In the past few weeks I have been coming to learn the intricacies of the archdiocese in my new ministry as archdiocesan administrator. As you probably know by now, the College of Consultors elected me to this position on April 20. The task of any administrator is to maintain order and direction in the ordinary activities of the (arch)diocese. He may not attempt any innovations or changes regarding the established policies of a previous diocesan (arch)bishop. With that in mind, you can certainly join me in giving thanks to God for the great work of Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan. While I miss him mightily, I sure am grateful he ran things so well.

One of the benefits that he left us is our great Faith in Our Future Capital Campaign. We are ready to enter into the third and final phase of the campaign. This will involve 90 of our 211 parishes. So, you can understand why I would like to spend a little time underscoring the importance of the campaign and its focus.
Faith in Our Future builds on and encourages our robust sense of stewardship  in southeastern Wisconsin. Our ancestors have bequeathed to us a tremendous foundation of faith upon which to continue building the church of Jesus Christ. Their great traditions of teaching, serving and sanctifying provide us, in our turn, the opportunity to provide for the next generation in the areas of Catholic education and faith formation.

The campaign goal is $105 million dollars. While it may seem daunting, we are actually more than halfway there, thanks to so many of us who have already pledged or who have already delivered on pledges. The campaign has three basic goals:

  • Raise funds for Catholic education and faith formation;
  • call all of us to renewed stewardship for the long term health of our church; and,
  • to unite us as Catholics with renewed confidence and belief in the future of our church.

These basic goals are already producing great benefits in so many sectors of the archdiocese. Many more people have become involved in the activities of their parishes and many new people have become involved and interested in the life of the church at so many different and significant levels. Spiritually, socially,and financially, areas of Catholic self-esteem seem to be on the rise.
It may also be a good time to reiterate the facts concerning the Faith in Our Future Trust. This is the financial vehicle that has been established to hold the contributions for the campaign.

The trust is a separate legal entity and is not part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. A board of trustees, consisting of the archbishop of Milwaukee, Bishop Richard J. Sklba, Bruce Arnold, Joseph Kearney, Kristine O’Meara, Mary Ellen Stanek, and I, have fiduciary responsibility for the administration of the trust. All contributions to the Faith in Our Future Campaign are considered restricted gifts and can only be used for Catholic education and the faith formation initiatives that have been set forth by the campaign, and for no other purpose.

It is good for us to consider how important this Faith in Our Future Campaign is. Many people may have thought that Archbishop Dolan was dreaming or planning “beyond our means” when he envisioned this capital campaign. Well, the archbishop, of course, is a man of deep faith. He knew then, and we know now, that with faith in Jesus Christ, we can indeed “cast out into the deep” and take some risks that only people of faith can do.

Trusting in the Lord, we see great miracles. Sometimes God even uses us to make those miracles happen. God allows us to participate with him in comforting the afflicted, counseling the ignorant, clothing the naked, and carrying the Gospel to all the corners of the earth, knowing that he is with us until the end of time. That is truly faith in our future! That is faith in Jesus Christ!