“These were the worst three years in the history of our country since the Great Depression,” he said.
Zore noted that the campaign wasn’t over.
“We’re going to keep going (until we reach our goal),” he said.
Archbishop Listecki praised former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan for undertaking the campaign.
“The Spirit moved Archbishop Dolan to start this campaign,” he said.
Citing the “tremendous energy” involved in getting people involved and in raising the money, the archbishop acknowledged the work of Bishop Richard J. Sklba and Bishop William P. Callahan for their involvement, pastors for promoting it in their parishes, and laity for their commitment of time and money.
“This is a lay leadership-driven campaign,” Archbishop Listecki said. He acknowledged members of the Faith In Our Future board of trustees, the honorary chairs and the campaign’s steering committee who were in attendance.
“Our prayer takes on action,” the archbishop said. “And action is seen as fulfilling the mandates of the campaign.”
In a joint statement, released prior to the celebration, the board of trustees said, “We are so thankful for the prayers and stewardship from Catholics throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Through the grace of God, and the commitment of literally thousands of volunteers, the Faith In Our Future Trust will make grants in the future directed at strengthening Catholic education and faith formation for the 700,000 Catholics in our area. And this is just the beginning. We are committed to grow support for Catholic education and faith formation into the future.”
Jamie and Stephanie Truog, members of St. Anthony on the Lake Parish, Pewaukee, and their children, Julia, 9, and Luke, 7, were among the more than 300 people at the Mass.
“We came to celebrate Faith In Our Future,” said Stephanie, who acknowledged that they had supported the campaign financially.
She noted that they were part of a “very good family program” that is sponsored by their parish.
Jamie said they supported Faith In Our Future because it embraced “the whole concept of Catholic education – for youth and adults.”
“It promotes Catholic values,” he said.
Lori and Bill Raczynski “were in the area” when they decided to attend the Mass. They made their Faith In Our Future contribution through their parish, St. Agnes, Butler.
“Without a doubt, it was a tough time to run a campaign,” Bill said, adding that he agreed with Archbishop Listecki. “They’ll get to the goal.”
Lori said that the campaign’s emphasis on “future” made the couple want to support it.
“It does a lot for Catholic education on all levels,” she said.
According to materials prepared by the Faith In Our Future campaign, $63 million will be used for “strengthening parishes.” Archdiocesan initiatives include $22.85 million for youth education and faith formation; $8.5 million for adult and family formation; and $1.65 million for stewardship to the global church. Additional information is available at www.faithinourfuture.org