The newer furnaces are more efficient, so our gas bills are lower. We are all very grateful for the comfort.

“The generosity of those who donate to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal made this possible. Other schools and parishes in the Diocese of Gallup benefit as well. We pray for our donors whose belief in our mission warms our hearts as well. We ARE the Body of Christ on this mission journey.”

Catholic Charities – Emergency services, hot meals for the homeless, and food distribution

As early winter snows blew into Gallup in November of 2020, director Vicki Trujillo posted the following photo with this caption: “We fed 60 clients, and gave out the following: 63 pairs of socks, 8 pairs of shoes, 12 backpacks, 25 Beanies, 7 blankets, 60 pair of gloves, 32 sweatshirts/hoodies, 21 jackets and 28 masks.”

At the Catholic Charities agency in Pinetop, AZ, workers and volunteers continue to operate a large food pantry and distribute meals to the homebound.

Whiteriver, AZ – Repairs and Church Maintenance

The parishioners at Whiteriver, AZ have been hard at work on the facade and upkeep for St. Francis of Assisi church, helped in large part by funding from the Appeal.

…and many more!

For more information on the Appeal and the programs funded through its contributors, click here. To donate to the Appeal, click here. And as always, please pray! Not everyone is in a position to financially contribute, but prayers are always important and gratefully accepted.


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