Deacon Bob Griffin, Special to The Catholic Virginian

As director of the diocesan Office for the Propagation of the Faith, I have the privilege of sharing with you a report on that office for the last calendar year. The Statement of Activity for 2018 shows the financial activity. 

Society of the Propagation of the Faith Statement of Activity for the year ended December 31, 2018

The Mission Cooperative Program assigns mission parishes and other organizations to make an appeal at larger parishes to help support their operations. In 2018, $158,274 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. This not only allows the parishes to share financial resources but to develop longer term relationships. We are actively seeking to expand the twinning program and have several parishes that are interested. If you would like to learn more, contact me. 

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. In 2018, through the generosity of the people of the diocese, $38,000 was collected. These funds help to spread the Gospel message internationally.

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 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 Bishop Knestout. 

This program provides grants for repairs and small construction projects to the mission parishes and other smaller parishes. In 2018, grants of $151,293 were made. Information about applying for grants for 2019 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 and Hunger Grants. This activity is also omitted from the attached statement. In January 2019, $254,500 was distributed to 87 parishes. Funds for this cause come from the Annual Appeal and a contribution of $4,500 from St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church.

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

For more information or if you have questions, please contact me at bgriffin@richmonddiocese.org.