June 24, 2022

Circle of Giving event celebrates ‘creating a culture of giving’

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson receives the gifts from Joy and Steve Day, members of Holy Spirit Parish in Indianapolis, during a Mass for members of the United Catholic Appeal’s Miter Society and the archdiocesan Catholic Community Foundation’s Legacy Society at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on May 12. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson receives the gifts from Joy and Steve Day, members of Holy Spirit Parish in Indianapolis, during a Mass for members of the United Catholic Appeal’s Miter Society and the archdiocesan Catholic Community Foundation’s Legacy Society at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on May 12. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

By Natalie Hoefer

As Archbishop Charles C. Thompson stepped to the ambo and looked at the approximately 100 people gathered, he smiled.

“It’s been three years since we’ve been able to gather in person for this event, and it’s wonderful to see everyone,” he said warmly.

The gathering on May 12 was the Circle of Giving, a Mass and dinner for members of the United Catholic Appeal’s Miter Society and the Catholic Community Foundation’s Legacy Society.

In his homily during the Mass, which was celebrated at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis, the archbishop recalled the purpose of the liturgy and event.

“We gather together to celebrate the source and summit of our Catholic identity and mission in this eucharistic banquet,” he said. “All that we are, all that we are about, our ministries and services—made possible through the time, talent and treasure of discipleship in the Lord Jesus Christ—are all rooted in the Eucharist.”

He noted that Catholics today “live in challenging times. The Gospel is not always well-received, and those who proclaim it are not always heard or respected.”

Nevertheless, it is still “our calling to carry on that mission,” said Archbishop Thompson.

“However we are received or rejected, let us remember the beauty of our lives is first and foremost in the eyes of God, who beholds us as His creation. We not only receive his Son, Jesus Christ, with all our hearts and minds, but embrace the mission of being sent to others in his name.

“We cannot control how others might receive the message, but we continue to give the best of ourselves for his sake as well as the sake of those entrusted to our care.”

(Related story: Leaders weigh in on how appeal, foundation donations help their ministries)

Later at the dinner held across the street at the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center, archdiocesan vicar general Msgr. William F. Stumpf shared some positive figures with those gathered, who applauded his news.

“This fiscal year we collected nearly $5.5 million in pledges during the United Catholic Appeal,” he shared. “One-hundred percent of those gifts go directly to support ministries, services and programs in the archdiocese that benefit everyone in our Church and the surrounding communities, so this is truly incredible.”

He also noted that the Catholic Community Foundation is “seeing a number of planned gifts, and we continue to add new endowments on a regular basis. For fiscal year 2021, that ended on June 30, 2021, our foundation’s net assets had grown to more than $240 million.”

Msgr. Stumpf encouraged all Catholics to “continue witnessing the importance of stewardship to your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, for it’s a truism that giving really starts at home.

“That is where we learn to take care of each other before we take care of ourselves. It’s where we learn to love one another. When we foster this at home, it is more likely that our children will grow up with a giving spirit, feeling much more fulfilled and having happy lives.”

A video highlighted the theme of the evening, “Creating a Culture of Giving,” which included interviews of Catholics throughout central and southern Indiana who have given to the United Catholic Appeal and/or the Catholic Community Foundation.

“The video highlighted how a culture of giving gets established and how mission drives the resources and not the other way around,” Archbishop Thompson explained after the video.

“When we stay faithful to God and God’s calling for us to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ, the resources follow.

“Mary Kay Wolford of Holy Family Parish in New Albany, whom you saw in the video, offered us a beautiful insight: ‘You just have to try to trust the Lord, and he takes care of you.’ ”

Archbishop Thompson spoke of the importance and impact of each member of the archdiocese offering their time, talent and treasure.

“When we pool our strengths and resources, we are able to build our ministries and help our brothers and sisters in need throughout central and southern Indiana,” he said. “We bring many of them peace, being the hands and feet of Christ to them.

“Our faith calls us to not only to give thanks to God, but to be thanks as well. This expression of gratitude to God in action is called stewardship.”

He called on all to “give thanks to God for all our gifts,” and to “continue to be grateful stewards whose words and actions show we are merciful, generous and willing to give back to the Lord with increase. May we continue to be grateful givers who always do thanks as well as say it.”

Ukamaka Oruche said she and her husband Ody, members of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Indianapolis, contribute to both the United Catholic Appeal and the Catholic Community Foundation.

She encourages everyone to support both efforts “because of the ability that the archdiocese has through its several ministries to reach more people. So your dollar can go farther than just an individual trying to figure out what to do.”

Glenn Tebbe, a member along with his wife Laura Jo of St. Mary Parish in Greensburg, agreed.

“It’s all about serving the community,” he said.

Tebbe noted that he and his wife started the St. Mary Parish School Endowment Fund through the Catholic Community Foundation for curriculum development at the Greensburg school, where Tebbe served as principal for 18 years.

When it comes to the United Catholic Appeal, “Obviously, I’m partial to education,” he said with a chuckle. “But I’m in for it all. We always check the box to give wherever the biggest need is.”

Tebbe noted it was “heartwarming to see as many people here tonight as there are. It’s good just to be a part of something that’s much bigger than our little bit.” †

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!