January 22, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Praised be Jesus Christ! I appreciate this opportunity to present to you the 2012 Archdiocesan Development Fund Appeal and to ask your support. Your gift to the ADF will be used to fund the many ministries which are so central to the life of the Church in central and western Oklahoma. Our ability to carry on the mission of the Church, Christ’s mission, depends to a great extent on your support and the involvement of every member of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Your participation matters. I hope that you will prayerfully consider a sacrificial gift.
As a faithful people responding to Christ’s call to “Follow me!,” we strive to see his face in all people. He invites us to participate in the mission of his Body, the Church and to embrace this mission — “to serve.” He invites us to open our hearts and receive his gifts in faith; to open our hearts and share the gifts entrusted to us in serving His people.
The call to be “Christ-like” is a radical call to communion. It means living our faith from the heart of the Church. Sharing in the very life and love of the Holy Trinity moves us to serve the needs of others as Christ served. In St. Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says, “I am among you as one who serves.” (Lk. 22:27). Our response to the call to become “Christ-like” and our communion with Him opens our eyes and sharpens our sensitivity to the needs of those around us. This holiness — becoming Christ-like — leads to a life lived in communion and sharing Christ’s concern for all. Holiness is God’s work within us, but it requires our cooperation. The realization that we are called to holiness, to communion and to service challenges us to become the persons that God has called us to be. We seek that depth of faith to say with Mary, “I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.”
The work of the Church belongs to you and to me. It has always been that way. We cannot live our faith if we do not love our neighbor. We serve God best when we place our gifts at the service of others. When we express kindness and concern for others, God’s love is returned to us one-hundred-fold. When faith is authentic, it has to be lived and put into practice. St. Paul writes to the Corinthians, “The love of Christ urges us on.” As one Church, the love of Christ urges us into action in fulfillment of our mission to serve the needs of our brothers and sisters.
The practice of Christian stewardship is rooted in gratitude for all God has given us. It moves us to a responsible cultivation and sharing of our God-given gifts so that God can be glorified in all things. Faithful stewardship is a way of life, a way of being Christ-like. It is a spirituality that influences every aspect of our lives: how we spend our time, how we use our talents, and how we regard our finances.
The Archdiocesan Development Fund Appeal provides an effective means of exercising a responsible stewardship of our financial treasure. In the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, we carry out our mission of word, worship and charity through a variety of ministries and programs which bring hope, healing and the love of Christ to all persons. The ADF makes these possible. Your gift to support these ministries provides a tremendous return on your investment!
There are many individuals and families who year after year are very generous in supporting this Archdiocese. We are truly blessed by their generosity in support of the Church’s mission to serve. Please join in this mission.
Once again, I am asking that each of you prayerfully consider a sacrificial gift in support of the ministries and programs which help advance the mission of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. The educational, pastoral and apostolic works sponsored by the Archdiocesan Development Fund touch the lives of every Catholic and every parish within the Archdiocese. The ADF truly makes a difference. Please join me in making a generous pledge to the ADF according to your means and consistent with the blessings you have received.
Please be assured of my prayers for you and your family as well as my personal gratitude for all that you do to support your parish and our Archdiocese. With every good wish, I am
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
Archbishop of Oklahoma City