Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Boston University Catholic Center: How Is This Possible?

Dear Friends in Christ,
Each year, the Catholic Center holds its annual Phonathon Fundraiser when we write and call to many of our alumni, families, friends, and benefactors.  Tomorrow morning the initial letter will go out.  This year, I aimed for brevity and directness.  Please                    consider supporting us if you are able.

                                                                                                                      October 4, 2016

Dear Friend of the BU Catholic Center:

A few days ago, we at the BU Catholic Center finished our Fall Undergrad Retreat entitled “Who Are You?”. The priest who spoke at the retreat sat next to me during the student witnesses with a look of amazement on his face. It was that look of, “How is this even possible?”. When I thanked the priests who helped with confessions, they all told me how privileged they felt to be involved with such an amazing group of faithful young people. They too had that same joyful amazement on their faces: “How is this even possible?”.

The genuine, beautiful faith of the students in the BU Catholic community is only possible because of Jesus Christ and His Loving Goodness. Yet the community would also not exist without people like you who generously support us. This year the Catholic Center has experienced significant setbacks in funding. To our disappointment, the Student Allocations Board for the University denied us any funding, and thousands of dollars upon which we had depended are now gone. The success of our 2016 Phonathon fundraiser is imperative.

Allow me to provide just one example of how dependent we are on your generosity.  The total cost of our Fall retreat per student is roughly $250. Since no student can afford such a price, we ask them to pay $80 and the Catholic Center subsidizes the rest. (There are always students who cannot afford even the $80. We turn no one away.) The Catholic Center yearly budget is approximately $207,000. That includes the salaries for a part-time Office Manager, a part-time music director, and a full-time chaplain.  It also includes all programming, weekly pasta dinners, utilities, building upkeep, supplies, administration costs, and two undergrad retreats that cost approximately $20,000 in total. That’s a lot for $207,000! At the same time, however, we run a $60,000 loss each year. Such a loss is not sustainable over the long term, and to continue our ministry we will either need to increase contributions or cut programming significantly. 

I hope this snapshot of our finances helps you to understand our situation and inspires you to give generously to this amazing place. Our Phonathon will take place from October 22-25th. It is our major fundraiser and we depend upon its success. If you would like to avoid a phone call(!) please consider donating now and we will not call you during those days. You can mail your donation or give online through ParishPay or Paypal by going to this link:
Alumni can also donate through the BU Development Fund. Simply tell them that you want your donation to be directed to Account Number 9300000342. This method of donating also allows for Matching Gifts!  
We thank you for your generous support! When people see what happens at the Catholic Center, they immediately wonder: “How is this even possible?”. The answer is obvious: Because of Christ and because of you.

In Christ,

Fr. David Barnes 

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