Your donations are changing lives daily

Whether it is youth ministers positively affecting our children’s lives, hospital chaplains walking us or family members through a difficult time, seminarians dedicating their lives to our faith journey, or Catholic Charities providing compassionate, loving assistance to our brothers and sisters in need, we are blessed to live in a community that cherishes the opportunity to help others.


By Jim Urbanus

Diocese of Dallas

Every so often it is a good idea to take some time to reflect upon the year that has passed.

When I allow myself the opportunity to think about the fantastic people I have met in my travels as Development Director, I am blessed and fortunate to live in this wonderful community. In many cases, it is ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

As you may have seen over the last few weeks, the 2011 Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Catholic Ministries set records for the number of donors (35,949), pledges ($7,839,616) and collections ($6,512,192). That type of commitment from so many people is indicative of the selflessness and generosity exhibited daily in our community.

As impressive as those numbers may be, it is more notable to understand the number of people whose lives were changed in a positive manner because of the generosity shown by so many people here.

Whether it is youth ministers positively affecting our children’s lives, hospital chaplains walking us or family members through a difficult time, seminarians dedicating their lives to our faith journey, or Catholic Charities providing compassionate, loving assistance to our brothers and sisters in need, we are blessed to live in a community that cherishes the opportunity to help others.

Ministries funded by the Bishop’s Appeal affect many aspects of our daily lives.

I have been blessed to work closely with the pastors who have embraced their responsibilities for the Appeal in addition to their other important and considerable duties. It is their tireless effort and leadership that articulates the importance of the Appeal.

I have been blessed to work with the leaders of all the ministries funded by the Appeal. Their passionate dedication to the people they serve daily is unequalled and awe inspiring.

I have been blessed to meet some of the beneficiaries of the ministries supported by the Appeal. Their humility and sense of dignity while receiving assistance from these ministries provides a model of stateliness through challenging and difficult times that is both moving and impactful.

I have been blessed to work with committed associates at the Pastoral Center who work diligently to improve the lives of everyone in the diocesan community.
And lastly, I have been blessed to work with some of the generous donors to the Bishop’s Appeal who have quietly and unassumingly made a better life for others in our community by supporting the Appeal.

I am reminded of the donor who recently thanked me for the opportunity to help someone by giving to the Appeal. They wanted me to know how good it made them feel to know that their support of Bishop Farrell and the Appeal was making a real difference in the lives of people within our community.

Thank you to all who allowed me the opportunity to share your faith journey by helping others through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Catholic Ministries. Have a safe and blessed 2012.

Jim Urbanus is Development Director for the Diocese of Dallas.