Mass, Dinner Gathering Gives Thanks
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 27, 2018
ROCKFORD—Calling it “an opportunity to pray with you (and) just to be with each other,” Bishop David Malloy celebrated Mass for the Perpetual Light Society the evening of Sept. 19 at St. Rita Parish.
“First and foremost, we are here to say ‘thank you’ to God,” the bishop said, adding that “together we offer ourselves again to Christ.”
The Perpetual Light Society was established in the mid-1990s by the Development Office of the Diocese of Rockford for those who remember the Church in their will, estate or other planned gift. 
One way to share your treasure
The Catholic Foundation was established in 1987 by Bishop Arthur J. O’Neill. It offers Annuities and Donor Advised Funds for individuals, and Endowment Accounts for individuals as well as parishes.

All the parishes of the diocese now have endowment accounts, providing opportunities for donors to add to the corpus accounts of their home (or another) parish.

A “United in Faith” endowment was begun in 2001 to benefit five areas — needy parishes and schools, Catholic education, religious education and youth ministry, seminarian education and priest continuing education, and priests’ retirement account — with distributions from earnings most years.
This event was the first gathering of its type in a few years. About 50 people from several parts of the diocese attended the Mass and the dinner that followed.
As he has been doing at most events of late, Bishop Malloy touched upon the abuse scandals in his remarks. 
He said that “through all the challenges and the scandals” that have come over the two millennia since the Church was begun by Jesus, what continues to shine forth is “the charity of the Church.” That includes the Church’s work to feed the hungry, teach the children the faith and academics, and all other good deeds done throughout the Church’s history. 
“It is charity that shines forth in good times and bad,” Bishop Malloy said, adding a lot of work “is in the background” of the Church’s charitable efforts. 
He mentioned the diocesan staffers who were present, and the work of the Tribunal and of marriage preparation, among other “not seen” work being done.
He thanked society members for their generosity and loving spirit, speculating that they “are probably also helping” in their parishes. 
St. Paul in the first reading, he said, “links charity ... with the spiritual life.” The bishop said that they were “truly being prepared, step by step” to be ready whenever God calls them to Himself.
After dinner, Denise Dobrowolski, director of the Office of Charitable Giving, and Daniel O’Malley, executive director of The Catholic Foundation, offered information and thanks from their work in the diocese.
John McGrath, director of Educational Services and Ministry Formation, was the keynote speaker. His talk on “Handing on the Faith — Living as Missionary Disciples” focused on four necessary ingredients for successful witnessing of the faith: encountering, accompanying, being in community and sending forth. 
He also spoke of the importance of “behind-the-wall-encounters” where Church members come together to encourage and support each other and to remind themselves “why we are who we are” before and during encounters with the dominant culture.