Imagine a day of Catholic giving throughout the United States. A day that fosters Catholic identity and invites giving by Catholics for Catholic causes. A powerful 24-hour online fundraiser that uses a single platform to raise money for Catholic causes.
That day is Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018 which coincides with the philanthropic awareness building campaign day known as #GivingTuesday. For the first time, the Diocese of Marquette is hosting the giving day this year.
Celebrated annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #iGiveCatholic is an online campaign that is redefining Catholic philanthropy and uniting the Catholic community to give thanks and give back.
All diocesan entities have been invited to register their parish, school or special ministry. They can optionally add photos, videos and information about their cause. To help diocesan entities participate, a marketing tool kit and training webinars are available, as well as hands-on assistance from Renée Deroche, who is serving as the diocesan point person for the giving day.
The Diocese of Marquette and Catholic Extension have covered the $3,500 diocese platform technology. There is no additional charge for diocesan entities to participate.
Two diocesan entities participating are Sacred Heart Catholic School (SHCS) in L’Anse and Marygrove Retreat Center in Garden. Sacred Heart Catholic School is raising funds for a future building addition to the school, while Marygrove’s donations will be used towards general operating costs.
The SHCS building was constructed in 1954 to house eight classrooms, one each for grades one through eight. The desire is to be able to build an addition that would contain a gym/cafeteria, a food preparation space, and a chapel.
“Our hope for the #iGiveCatholic initiative is that it will result in significant donations for a gym/cafeteria/chapel addition to our building. With a goal of $2 million we have a very long way to go,” stated Christy Miron, SHCS principal.
According to Miron, currently, due to the lack of a large area for students, when there is inclement weather students spend recess time in their classrooms, as well as eating their lunches in the rooms on a daily basis. In addition, having a gym would eliminate the need for students to travel to a local community college for their physical education classes.
“Part of the addition would include space for a chapel, where the Blessed Sacrament could be reserved and where our students could go to pray and worship without leaving the building,” added Miron.
Marygrove Retreat Center in Garden hosts dozens of retreats annually for people across the U.P. These include parish retreats, Youth Encounters, Cursillos, silent retreats, clergy retreats, senior citizen retreats, interfaith gatherings and a variety of other events for people interested in deepening their relationship with the Lord.
“The #iGiveCatholic initiative comes at just the right time of year for us. Increasing costs for heating and food make the winter months difficult to meet our expenses, while the holiday season means a lighter retreat schedule. We want to make Marygrove a welcoming – and warm – place for people to enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord, and every bit given through #iGiveCatholic will help us to achieve that goal. We are profoundly grateful to all our supporters,” stated Father Timothy Ferguson, director of Marygrove Retreat Center in Garden.
Supporting Marygrove provides scholarships for retreats for those who would not otherwise be able to afford a retreat, helps to cover the rising cost of food and heating. It also assists the retreat center to prepare for some significant upcoming building expenses, including a new heating system, new windows, roofing and plumbing work that will need to be done within the next few years.
Declared “the most successful Catholic crowdfunding event to date” by the National Catholic Register in 2017, the third year of the #iGiveCatholic campaign raised more than $3.6 million for more than 600 participating parishes, schools, and nonprofits representing 17 arch/dioceses across the country.
“We know that, for Catholics, generosity and giving have a profound meaning. As children of God, giving is the ultimate expression of mercy as we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give shelter to the homeless, and preserve our Catholic heritage for future generations,” said Deroche. “The giving day helps to build the capacity of our ministries to receive online gifts, promote annual giving, market their mission and thank donors.”
Visit https://marquette.igivecatholic.org on Nov. 27, 2018 to donate to your favorite Upper Peninsula Catholic cause.