Deacon candidate Tom Murrin views ordination as a ‘starting point’

Maura Baker, Staff Writer

 In preparation for his ordination to the permanent diaconate this October, Tom Murrin joined the Messenger for an interview regarding his vocation and faith journey. 

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Murrin came to Cincinnati as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Graduating with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Detroit, Mr. Murrin spent his 20s in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, working with the homeless population there. 

“I worked at Tender Mercies, which is a housing organization that houses the chronically mentally ill,” said Mr. Murrin., who also worked at the St. Joseph Catholic Worker House at the time. While working with these organizations in his youth, Mr. Murrin earned his master’s degree in social work, and met his wife, Mary. 

“It would have been 2012,” recalled Mr. Murrin, “I got a phone call from my brother who is now a deacon in the Diocese of Columbus. Kevin is two years younger than me, and Kevin told me he thought he was being called to be a deacon. I said to Kevin at the time, you know, I have had those thoughts as well,” he said. 

Mr. Murrin’s brother, Kevin Murrin, was ordained by the Diocese of Columbus in 2016, and Tom Murrin began pursuing his vocation three years later in 2019, after he and Mary had become “empty-nesters.” 

Originally, Mr. Murrin was to be ordained in April this year. However, an injury delayed the ordination. “On Superbowl Sunday last year, I was carrying my daughter’s bags out to her car. And the Superbowl was right when we had an ice storm,” said Mr. Murrin. “I slipped on the ice and hit the back of my head. I suffered a subdural hematoma, which is bleeding on the brain. I spent 19 days in the hospital. I had 9 brain surgeries… and that was what prevented me from being ordained with my fellow class.” 

“I don’t want to say the experience was a great experience,” he continued, “but it was a very spiritually rewarding experience. It has only more confirmed my interest in doing this for the Church.” 

A chaplain at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Mr. Murrin explains that his experience helped him to better understand those whom he ministers to. “When you go into a room as a chaplain, sometimes a hard thing is to know what the person expects from you. I think being on the receiving end of that care has advanced my education beyond the first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education that I have.” 

Now recovered from the hematoma, Mr. Murrin looks forward to his ordination this Oct. 15. The ordination will be held at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington. 

“It will be a large family event,” said Mr. Murrin, “my mom is going to come down from Cleveland, and I have an aunt in Columbus. I have Kevin, my brother, who will vest me, and is also coming down from Cleveland. 

“A lot of people will come up to me and say congratulations,” Mr. Murrin said, concluding, “I accept people’s congratulations, and I know what they’re saying… But, you know, I view this as a starting point, not a finishing point. The ordination is a start for me.” 

Roots of 19th Century religious decline ran deep

Stephen Enzweiler, Cathedral Historian 

Part 2 in a series

The first Eucharistic Congress of the United States, held in 1895 on the campus of Catholic University in Washington, D.C., brought together clergy and bishops from across the nation in a first-of-its-kind assembly to do just one thing: proclaim the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. 

“Our main object,” the official report stated, was to “call the attention of the priests of the East to the Eucharistic movement and to awaken the interest of the laity in it.” The congress — organized under the auspices of the Priests’ Eucharistic League of America, with the blessing of Pope Leo XIII and presided over by the Diocese of Covington’s Bishop Camillus Maes — was a resounding success. So much so, that at least five more national congresses would come to be held in the United States alone before Bishop Maes’ death in 1915. 

But it started with this first one, memorialized for posterity in the stained-glass window we see today in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of Covington’s Cathedral Basilica. The scene shows the Eucharistic procession at the conclusion of the Congress moving toward an altar erected beneath the portico arches of Catholic University’s newly dedicated McMahon Hall. Bishop Maes, vested in a golden cope, carries the ostensorium containing the Holy Eucharist amid a throng of bishops, priests and faithful. Though not historically accurate in some of its details, the scene is undoubtedly meant to evoke the joy and accomplishment of that First National Eucharistic Congress. 

But the window is more than this. It seems to have been Bishop Maes’s intention not simply to illustrate the American Church’s accomplishment, nor even to emphasize the necessity for belief and veneration of the real presence, but also to challenge us to look deeper into the broader story of why Eucharistic Congresses were necessary in the first place. By the 1880’s, the slow decline of religion in general had become a concern to the Church in both Europe and in America. More worrisome was the steep decline among both clergy and lay faithful of belief in the “real presence” itself. 

