Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you to Tom and Maureen Lindgren, co-chairs of the St. Francis portion of    the Our Cathedral: One Faith, One People who spoke at each of the masses last weekend on behalf of this campaign of the Diocese of Raleigh.  I am grateful for their enthusiastic leadership and for the passion they bring to this historic effort in our  diocese.  This weekend we will all have the opportunity to pledge our support through a sacrificial gift to the diocese.  If you’ve not seen it already, on our parish website is a link to the Cathedral Campaign video or go to www.holynamecathedralnc.org for more information.

As the ‘Mother Church’ of the 96 parishes and missions which encompass our     diverse, rapidly growing population in the Diocese of Raleigh, the Holy Name of   Jesus Cathedral will stand as a testament to our love of God.  Throughout the    coming year, each parish is being invited to participate in the new Holy Name of  Jesus Cathedral.  As we celebrated the Feast of Epiphany in early January, I spoke at each of the masses to commence our portion of the Our Cathedral: One Faith, One People Campaign.  Since that time every registered parishioner has received an invitation to come to an informative reception to learn more about this historic project in our diocese.  The receptions have provided enjoyable fellowship for those who have attended and been very informative.  The Cathedral itself will accommodate approximately 2,000 worshipers to be enlightened by God’s word, nourished with the Eucharist, and strengthened as the Body of Christ.  As site of the Bishop’s chair, or cathedra, Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral will be the focal point of religious activity for the 54 eastern North Carolina counties that make up our Diocese. The Cathedral Campus will meet our needs by providing adequate space for a parking deck and a gathering hall for major liturgical events, concerts in sacred music, Catholic lecture series, and a place of pilgrimage. The possibilities to share our Faith are endless.

Please remember that the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for 2012 is combined with this campaign.  Many households have chosen to consider their BAA gift separately, clearly marking their donation to the BAA, separate from their pledge to the cathedral.  You have this option.  The priority in this campaign is the charitable works of peace and justice that the BAA supports.  In addition to helping create a new and beautiful Cathedral campus and supporting the good works of charity, this campaign will help to pay down the debt of our own St. Francis campus.  Thank you to so many who have already contributed to Our Cathedral: One Faith, One People Campaign and thank you to all who are prayerfully considering this.

Two weeks ago, I sent a survey to our registered households for whom we had email addresses. Through this column, I also invited parishioners to participate.  I have received the initial results from this survey and once the final results are received will use them to determine how we as a parish can better engage our parishioners in our mission.  The survey results will also be made available to any parishioner interested in looking at them.  Not too many under the age of 35 participated in the survey, so Monday evening Jason Lillis, Coordinator of Family Life, has invited a group of young adults to gather with me to learn more from this important age group of the parish.  I expect it will be a worthwhile conversation.

In the peace of Christ,

Fr. Mark