BRIDGEPORT—As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, the faithful of the Diocese of Bridgeport have the opportunity to give to the best of both worlds.
The Diocese of Bridgeport has selected two crucial ministries for its parishioners to support on November 29, Giving Tuesday. The first is Foundations in Faith’s St. Francis Xavier Fund for Missionary Parishes. which supports vibrant inner-city parishes facing socioeconomic challenges. The second is Foundations in Charity’s Mental Health Matters campaign, which will support mental health services and programs provided by Catholic Charities of Fairfield County.
Both target areas are in need of support. As temperatures begin to drop, some parishes in the Diocese of Bridgeport will have difficulties paying their heating bills during the winter months. Many of the parishes can just meet their financial needs, meaning they might be one broken boiler away from financial disaster.
In addition, mental health support is crucial now more than ever as the world navigates to the other side of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the National Institute of Health, nearly half of Americans surveyed in a 2021 study reported recent symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorders, and 10 percent of them reported their mental health needs were not being met. These effects were highest among children, racial and ethnic minorities, people with housing and financial insecurity and healthcare workers, among others.
Luckily, both Foundations in Faith and Foundations in Charity can provide crucial support for both of these efforts. And the impact they make can be life-changing for the members of the communities they help.
For example, St. Augustine Cathedral barely made it through last winter with its boiler on its last legs. It was becoming costly to heat and cool the cathedral, so its leadership explored using geothermal energy to do the job. Unfortunately, the parish couldn’t afford the upfront costs—until the St. Francis Xavier Fund intervened.
“The St. Francis Xavier Fund stepped forward and provided an unprecedented two-year grant totaling $400,000 to make the first geothermal energy parish project happen here in the diocese,” said Father Art Mollenhauer, pastor of The Cathedral Parish. “Our hearts and hands are warmed by this generosity.”
Foundations in Charity provides financial support to Catholic Charities of Fairfield County’s many programs — including mental health support. Programs include mental health counseling, as well as specific programs for adults living with mental illnesses and disabilities.
It might be difficult to choose which initiative to support, but this Giving Tuesday, you don’t have to! All donors have the option to split their gift between both initiatives.
Thank you for helping Foundations in Charity and Foundations in Faith provide essential services and support to the more vulnerable people and parishes in our community.
Click here to donate to the Diocese of Bridgeport’s Giving Tuesday campaign!
By Rose Brennan