Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Repeatedly the Gospels remind us to be joyful: at the Annunciation, after the Resurrection, and when Jesus Himself shares His Gospel message with us so that His joy can also be our joy. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11). It is an astoundingly simple way of describing what happens when we encounter Christ. His joy becomes our own.

Joy is the result of God’s love for us and joy is how we can best share our Christian life with others. When we proclaim our joy, when we speak heart to heart with our neighbor about how we personally experience God’s love, that is when we as Christians are fully alive. This year I ask us all in the Diocese of Rockford to encounter Christ and “Be Joyful Disciples.”

Your donation to our 2024 Diocesan Appeal helps support the many ministries of the Diocese of Rockford that carry out the universal mission of the Church: sharing the truth of the Gospel and joyfully transforming lives from the inside out. Would you please prayerfully consider a contribution to our appeal? Your generous contribution allows us to respond to those in need, care for the souls of young and old, prepare men for the priesthood and Permanent Diaconate, and inspire the hearts of others to share Christ’s joy.

Thank you for your prayerful consideration – let our encounters with Christ be contagious as we all share the joy of the Gospel!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend David J Malloy
Bishop of Rockford

Thank you for helping us to make our Goal

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MISSION STATEMENT We promote stewardship as a way of life. VISION STATEMENT Our people see the value of stewardship as a way of life and no longer give on need but as grateful response being committed disciples of Jesus Christ. Our parish leaders collaborate with us as partners, moving toward the goals of stewardship in a spirit of cooperation and trust for the benefit of all in the Catholic faith community. Peoples’ hearts are impacted and experience conversion through God’s working in and through our work and witness.

This annual appeal “Be JOYFUL Disciples” reminds us that we here at Saint Mary are connected and united to our Diocese of Rockford family and to the 104 parishes that compose it. The annual appeal is an opportunity for the people of the diocese to help support financially the work and ministries of the diocese; that serve us all. We all play a part, and we all share in the benefits. This year the target assigned to St. Mary, our share of the 4.9-million-dollar budget of the diocese, is $35,938.00. This represents a slight increase from last year. I am asking each parish family to watch your mail for the information concerning the Diocesan Appeal, to prayerfully consider how you can be a part of our annual responses, and to make a commitment to financially support the ministries of our diocese including vocations, religious education, Catholic Charities, priest retirement, and many others. Last year the parish response was tremendous. We exceeded our goal, which means that the parish received a refund, with 31% of parish participation. It is by working together that we as a parish family can reach and perhaps even exceed once again our parish target. Thank you for your prayerful support and commitment to help our diocese and parish.

Peace in the Risen Christ,

Fr. Rich