It may be said that the roots of this decline in religion can be traced back to the Enlightenment, an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Its central doctrines were opposed to the rule of monarchy and the power and influence of the Catholic Church in society. It focused on a range of ideas including individual liberty, natural rights, human happiness, the value of reason, scientific evidence, and ideals such as progress, constitutional government, and the separation of church and state. 

Where monarchs and ruling nobility had once been viewed as an earthly representation of an eternal order modeled on the City of God, Enlightenment thought was seen as a mutually beneficial social contract among the citizenry with the aim of protecting their natural rights and self-interests at all costs. Religion came to be viewed as a threat to individualism, and religious beliefs and practices were cast aside in lieu of secular alternatives. What is clear from history, however, is that the Catholic Church became one of the main targets of Enlightenment intellectuals who systematically questioned every aspect of society and government. 

The effects of Enlightenment thinking first manifested in 1776 with the outbreak of the American Revolution. The colonies rejected the rule of King George III in favor of self-government and the natural rights of man. Centuries of religious persecution in England had fostered the independent growth of religion in the American colonies. It was a powerful, cultural synthesis of Evangelical Protestantism, republicanism, and reason that provided a moral sanction for opposition to British rule, an assurance to every American that revolution was justified in the sight of God. Religion became a major contributor to winning the Revolutionary War and it helped in shaping the new Republic. Yet, the founding fathers retained the basic Enlightenment principles when crafting a new Constitution, declaring “We the People” while simultaneously separating Church and state and omitting any thought or dependence on Divine institution. 

Enlightenment thinking took a decidedly more tragic turn in 1789 with the French Revolution that followed. With nearly all of France’s 28 million citizens as Roman Catholics, and with the Church second in power only to the monarchy itself, the new revolutionary government’s first action was to declare the Catholic Church an enemy of the state. It cancelled the taxing power of the Church and confiscated all its property. Clergy were hunted down and persecuted with ferocious and dogged tenacity. Unknown thousands of priests, bishops and nuns were massacred. Churches and sanctuaries were destroyed, convents and monasteries pillaged and sacked, the Holy Eucharist desecrated. 

In September 1792, three Church bishops and hundreds of priests were brutally murdered by angry mobs in what became known as the September Massacres. An entire convent of Carmelite nuns were guillotined in Compiegne for refusing to deny their faith. The Archbishop of Paris was forced to resign his duties and march through the streets of Paris wearing a red “Cap of Liberty” instead of his mitre. 

Catholic religious holidays were outlawed and replaced with festivals to celebrate the harvest and other non-religious symbols. One of the most notorious was the cult known as the Fête de la Raison or “Festival of Reason.” It was first celebrated in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, where the high altar had been torn down and an altar to Liberty erected with the inscription “To Philosophy.” Festive maidens in Roman dresses and colored sashes danced around a costumed Goddess of Reason who represented Liberty. 

But the turbulent effects of the French Revolution were a fate not confined only to France. It’s widespread dechristianization spread to other countries like Italy and Belgium. In 1796, the French army under the command of a young Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Italy and conquered the Italian states. French troops marched on Rome, attempted to force a renunciation of temporal authority from Pope Pius VI and, when he refused, took the pontiff prisoner, effectively ending all authority of the Papal Government. Pius VI died in 1799 while still a prisoner of the French. 

Belgium, then part of the Austrian Netherlands, had been invaded and annexed in 1795, resulting in the rapid implementation of the same reforms which had been passed in post-Revolution France. Like a leviathan’s hungry tenacles, death and destruction at the hands of the French reached across Belgium, closing churches, seminaries, and religious houses. Clergy were forbidden to wear ecclesiastical garb and were forced to publish a declaration recognizing France as the sovereign authority. The University of Louvain — long an institution for the education of seminarians and clergy — was closed for not providing “the kind of public instruction conformable to Republican principles.” 

