|Dear Friends in Christ,|
|As the world seeks healing, Pope Francis recently encouraged us during Holy Week to “Make the best use of this time: Let us be generous. Let us help those in need in our neighborhood. Let us look out for the loneliest people.” And tomorrow (Friday May 1), Archbishop Jose Gomez will lead the country in a prayer which consecrates the United States to Mary, Mother of the Church. Each year, the Church seeks the special intercession of the Mother of God during the month of May. “This year, we seek the assistance of Our Lady all the more earnestly as we face together the effects of the global pandemic,” Archbishop Gomez said.
Please click here for more information.
|At The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, we recognize that we are all spiritual brothers and sisters who will get through this difficult time together. The wonderful news is that The Foundation, and our blessed parishes throughout the Diocese of Orlando, are open to serving our faith family even though the buildings are closed.
May we connect spiritually through the following resources:
|Please click here for a list of parishes streaming mass online.|
|Please click here for a list of spiritual resources you can access safely from home.|
|Email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in community prayer.|
|Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation to your parish.|
|The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida is responding to our community’s needs and you can too!|
|Your charitable donations to the Central Florida Catholic Mercy Fund will fund Catholic Charities of Central Florida which is actively helping to serve individuals, children, families and seniors – regardless of their race, religion and ethnicity with:|
THE CATHOLIC FOUNDATION OF CENTRAL FLORIDA SEEDED THE FUND WITH $10,000
We are grateful for the generosity of two matching gift donors:
A $2,500 matching gift from a generous anonymous donor.
“My family’s been blest in so many ways- beyond time, talent and treasure. For us, giving back is more an obligation than an option, especially to the Mercy Fund. Mercy means Love, how better to fulfill an obligation to Love than by enabling Catholic Charities in helping them help those most hurtfully impacted by this terrible virus and the economic impact its having on the most marginalized? By offering a matching gift, we hope to leverage our giving by at least twice to further assist Catholic Charities! Love of others is what we’re called to do as followers of Christ-Please give to the Mercy Fund!!” – Anonymous donor
A $4,000 matching gift from Michael and Aimée Kakos who also are intent to serve those impacted and to assist Catholic Charities especially during these desperate times.
Thank you for your gifts of any size which can be doubled at this time because of the matching gifts.
Your gifts are making a difference in serving the unprecedented needs of our community. Thank you also to our colleagues at Catholic Charities who are working tirelessly to serve the same number of individuals and families in one week that they used to serve in a month. We are one body of Christ.
|Please click here to view a flier with more mental health tips.|
|Please click here to learn about the Behavioral Health Services offered by Catholic Charities of Central Florida.|
|During these uncertain times, spiritual development is more important than ever.|
|That’s why the Church is ‘open’ and it shares our heartfelt desire to offer our faith family resources for current times. As a result, the San Pedro Spiritual Development Center is offering virtual retreats that you can access from the comfort and safety of your home. A retreat is an opportunity to draw away from the world for intentional time of prayer and reflection.|
|Please click here for a list of free spiritual resources provided by San Pedro.|
|Please click here to learn more about San Pedro’s virtual retreats. (Some charge a modest fee).|
|Please click here to learn about San Pedro’s upcoming events.|
|The Basilica operates on the support of its visitors as it is not a parish but a ministry to pilgrims to the Orlando area. Due to the current pandemic with travel restrictions and our area closures including the Basilica, their income has been drastically reduced. As we prepare to honor our Blessed Mother in a special way during the month of May, please click here to make a donation to continue this beautiful ministry.|
|Our Church: Open and Connecting with Community|
|The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida appreciates all of our diocesan pastors and priests who continue to serve the faithful people of God during these times. Our pastors are reaching out to parishioners in new ways, and parishioners are reaching out to help their faith community in new ways. Amid challenging times, the Lord’s glory has risen.|
|Father Miguel Gonzalez has shared bilingual Easter blessing video messages in English and Spanish with members of Central Florida’s business community. And Reverend Matthew Hawkins is offering video conferences for prayer and conversation with parishioners feeling isolated or lonely.|
|During these challenging times, Father Gonzalez teaches us:|
| “We might be tempted to ask God: Where are you? Will you listen to our pleas?
In moments of doubt that come from fear, will you show us your mercy?
Let us not forget that Christ’s mercy endures forever!”
|Father Martin Nguyen says Catholic love for humanity is visible at his parish during these unprecedented times. Three parishioner families at St. Paul in Leesburg have offered timely generosity in a way that has amazed Fr. Nguyen: The parishioners, three married couples who want to remain anonymous, have handed over their entire federal stimulus checks – which cap at $1,200 per household – to support the St. Paul parish community. “I didn’t expect such a grand gesture of sacrifice,” Fr. Nguyen says. “These gestures are a beacon of light that show human generosity and kindness are still around. St. Paul parishioners love their parish. Their goodness shines through.” St. Paul is working hard to serve parishioners in a variety of ways including live streaming Mass in English and Spanish and engaging with parishioners through online videos and phone calls. “Christ continues to be the presence of life that sustains us,” Fr. Nguyen adds.|
|A local architectural firm led by Tom Chandler, The Foundation’s Chairman, has created more than 300 medical shields to protect local healthcare workers amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Tom is President & CEO of SCHENKELSHULTZ, the Orlando-based firm that is using 3D printing to create 25 to 40 shields per day. SCHENKELSHULTZ is working with other local firms and collaborators to finance and print the shields donated to healthcare providers.|
|Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality.
Thank you from the Donor Services team!
We all at The Catholic Foundation are grateful for the opportunity to serve our diocesan schools, parishes, and entities as well as our generous donors. Our Donor Services team has been working remotely and in the office to maintain engagement with our donors and on behalf of our entire team, they have a message they wish to share…