Our Mission In Action
The Upon This Rock campaign has seen its fair share of success stories – pastors continue to report surpassed goals, pilot parishes begin to use funds on projects to improve facilities, and volunteers all over Western New York go over and above the call of duty to support their Church. On a week-to-week basis, it can be easy to get caught up in the statistics of the campaign; it is important that we remain open to the grace-filled reminders of our true mission, which is in constant motion:
Last Sunday in Rome, Pope Francis canonized one of the most significant faith figures in recent history, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. During his homily, the pope reflected on her unwavering impact, sharing, “mercy was the salt which gave flavor to her work, it was the light which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.” In Buffalo, we see dedicated volunteers who continue to uphold this light in her name – specifically those who give their time and talent to the Mother Teresa Home.
The Mother Teresa Home, which officially opened its doors at the end of August, is a safe-haven where pregnant women and young mothers are guided through vital programs that enable them to become effective, supportive parents. Cheryl Calire, executive director of the home, spoke to The Buffalo News, describing the importance of Mother Teresa as a model for volunteerism and selfless service, adding that this canonization “was just absolutely wonderful; [with] people from all around the world, people of all faiths, of no faiths, gathering to celebrate this great day.” Upon This Rock has directed $2 million to fund the establishment and continual services of the home, in order to build upon what the Diocese currently offers in support of respect for all life.
Last week also garnered the beginning of another school year for students all throughout the region! As students collected their supplies and boarded school busses, teachers readied their classrooms and lesson plans to facilitate an atmosphere rooted in Catholic tradition and Gospel values. “The first week back is always a joy,” says Linda Garrity, Vice Principal at St. John the Baptist School in Kenmore, “Our students love being back at school to learn and spend time with their friends and teachers. This is when our work, which is truly a pleasure, really begins... It's a very rewarding experience!”
Upon This Rock will make a significant impact on Catholic education throughout WNY, especially with tuition assistance. The campaign will increase the Tuition Assistance Endowment by $12 million and allow the Diocese of Buffalo to provide assistance to 40% more students each year. This financial support will expand the assistance we are able to provide elementary school students, establish new programs to support students at the high school level, and enable more families to choose Catholic education. Upon This Rock will also dedicate funding to STREAM program enhancements and collegiate Campus Ministry programs.
Read below for even more good news from the Upon This Rock initiative!