More than 7,500 Belgian priests were illegally condemned and either deported or executed. One of those who narrowly escaped with his life was Rev. Charles Nerinckx (1761-1824). Ordained in 1785, the Flemish-born Nerinckx refused to comply with the French reforms. With a warrant out for his arrest, he went into hiding and evaded his would-be captors for four years, finally fleeing in disguise to the United States. He eventually made his way to Kentucky, where he became one of its most renowned Catholic missionary priests. 

Another was Father Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850). He was a young priest teaching theology at the University of Nantes when it was closed by the Revolutionary Council in 1791. Fleeing with fellow priest, Rev. John Mary David and seminarian Stephen Badin, Flaget sailed from Bordeaux to Philadelphia in January 1792. Like Nerinckx, Flaget and Badin would find their way to Kentucky, Father Badin becoming a missionary in the footsteps of Nerinckx and Flaget the first Bishop of Bardstown in 1808. 

While the French Revolution nearly destroyed Catholicism in much of Europe, the first few decades of the 19th century witnessed a decline in Enlightenment influences. The Concordat of 1801 reconciled revolutionaries and Catholics and solidified the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France, and in 1826, the Confraternity of Penitents reestablished Eucharistic devotion to the French people. This movement also produced a similar reconciliation in Belgium where, on March 13, 1846, Camillus Paul Maes would be born into a devout Catholic family in the old Flemish city of Courtrai. 

But this isn’t the end of this story. The specter of the Enlightenment would linger for years to come, until one day the same Camillus Maes, now the Bishop of Covington and a ranking member of the American episcopate, would find it necessary to confront a new threat of religious decline in America and reawaken in priests and lay faithful a new reverence and devotion for his beloved Holy Eucharist. 

Coming up next: Part 3 —Pioneer priests brought the Eucharistic tradition to Kentucky.

Image: Period woodcut of Bishops and clergy forced to swear an oath to the regime.

 

Title 1 Math Teacher – St. Anthony School (Part-time)

St. Anthony School in Taylor Mill is in search of a part-time Title 1 Math teacher.  A valid Kentucky teaching certificate is required.  Interested candidates can reach out to Principal Veronica Schweitzer at [email protected] .

Seminary Ball Committee looking for another record breaking crowd at 2022 Seminary Ball

Laura Keener, Editor

With 602 attendees, last year’s Seminary Ball saw its largest crowd. But there’s plenty of room for more as the Seminary Ball Committee makes final preparations for the upcoming 2022 Seminary Ball. 

“Our goal is pretty high. We’re hoping to be able to eclipse that number here for 2022,” said Mike Murray, director, diocesan Office of Stewardship and Mission Services. 

Mr. Murray and his staff work with the Seminary Ball Committee in organizing the diocese’s annual premiere event. “We’re hoping to have a big crowd again this year and we’re hoping to have a lot of enthusiastic people who will stay and dance till the end. We’ve had that the last two times, so we’re hoping that will happen again,” he said. 

The Seminary Ball will be held Oct. 21 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Covington. The event, which is co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Serra Club for Vocations of Northern Kentucky, begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., with the program starting at 7 p.m. and dinner at 8 p.m. The Mix Band takes the stage at 9 p.m. providing entertainment until 11 p.m. Complimentary parking is provided at the garage across the street from the Convention Center. Individual tickets are $90 per person. Table sponsorships are still available for $1,200, which includes eight event tickets with priority seating, recognition in the event program and during the event and inclusion in the October and November ads in the Messenger. 

Part of the increase in crowd and enthusiasm at the Seminary Ball is the increasing presence of young adults at the Ball. Members of Northern Kentucky University’s Newman’s Club and Thomas More University’s Campus Ministry have been in attendance at the Ball and, last year, offered assistance to anyone needing an extra hand through the buffet line. Parishes have also been inviting younger parishioners to join their table and the growing and vibrant diocesan Young Adult Ministry has shown great support for the Ball. 

“Having the energy of these college students and young adults present at the Ball and on the dance floor really adds to the excitement of the night,” said Mr. Murray. 

Having a good time while raising funds for the education and formation of the diocese’s seminarians and meeting Bishop John Iffert and the seminarians is what the Seminary Ball is designed for. Father Gregory Bach, assistant director of seminarians, will be the master of ceremonies for this year’s Seminary Ball. He will introduce the diocese’s six seminarians Deacon Michael Elmlinger, Henry “Hank” Bischoff, Joshua Heskamp, Justin Schwarz, Michael Schulte and Brad Whittle. Bishop Iffert will also address the crowd. 

