Friday, October 24, 2014

The Catholic Center at Boston University: Friendship in Christ

October 24, 2014

Dear Friend of the Newman Center at Boston University:

This letter is an edited version of the letter that I mailed to our families, alumni, and friends.  I am sharing this letter on my blog in the hopes of reaching as many persons as possible  (not that too many people read my blog)!

The mission of the BU Catholic Center continues to depend upon you!  Thank you for taking a moment to read this letter and for supporting the BU Catholic Center.

In past years, the Newman Center Phonathon occurred in January, but we are moving it to October this year.  Why?  Unfortunately, the Catholic Center does not have any substantial reserves.  What we raise each year just covers our expenses for that year.  We would like to know earlier in the year what our income will be so that we can budget and plan accordingly.

Ideally, the Catholic Center could strengthen its programming and staffing and routinely make necessary repairs and improvements to its facilities.  My goal is to raise more money than we actually spend each year so that when the roof leaks (which it has been doing since I arrived), we have money available to fix it, or when the carpets and furniture need replacing, we have money to do so.  Or, when a student cannot afford to pay even a little bit towards attending one of our weekend retreats, we can make sure she can still come. Remember, the Catholic Center receives no funding from Boston University and we are completely responsible for the upkeep of our building, our utilities, and our extensive programming.

To say that I love the young men and women who belong to the Catholic community here on campus would be an understatement. I love coming to work every day and witnessing Christ at work in the life of these students.  It is my privilege to be their shepherd and to enjoy their friendship.  Many of them come to us from strong Catholic parishes and strong Catholic families.  Others come to us and discover their Faith here.  Our Catholic Center depends upon the gratitude and generosity of many. It depends upon current students and families, alumni and their families, and friends who care about forming young people in the Faith.  It depends upon you!

As a priest, I’ve had to write a fair share of fundraising letters.  I often say that “no donation is too small.”  This is true.  Please donate what you are able to donate.  But, I also want to say, “No donation is too big!”  I would like to build up the Catholic Center and make it financially strong so that it continues to thrive and to provide the very best pastoral care.

I want to share with you something important. There are people on staff at the BU Catholic Center who pour themselves out in service to the students. Some of them do so on a voluntary basis. Some are paid, but you would be shocked to know how little they are paid compared to how much they work. The BU Catholic Center functions because of the generous and selfless service offered by these men and women. I ask that all of us follow their example of generosity.

Since readers of this blog might not have a sense of what goes on at the BU Catholic Center, let me provide a few bullet points:

  • Daily Confessions and Mass
  • 3 Sunday Masses
  • RCIA
  • Intramural Sports Teams
  • Bible Studies
  • Men's Group
  • Women's Group
  • Retreats
  • Adoration and Benediction
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Weekly Dinners
  • Daily Holy Hours
  • Social Gatherings
  • A Coffee Lounge
  • Study Rooms
  • Catholics on Campus (A weekly formation night)
  • Service Trips and Events
  • Vocational Discernment (in the past five years, five men have either entered seminary or been ordained priests from the BU Catholic Center)
  • True Friendship in Christ

If you are a reader of this blog and would like to contribute to the BU Catholic Center, you can do so by seeing a donation to:

The Boston University Catholic Center
211 Bay State Rd.
Boston, MA 02215

Or, you can learn more about donating through PayPal or ParishPay by visiting the following link

I am very grateful for your consideration of this request. I promise you that the young people whom we are serving are worth the investment.

Your Brother in Christ,

Fr. David Barnes

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