BRIDGEPORT—The St. Francis Xavier Fund will be the focus of the Giving Tuesday appeal of the Diocese of Bridgeport on Tuesday, December 1.
The fund was created to provide resources to vibrant urban Parishes experiencing fiscal challenges during the pandemic.
“During this time of unprecedented prolonged hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the St. Francis Xavier Fund has been very effective in helping parishes that have been critically impacted by dislocation, unemployment and illness,” said Joe Gallagher, chief development officer of the diocese.
Gallagher said he hopes that Giving Tuesday will be an opportunity for people around the diocese to rally around the work of the St. Francis Xavier Fund.
Kelly Weldon, director of Foundations in Faith, the fund has been innovative in reaching out to parishes that are vibrant yet financially challenged during the pandemic. “By targeted giving and engaging parish communities including young people, the fund has worked immediately to help those in need,” she said.
In 2020 The St. Francis Xavier Fund has distributed:
- COVID 19 ‘Phase One’ Emergency Funding Grants to 11 Parishes totaling $230,000
- Funding for a new boiler in a cold rectory—Bridgeport
- Funding for gutter repairs to stop a major leak into a Church and repair associated interior damage—Stratford
- Funding for a comprehensive parish Technology & Communication Enhancement Project—Bridgeport
Weldon said that as a result of St. Francis Xavier Fund grants many parishes have “stood strong as outstanding disciples of faith; by helping each other with child care, online learning, food sharing and being continually in prayer.”
However, with the resurgence of the coronavirus, the needs are expected to grow, Gallagher said and he believes the Giving Tuesday will help others to focus on the urgent needs of parishes and those they serve.
“Giving Tuesday on December 1 is an opportunity for us all to band together and declare the COVID-19 pandemic will not defeat us! We will help our brother and sister Parishes survive, then thrive, because we are a family in faith. We are being called!”
The St. Francis Xavier Fund is part of Foundations In Faith, a 501c-3 recognized charity, established by the We Stand With Christ capital campaign, that is committed to supporting and transforming pastoral ministries in the Diocese of Bridgeport.
(To contribute to the St. Francis Xavier Fund please visit: www.bridgeportdiocese.org/stfrancisfund.)