The enthusiasm of the Seminary Ball is expected to carry through the weekend, with seminarians speaking at some parishes in support of the Seminary Education Fund collection, which will be held at all parishes the weekend of Oct. 29 and 30. 

“We are very thankful for the continued support as this Seminary Ball continues to grow,” said Mr. Murray. “The people in our faith community are very supportive of this event and the collection because they know these seminarians are our future.” 

For information about the Seminary Ball visit the diocesan website www.covdio.org and click on the Seminary Ball banner or call Mike Murray and the staff of the Office of Stewardship and Mission Services at (859) 392-1500.

SUMMIT22 — youth and young adults invited to experience the Eucharistic mountain

David Cooley, Messenger Contributor

Last year at SUMMIT21 over 200 attendees shared a powerful three-day experience together centered on the Eucharist. This year, teens and young adults, ages 13 to 22, are invited to the state-of-the-art Covington Catholic High School campus, Oct. 7–9, for SUMMIT22. 

The weekend retreat (Friday 6:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sunday 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.) is designed to lead young people to Christ through prayer and instruction before the Blessed Sacrament. SUMMIT22 is designed to respond to the call of Pope Francis to prepare young people to live and proclaim the Gospel in a world that desperately needs it. 

This past June on Corpus Christi Sunday — the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ — the United States bishops launched a national Eucharistic Revival — a three-year initiative to help God’s people understand the extraordinary gift we have been given in the Eucharist. SUMMIT22 is a perfect and profound way for youth and adults to prayerfully begin this grace-filled time centered around the mystery of the Eucharist in the life of the Church. 

The Eucharist is the “source and summit of Christian life.” All blessings flow from the Eucharist, and it is a foretaste of heaven – the goal of Christian life. In the Blessed Sacrament Christ is truly Emmanuel — “God with us” — giving us the grace we need to become the saints we are called to be. 

Fittingly, a summit is a large gathering of people coming together for a singular purpose, and SUMMIT22 is an assembly of God’s people coming together to pray before the Eucharist and grow in their relationship with Christ. However, a summit is also the highest point of a hill or mountain that one can reach. 

In our lives we have “mountain” experiences and “valley” experiences. SUMMIT22 is intended to be a spiritual mountain experience for those who attend. In the Gospel Jesus would often go off to a mountain to separate himself from the crowds and be close to his Father in heaven. SUMMIT22 is an opportunity for young people to separate from everyday life and mundane routines. 

There was a time in the Gospel when Jesus did not go to a mountain alone. Jesus brought Peter, James and John to a mountain, where they were given just a glimpse of his glory. Naturally, they wanted to stay there at the summit, but they were called to come down from the mountain and go out to be salt of the earth and light for the world. 

Those who attend SUMMIT22 — just as all of those who meet Christ in the Eucharist — are also called to mission. We are called to receive Jesus and then bring him out into world. The Eucharist is both the source of our strength and the summit of our desires. 

In years past the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal led this event (formally called YOUTH 2000). This year the diocesan team is excited to welcome the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament from Cleveland, Ohio, to help to discover more of the love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. As consecrated women, the sisters extend their Eucharistic Mercedarian spirit of adoration and praise to Jesus in the Eucharist, and filial love and devotion to Our Lady of Mercy, Mother of the Redeemer, all over the world. 

Attendees of SUMMIT22 can expect a prayerful experience with music, meditations and Eucharistic adoration. There will be dynamic talks and testimonies, as well as a Catholic expert panel that will entertain any and all questions about the Catholic faith. There will be prayer services, the sacrament of confession and holy Mass, including Mass Saturday evening celebrated by Bishop John Iffert. There will be food, fun, fellowship and more. 

In a world full of noise drowning out the call to holiness, and in a landscape that is secular, materialistic and hostile toward Christian values, followers of Christ need a place where they can withdraw from the crowds and focus on what really matters in life. SUMMIT22 is that place. It is never too early or too late to learn to let go of things that are passing away in this world, and hold fast to the things that are eternal. 

