February 10, 2019
Fr. Joseph Jacobi
Peter was caught by the Jesus. He was reeled in by the love of Jesus. Sitting by Jesus in the boat, Peter is hooked by Jesus as he drinks in Jesus’ words and person. Then Peter experiences the bounty of Jesus’ love for him in an incredible catch of fish.
Jesus snares Peter in the cords of divine love, so that Peter might do the same for others. In spite of his own awareness of his sinfulness, Peter experiences this call of the Lord. Peter is called by the Lord Jesus to be a disciple— which literally means to sit at the feet of the Teacher and learn from him. But Peter is also called to something more—to be a missionary disciple— to be sent out to bring others to Jesus, that they might know what Peter knows— the superabundant mercy of God in Jesus.
Peter is invited to use his God-given talents to catch others and draw them to Jesus, so that they, too, might experience the transforming love of the Son of God for them. The Son of God needs the help of others to spread the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Jesus does not do his saving work alone, but he invites others to join him, to help him. Imagine that— God needs human help to do what God needs to get done.
By our Baptism and Confirmation, we have been called by the Lord Jesus to be missionary disciples, to draw others by our lives of faith to the Lord of love and life. To catch them by our deeds of generous love, so they might come to know the One who is the source of all love.
When we come to know Jesus and the generosity of His merciful love, we want others to experience the same. We do this important work in many different ways, but today we are invited to be “fishers of men and women” in a very specific way. Through our participation in the One Church, Many Disciples Campaign we are invited to live out our calling as missionary disciples by drawing others to know the Lord Jesus.
In response to this call of Jesus to live our lives more fully as missionary disciples, and following years of prayer and planning, as the Catholic Church in western Oklahoma we are embarking on the first ever major campaign in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. This is the first time this has been done in the 114-year history of our church in Oklahoma.
Blessed Stanley Rother is the heart of this campaign, for Fr. Rother shows us by his ordinary life of faith lived with extraordinary love what it looks like to draw others into the net of God’s loving embrace. A Shrine built in Blessed Rother’s honor will be more than simply a place for people to worship. It will also be a place where countless numbers of people in the years to come will be drawn deeper into the mystery of God’s saving love in Christ and then be sent into the world to live that love generously and joyfully, as Fr. Rother did.
The One Church, Many Disciples campaign needs our help in order to catch others and draw them into the marvelous mystery of God’s merciful love. Endowment funds established through this campaign will transform the lives of children in Catholic Schools, college students and young adults, and seminarians, and equip them to carry the Joy of the Gospel into the world.
The gifts we share will also provide care for elderly priests who have spent their entire lives casting the net, drawing others to the Lord by preaching His Word, celebrating the Sacraments, and pouring out their lives in humble service.
Today, our parish joins 31 other parishes in the 4th and final group of parishes to participate in One Church, Many Disciples. To learn more, let’s watch a brief video.
In the renovation of the Cathedral, a new altar, ambo, and presider’s chair will be installed. The Cathedral is going to give us the beautiful marble altar they use now for our new church, as well as their ambo and presider’s chair.
The One Church, Many Disciples campaign seeks to raise a challenge goal of $80 million. Archbishop Coakley has raised $24 million in Lead Gifts. Also, 73 parishes have already completed the campaign, raising another $53 million. The total raised to date is $77 million. The Archdiocese has a set a goal for our parish of $550,000 for this campaign. 20% of the funds raised up to this goal will be returned to our parish to help pay for our new church building. However, since we have some cost overruns for our new church building, I have set a stretch goal for our parish of twice the Archdiocesan goal, which is $1.1 million. 50% of the funds raised over the $550,000 Archdiocesan goal will be returned to our parish. So, if we meet our stretch goal of $1.1 million, we will receive back a total $386,000.
28 parish families have already pledged $400,000, which is 36% of our total goal. Let me say that again— we have already raised $400,000 toward our $1.1 million goal through the generous commitments of 28 parish families.
Because we are 2 ½ years into a 5-year new church capital campaign, the Archdiocese is allowing parishioners who have made a 5-year new church pledge to begin their 5-year pledge to One Church, Many Disciples after completing their new church pledge. For example, my 5-year new church pledge ends in August 2021, so in making my pledge to this Archdiocesan campaign, I am beginning my 5-year commitment in September 2021.
I invite you to prayerfully consider your own sacrificial gift to this campaign.
Keep an open mind and heart to learn more about the One Church, Many Disciples campaign in the coming weeks. Please welcome contact from fellow parishioners who will be in communication with you to discuss the campaign.
Remember that our parish has received $770,000 from people outside our parish, so that we can build our new church. We will be doing something similar by helping to build a Shrine to honor Blessed Stanley Rother, which will be a place where pilgrims from around the world will be blessed and thousands of our Hispanic brothers and sisters, who have no place worship, will be nourished and strengthened by the great gift of the Eucharist.
So, in the One Church, Many Disciples campaign, with one sacrificial pledge of commitment we will be building 2 churches— our own new church and the Shrine for Blessed Rother— and these beautiful and sacred places will benefit countless numbers of people in the years to come.
Campaign prayer cards were given to you when your entered the church today. One way that everyone can participate in the success of the One Church, Many Disciples campaign is by praying this prayer often.
Let us now pray the Campaign Prayer together.