Deacon Bob Griffin, Special to The Catholic Virginian

It is my privilege to share a report on the activities of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith for the calendar year 2017. The statement of activity for 2017 shows the financial activity for the year.

The Mission Cooperative Program assigns mission parishes and other organizations to make an appeal at larger parishes to help support their operations. In 2017, $212,916 was distributed. Thank you 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 share not only financial resources, but also to develop relationships. If interested in pursuing a twinning relationship, please contact me.

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 based on recommendations of an advisory committee and with the approval of Bishop Barry C. Knestout.

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, as well as 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 mission parishes and other smaller parishes. In 2017, grants of $123,852 were made. Information about grants for 2018 can be found on the diocesan website at the directory for the Propagation of the Faith.

The Office of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith also administers the Fuel & Hunger grants. This activity is also not shown in the attached statement. In January 2018, $256,200 was distributed to 81 parishes. Funds for this worthy cause come from the Annual Appeal and a contribution of $4,500 from St. Edward the Confessor Parish.

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, $41,936 was collected. These funds help spread the Gospel message throughout the world.

In gratitude, we are called to share our faith as missionaries in our parishes, our diocese, and in places far away. Thank you to all who make this work possible in our diocese — pastors, members of the advisory and grant committees, and especially to the generous people of our parishes.

Editor’s note: More information about the work of the Office of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith is available by contacting Deacon Griffin at