We Stand With Christ
ENDOWMENT AND CAPITAL CAMPAIGN FOR OUR LADY OF GRACE
“…For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me… Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
A Pillar of Faith
Since 1954, our beloved parish has faithfully welcomed, loved and served Stratford. What started as mission parish in the mid-20th century bloomed into a vibrant parish with the addition many generations of family life. We are truly thankful for the many blessings we have received over the last 65 years.
We are incredibly proud and grateful to witness and participate in the lively spirit within Our Lady of Grace today. Our parish is filled with a community of families and friends who enjoy an inspirational journey through liturgy and vibrant music. In the coming years, we look forward to serving Christ and each other as we continue to build our parish family.
1. Enhance Parish Center
Our Parish Center is a dynamic space where we hold Religious Education, welcome the Knights of Columbus, play Bingo and hold other social activities. To ensure that parish families of today and tomorrow can continue to enjoy this space, we have identified capital maintenance as our top priority. Replacing the gas boiler and installing a new heat pump system in the Parish Center will stabilize climate control throughout the building. This will ensure that its various spaces can be used comfortably year-round by our ministry and community groups.
2. Repaving our Parking Lot
Our parking lot is instrumental to our Parish, especially our ministries that utilize the space for outdoor activities (ice cream social, blessing of the animals etc.). The parking lot has many patched areas and loose asphalt due to wear and tear over the years. By repaving our parking lot, we will also help beautify our campus, solidifying our position as a welcoming, dynamic gathering place within the community.
Diocese of Bridgeport
While we have spent time identifying our local needs, likewise all parishes and ministries in the Diocese of Bridgeport have conducted a similar assessment. After much prayer and consultation, and guided by the work of our Synod in 2014-2015, the Diocese has identified three areas that need to be addressed in order to sustain the future of the Church in Fairfield County. These include: ensuring the future of Catholic education, enhancing pastoral ministries, and supporting works of charity.
ENSURING THE FUTURE OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION
Catholic education that is faith-filled and academically vibrant is central to the mission of the Church and our Diocese. Many students seeking a Catholic education come from families who lack the resources to afford it. In 2015, Foundations in Education was founded as part of Bishop Caggiano’s vision to grow and strengthen our Catholic schools.
An investment in Foundations in Education is required to ensure our Catholic schools remain financially viable and academically superior, while increasing access to all those who seek a Catholic education. We need endowments to support scholarship aid offered through the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund and provide grant money for academic innovation, leadership training, and professional development for teachers and administrators.
ENHANCING PASTORAL MINISTRIES
Our invitation to transform our Church is to do so one person at a time. The vitality of our Church demands immediate and ongoing investments. Resources are needed to empower the Church in Fairfield County to support its varied pastoral ministries.
St. John Paul II Fund for Faith Formation
Supports the work of faith formation and youth and young adult ministry, including parish religious education throughout the Diocese of Bridgeport
St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Fund
Provides a long-term source of funding to help support the cost of educating and forming young men for the Catholic priesthood.
St. John Bosco Fund for Special Needs/St. Catherine Center Fund
Provides educational and pastoral services for children and adults impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism.
St. John Vianney Retired Priest Fund
Provides a long-term source of funding to meet the future care needs of retired priests who have faithfully served the people of God in the Diocese of Bridgeport.
The Lourdes Pastoral Care Fund
Meets the growing need for pastoral care services at St. Joseph Center, St. Camillus Center and St. John Paul II Center.
The Saint Therese Fund for Evangelization
Increases participation in parish life and supports the ongoing evangelization efforts on both the parish and Diocesan levels.
EXPANDING WORKS OF CHARITY
Catholic Charities puts faith into action by providing food, housing, mental health, adoption, immigration and family support services to the needy and vulnerable of all faiths in Fairfield County. Faithful to its mission, the impact that Catholic Charities programs have on our brothers and sisters most in need in Fairfield Country is indispensable.
In 2017, more than 10,000 people utilized one of our agencies. Over 1,300,000 meals were provided, 15,000 people received counseling, and countless others were sheltered, comforted, and supported through one of the numerous agencies in 23 communities in Fairfield County.
As more families turn to Catholic Charities each year, it is critical that we have the resources to respond to their needs. An endowment is needed to provide a long-term source of funding to help sustain the work of Catholic Charities in Fairfield County.
Our Lady of Grace’s Goal
Our Parish Goal for the We Stand With Christ campaign is $1,013,938, including $167,200 for our 2019 and 2020 Annual Catholic Appeals. $389,499, or half of the remaining We Stand With Christ funds less expenses, will remain with us for our own needs. If we can exceed our goal, we will receive back 75% of all funds raised above our goal.
A Special Invitation to Support We Stand With Christ
Extraordinary levels of support are needed to ensure the success of this campaign. You have been a generous supporter of Our Lady of Grace and you are committed to the Church. I invite you to prayerfully consider a five-year pledge to support our efforts.
Your commitment to We Stand With Christ will:
Thank you for your consideration of this request for support to We Stand With Christ
Structuring Your Commitment
We would like to offer you a variety of ways to fulfill commitments to the We Stand With Christ campaign while sustaining your annual giving (weekly offertory, Annual Catholic Appeal, etc.). Please consider the following gift options that can be adjusted to meet your intentions.
Thank you for your continued support of Our Lady of Grace Parish.
As your pastor, I ask that you please pray for the success of our campaign and consider Our Lady of Grace as your philanthropic priority for the next five years. Our hope is to raise as much funds as possible towards our goal before the end of the year.
Know that as you contemplate this request to support the campaign, you can always call me at the Parish office (203-377-0928) if you have any questions.
God bless you,