Monday, October 1, 2018

Should I Donate to the Catholic Church? No and Yes.

The Boston University Catholic Center Fall Retreat
Dear Friends in Christ,

A few times over the past months, I've had someone tell me that they are no longer going to donate to "the Catholic Church." I don't donate to "the Catholic Church" either. In fact, I'm not sure who would be authorized to cash a check made out to "the Catholic Church." But I do donate to various parts of the Catholic Church. It is my responsibility to support the mission of the Catholic Church because its mission originates from Christ Himself who said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations." Not only should I donate to support the mission of the Church, but it is a privilege to do so.

During the month of October, the BU Catholic Center has its annual fundraiser. Recently, I sent out a letter to all of our families, friends, and alumni asking them to be generous in supporting us. Below, I will share that letter with you, but I want to add a few things as well. 

I've begun my sixth year at the BU Catholic Center. This past weekend, I've participated in my eleventh "CC Retreat." The title of the retreat that the student leaders chose was, "Homeward Bound." They wanted to communicate that the Catholic Center and the Catholic Church is a home away from home. The Church is our home--here and in heaven. It was spectacular! Students living their faith together and sharing such great friendships together. I received many messages from former students saying how they are praying for the current students on retreat. There's an incredible bond that exists among the "CC" family. The alumni know that the people on the retreat are going to have a life transforming experience just like they themselves did. 

Those who know me know that I like to throw right over the plate. So, if you're saying, "I'm not giving to the Catholic Church," that's bogus. If you're a Catholic, you have an obligation to support the mission of the Church. The Gospel matters. During the first weekend of school this year, a freshman came into the Catholic Center. She told me her name and said, "I'm not Catholic, but I feel like God is calling me to become Catholic." She has a way of becoming Catholic because the Catholic Center is on BU's campus. The Catholic Center is on on BU's campus because people like you donate. So, I'm not asking you to consider donating to "the Catholic Church," but I am asking you to donate to the BU Catholic Center. The Catholic Church is universal, but it is met and lived in particular places and communities. You live your Catholic life in a particular place and with a particular community. The place and community where I currently encounter Christ and am saved by Him is at the BU Catholic Center. I ask you to support our mission. 

(This is the letter recently mailed to our donor list).

Dear Friend of the BU Catholic Center:

At the end of most summers, I look forward to the return of the students in September. This year, I was dreading it. With so many upsetting stories in the press about the Church, I did not know what to expect when September arrived.

Before our first Sunday Mass of the new year, I sat outside of Marsh Chapel on one of the stone benches. Within a few minutes, the first of several students approached with the request, “Hey Father. Do you have time for a quick confession?” The sincerity, purity, and humility of those requests lifted the heavy pall that I had felt for weeks, and it put into my heart a new courage. A courage to strive for more.

At moments such as these, it is tempting to withdraw and to expect less. Instead, I ask you to join me in striving for more. More holiness, more Faith, more Hope, more Charity. I want the year ahead for the Catholic Center to be about more evangelization, more friendship, and more generosity.

Over the next several weeks, I will be offering the Nuptial Masses of several couples who met and fell in love at the BU Catholic Center. This is what the world and the Church need right now: men and women who are going to re-evangelize the culture by living holy lives, holy marriages, holy vocations. The BU Catholic Community forms men and women to be saints.

It probably sounds crazy, but I want this to be our best fundraising year ever. That’s right. In the midst of everything that is going on in the Church, I want this to be the best year we’ve ever had. I know something. I know that the Catholic Center is awesome. I know that the students who come here are amazing. I know that THIS place is what is RIGHT with the Church. I hope that you know that too, and I hope that you will join me in supporting our mission. If you’ve given in the past, would you give more this year? If you haven’t given in a while, could you please contribute today?

The Catholic Center at Boston University needs to increase its revenue significantly in order to remain present on campus and to grow. I do not want the Catholic Center to offer less and less each year. No, I want more. I’m asking you for more.  I am inviting you to be part of something great.

Our annual Phonathon will run from October 27-30, but if you donate now, we won’t call you!

Please consider using the enclosed envelope to make a donation to the BU Catholic Center or visit to donate to us via PayPal or WeShare.

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!  

In Christ,

Fr. David Barnes

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