By Deacon Bob Griffin, Special to The Catholic Virginian

I am pleased to share a report on the activities of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith for 2016.

The Statement of Activity for 2016 shows the financial activity for the year. I share with you some information behind the numbers.

SPF Statement of Activing 2016

The Mission Cooperative Program assigns mission parishes and other organizations to make an appeal at larger parishes to help support their operations.

In 2016, $164,472 was distributed. Thanks to those parishes that allowed pastors and others to make an appeal.

You will note that the collections for the program are slightly larger than the distributions as we keep 3 percent of the funds to help defray some of the administrative costs. Two parishes have entered into a twinning agreement with mission parishes that allows the parishes to not only share financial resources but to develop relationships.

The office of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith has funds that are invested with the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond. Distributions are made from this fund to support our Catholic schools and parishes based on recommendations of an Advisory Committee and the approval of the Bishop.

The Home Mission Grant Program is not shown in the Statement of Activity. The source of the funds comes from a diocesan wide collection in June and funds from the Annual Appeal.

The program is administered through the Office of the Propagation of the Faith in conjunction with a grant committee and the Bishop. This program provides grants for repairs and small construction projects to the mission parishes and other smaller parishes. In 2016 grants of $154,605 were made. Information about grants for 2017 can be found on the Diocesan website at the Propagation of the Faith.

Each year, on the next to the last Sunday of October, we celebrate World Mission Sunday. A collection is taken up to support mission work around the world. This year through the generosity of the people of the Diocese $53,373.82 was collected. These funds help to spread the Gospel message throughout the world.

In gratitude we are called to share our faith as missionaries in our parishes, in our Diocese and in places far away.

Thanks to all that make this work possible in our Diocese, our pastors, the members of the advisory and grant committees and especially to the generous people of our parishes.

If you would like more information or have questions I can be reached at bgriffin@richmonddiocese.org.