Annual Diocesan Appeal

“Together, we bestow his first fruits.”

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

The 2022 Annual Diocesan Appeal has begun, and I am inviting all members of Saint Mary’s parish to participate by supporting our Catholic community in southern Virginia.

In a recent letter to all of the members of the diocesan family, Bishop Knestout directed our attention to this passage from the Old Testament:

"Take some of the first fruits of the harvest and set them in front of the altar of the Lord your God.”  (Deuteronomy 26: 2,4)

Bishop Knestout pointed out: 

“Stories of the faithfulness and fruitfulness of God’s bountiful blessings fill Sacred Scripture.  As God is the source of all good gifts, the people of Israel were commanded to give back to him “some first fruits” of the harvest, which the priest would set “in front of the altar of the Lord, your God” (Deuteronomy 26:2,4).  As Catholics, these stories remind us to generously, willingly, and continuously share our gifts with a faith-filled spirit.

You and I are called to share our blessings to build up the Body of Christ and extend the Kingdom of God. One of the ways that we plant seeds for this purpose is by supporting the Annual Diocesan Appeal.

When you contribute to the Appeal, you are sharing your gifts with those in your local community as well as those you may not ever see. The sacrifice you make when supporting the Appeal allows the harvest to be reaped by many.

Our Lord teaches, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). We can therefore trust in God’s provision for us and that he will use our gifts to bless others. Please join me in thanking God for His gifts by sharing them lovingly. In recognition of the bountiful harvest of God’s love, take what is best – His first fruits – and bring them to the altar.”

This year’s annual appeal seeks to raise crucial financial support for a variety of ministries. These goals include:

  1. support for our future priests and the education of seminarians,
  2. support for retired priests,
  3. support for the Fuel and Hunger fund which helps to provide nourishment and heating fuel to struggling families,
  4. training and support for international priests,
  5. grants to small and rural parish communities to support ministries and repairs,
  6. the Segura initiative to provide a Catholic education to children of limited means.

Many of you have recently received a mailing from the diocese containing detailed information about this year’s Annual Appeal. In the weeks ahead, you will hear more about the Appeal during our weekend Masses. I want to encourage every parish family to participate generously in support of our diocesan Catholic Community.

For more information, or to make a pledge today, you can go to:

Thank you for all that you do to support the ministries of the Church!

In Christ,
Fr. Michael A. Renninger