David Cooley is co-director and office manager of the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization.

 SUMMIT22 — Diocesan Eucharistic Retreat 

Oct. 7–9 at Covington Catholic High School 

— Open to youth and young adults, ages 13–22; 

— Runs Friday, 6:30–10:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sunday 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; 

— $40 fee includes all snacks and Saturday meals. Financial aid available upon request; 

— Early bird discount! Save $10 on registrations postmarked by Sept. 24. 

Register at covdio.org/summit22 

Information about minors and chaperones 

— Parent note is required if a minor (age 13–17) needs to leave during the event; 

— Parent must provide a chaperone for a minor; 

— One chaperone can take up to seven minors; 

— Chaperone must be at least 21, current with VIRTUS, registered and fee paid; 

— Two co-chaperones can split hours/fee; each must register separately. 

Questions? Contact the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization by calling (859) 392-1592.

Diocese of Covington raises funds for Eastern Kentucky flooding victims

Maura Baker, Staff Writer

 After devastating floods ravaged Eastern Kentucky in July, resulting in the loss of both lives and homes, the Diocese of Covington’s response to the needs of our neighbors included a collection to raise funds for flood victims. 

This collection included not only second collections gathered at weekend Masses, but also online donations made through the diocesan website. 

With donations from parishes and individuals all across the diocese, $314,399.96 will be provided to Eastern Kentucky relief efforts. Bishop John Iffert will forward the funds directly to Bishop John Stowe of the Diocese of Lexington, which includes Eastern Kentucky. One hundred percent of these funds raised by the diocesan collection will go directly to those most affected by the floods. 

“People really stepped up,” proudly remarked Michael Murray, Director of the Office of Stewardship and Mission for the Diocese of Covington, “We have a wonderful faith community here.” 

According to Catholic News Service, other Catholic diocese and organizations have stepped up to the plate to provide relief to those victims as well, including a collection held early August by the Archdiocese of Louisville, and a donation of $250,000 made by Catholic Charities as of Aug. 8. 

Image: A Kentucky National Guard flight crew from 2/147th Bravo Co. flies over a flooded area in response to a declared state of emergency in eastern Kentucky July 29, 2022. CNS photo/Sgt. Jesse Elbouab, U.S. Army National Guard via Reuters 

Check, one-two — St. John Parish awarded an OCP Parish Grant for microphones

Laura Keener, Editor

In a letter to Bishop John Iffert, the OCP (Oregon Catholic Press) Board of Directors announced that St. John Parish, Covington, was the recipient of an OCP Parish Grant in the amount of $1,500. At St. John Parish, the grant will be used to purchase new microphones and cables. 

“It is our sincere hope that this grant will help St. John the Evangelist meet the needs they so clearly presented in their application, as well as support their effort to enhance their community’s liturgy and music,” wrote Wade Wisler, publisher, OCP. 

OCP serves parishes by publishing music and worship resources. Most parishes are familiar with their hymnals “Breaking Bread,” “Today’s Missal,” “Heritage Missal” and its bilingual “Unidos en Cristo|United in Christ” missal and hymnals, including “Journeysongs.” What parishes may be less familiar with is that each year OCP provides grants to parishes seeking to enhance worship and music ministries. 

“St. John the Evangelist was chosen for this award out of hundreds of applications from parishes large and small across the United States,” said Mr. Wisler. “We take great satisfaction in knowing that so many parishes are committed to fulfilling the needs of their communities.” 

Daryl Sandy, organist, St. John Parish, Covington, said that qualifying and applying for an OCP grant is a relatively easy process. All U.S. Roman Catholic parishes or college and university campus ministries that did not receive an OCP Parish Grant the previous year are eligible. The only “minor” restriction on the grant is that the money must be used for liturgical or musical purposes. The amount awarded varies from year to year. Application forms and information is available on the OCP website. 

“They have a video that tells you how to apply and some suggestions for how to improve your chances for getting a grant,” said Mr. Sandy. 

This is the third OCP Parish Grant that Mr. Sandy has received — two for St. John the Evangelist Parish, Covington and one for St. Ann Mission, Covington. 

“I put in a form every year because you never know, they might not have a lot of people requesting one that year,” he said. 

