Friday, March 01, 2019 - Updated: 12:08 pm
The 2019 Parish Share campaign kicks off this weekend (March 2-3) with a renewed focus on how donations help parishes and the wider Church of Pittsburgh respond to important needs.
Parish Share returns sacrificial gifts to parishes, helping young people learn the faith and prepare for the sacraments, promoting vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life, and strengthening other ministries that bring people closer to Jesus.
The campaign provides vital support to parishes, including religious education certification for directors of religious education and catechists, youth ministry and campus ministry programs, and financial, payroll and legal services.
In announcing the start of the 2019 Parish Share drive, Bishop David Zubik addressed donor questions about the sexual abuse crisis.
“I can promise you that Parish Share funds and funds from Our Campaign for The Church Alive! cannot and will not be used for the compensation fund that will aid those who were abused by members of our diocesan clergy, nor will those gifts be used for related legal expenses,” he said.
The diocese announced in December that the compensation program will be funded by the sale of diocesan properties.
“Over the course of these last months, some people have told me that they were considering not supporting the church financially, and Parish Share in particular,” the bishop said. “But cutting back on Parish Share will limit or eliminate important ministries … that are needed to better serve you, our faithful, and to renew our parishes.”
The Parish Share program is different than a parish’s weekly offertory, which supports parish ministries, staff salaries, utility and insurance costs, and similar expenses.
In addition, any funds received after a parish’s assessment is achieved will stay with the parish for their local needs.
“Time and again, you have answered the call to serve Jesus with a generous spirit, bringing his love and mercy to others,” Bishop Zubik said. “Through your unwavering prayers, sacrificial gifts and service, you build up your own faith community, the diocesan church and the church universal.”