WINNIPEG — Sharing God’s Gifts is the annual appeal of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, but parishioners always ask, “Where does that money go?” The answer is: when one sees a child attending catechism, or considers all that a deacon does in a parish, or when parishioners are assured that their beloved retired priest is taken care of, and young men preparing for the priesthood are fully supported — Sharing God’s Gifts helps pay for all those things, and much more.
Sharing God’s Gifts also funds social justice programs and community outreach, including Micah House, the Catholic Centre for Social Justice located in the heart of Winnipeg’s North End; and lay formation programs such as Nathanael and The Summons, that offer adult faith formation and leadership.
All of these are supported by Sharing God’s Gifts, as is the Archdiocese of Winnipeg’s Westman First Nations Ministry, with Deacon Conrad Plante celebrating sacraments with people on First Nations reserves but also creating relationships in the emerging spirit of Truth and Reconciliation.
“St. Paul encourages us to ‘be rich in good works’ by being generous with our time, treasure and talents,” says Archbishop Richard Gagnon.
More about the annual appeal can be heard from the archbishop in a video on the Archdiocese of Winnipeg website under “Our Archdiocese.”
John Nicholson recently became director of the annual appeal. “Many of the ministries served by Sharing God’s Gifts have a very direct impact on the parishes and are really important for transforming lives in the community,” Nicholson said.
“From the richest to the poorest, we are all unique creations of God with unique abilities. It’s very important that we recognize that because the gifts we have are from God and we have a responsibility to use them to help others. For this reason every person, regardless of their means, has a responsibility to support the mission of Sharing God’s Gifts so that all can benefit,” said Nicholson, adding that the main focus of Sharing God’s Gifts “is a period from the end of April to the end of June and the goal is to use that period to enthusiastically promote the ministries supported by Sharing God’s Gifts.
“Early in the campaign we’ve seen great success realized by both urban and rural parishes, many having reached their targets and some having exceeded them while others have dramatically improved their performance.
“We are all disciples of Christ, we have a membership in the Christian church, and as a result we have a responsibility to be generous with our time, treasure and talent. This is basic stewardship, to support the ministries of Sharing God’s Gifts. This is the whole idea of stewardship, not giving to a need but needing to give. I’d like for parishioners to prayerfully consider adopting Sharing God’s Gifts as one of the primary charities that they support.”
Nicholson said Sharing God’s Gifts can also accommodate a one-time large planned gift as a bequest in a will or donations of securities or life insurance. Contact the Sharing God’s Gifts office with questions about planned giving, or any other questions, at 204-452-2227, ext. 222.