Parishes will be able to apply online for 2023 grants in early Spring. 

“We hope these stories about recipients will be an inspiration to other parishes struggling with similar limitations and striving toward similar goals,” wrote Mr. Wisler. “We invite any parish that was not awarded a grant in the previous year to apply in the coming year.” 

For information visit the OCP website, ocp.org.

Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Are you on fire for your faith?  Do you possess a strong prayer life, passionately loves Jesus Christ and His Church, and desire to faithfully hand down the Deposit of Faith: Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to our youth and young adults?

St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish is seeking energetic candidates to apply for the position of COORDINATOR OF YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY.

This is a full-time, benefits-eligible position, under the supervision of the Pastoral Associate for Evangelization and Catechesis.  The Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry aims to attract youth and young adults to a life-giving encounter with Jesus through personal witness, effective teaching, community building, and discipleship-making.  The coordinator will demonstrate a thorough understanding of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, and be able to transmit it and the Church’s teachings in a way that is both richly informative and deeply transformative.

Duties include, but not limited to:

  • Recruit, train and mentor youth and young adult leaders, as well as core team volunteers, to implement the eight components of youth ministry as found in Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry, USCCB, 1997
  • Schedule, plan and lead weekly and seasonal youth and young adult events throughout the year
  • Create, guide, and/or lead youth and young adult retreats
  • Organize trips to local, diocesan, national and international youth and young adult events
  • Submits, manages, and maintains a budget for youth and young adult ministry
  • All other things deemed necessary by the pastor

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Active member of a Catholic Parish
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry, Religious Studies, Theology, Religious Education, or related field
  • Certificate in Youth Ministry from a diocese or National Association of Catholic Youth Ministry Leaders
  • Previous, relevant experience

Candidate must hold a valid driver’s license (or be eligible for one).  Before starting the position, the coordinator must be fingerprinted, complete a background check, and be enrolled and/or current with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati SafeParish child protection training.

Send a resume and cover letter to [email protected] to apply.

Application deadline is September 9, 2022.

Grants awarded at DPAA celebration reception, wrapping up 2022 campaign

Maura Baker, Staff Writer

 Supporters of the Diocesan Parish Annual Appeal (DPAA) gathered for a reception in the Bishop Howard Memorial Auditorium, Covington, Aug. 25, to celebrate the success of the 2022 campaign. Service grants were also awarded as a component of this reception, wherein schools, parishes and charitable organizations within the Diocese received funds to continue to serve the people of the Diocese of Covington. 

In attendance at the dinner were donors and grant recipients, but also DPAA leaders such as Mike Murray, director, Office of Stewardship and Mission; Bishop John Iffert of the Diocese of Covington; Karen Riegler, 2022 DPAA general chair and Matt Hollenkamp, 2022 DPAA leadership gifts chair. 

“Our gifted pledges today total $3,820,976,” announced Mrs. Riegler at the reception. This year, 44 of the 53 diocesan parishes met or exceeded their DPAA contribution goals, and 42 parishes, schools and agencies were rewarded grants totalling in $265,000 for 56 different projects. 

“It’s amazing this journey that we’re on,” said Mr. Hollenkamp about the success of this year’s campaign. Continuing, he announced, “Our largest gift (this year) was $40,000. As of this week, we had over 1,100 contributors who have given $1,000 or more, totalling $2.3 million plus… this whole process has taught me just the generosity of our diocese. I’m just so impressed. It makes me feel so good and so blessed to live here in our diocese, and I can’t wait for next year.” 

“It’s all about supporting the Church, reaching out with works of charity,” said Bishop Iffert about the DPAA campaign. “You are responding to needs with your hands, with your minds, with your hearts, your whole self, directly… thank you to all the parishes, organizations and people who get your hands dirty, and make a difference.” 

At the end of the reception, Bishop Iffert announced that Matt Hollenhamp, who served as the Leadership Gifts Chair this year, will serve as the General Chair in 2023 DPAA campaign. 

Photo: Karen Riegler, 2022 DPAA general chair; Bishop John Iffert and Matt Hollenkamp, 2022 DPAA leadership gifts chair; stand for a photo at the 2022 DPAA celebration reception.