Mass for Donors Held In-Person
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 16, 2023
ROCKFORD—More than 65 people gathered for the annual Mass of Thanksgiving for donors to the 2022 Diocesan Appeal, held the morning of March 8 at St. Rita Church, here.
Bishop David Malloy reflected on the Gospel reading of the day in his homily, describing the mother of James and John and her poorly timed quest for important positions for her sons in Jesus’ kingdom. She interrupted Jesus as he “bared his human soul” about his upcoming Passion with his apostles, the bishop said.
Although all moms want the best for their children, her request “wasn’t appropriate, and it wasn’t channeled right,” Bishop Malloy said, describing the “cascading effect” of her intrusion on the other apostles. 
“In some ways, it is a summary of Lent itself. … It’s as if we stepped outside (on Ash Wednesday) and there in the distance is a hill with a cross on it, and it’s our task to begin walking … we realize the reason for the cross is our sins … The reason we make such efforts to go to confession … is because He went to the cross for us.
“Then the love … gets more appropriately channeled … the apostles walking that path, recognizing that sometimes we have to be patient with each other … all of this is sort of the Lenten track for us … it leads to freedom, it leads to beauty, it leads to understanding … and the whole piece fits together so that by the time we get to Good Friday, the cross is not just a sign of horror but a sign of strength, and Easter Sunday means everything that it ought to mean for us.”
The Mass was followed by breakfast and socializing in the parish hall.
The event was organized by Claudia Broman, director of the diocesan Office of Charitable Giving. The Mass last year was livestreamed, and all seemed happy for the in-person gathering this year.
Bishop Malloy expressed his thanks in a few remarks following the meal, saying he was “very appreciative of the turnout for this and to get to see you all.”
The Mass and other efforts of the Office of Charitable Giving, Bishop Malloy said, provide “different moments and different ways to say thank you to all of you and many others who have in so many ways enabled elements of the work of the Church, especially here in the diocese.”
He said he and the diocese are aware of the challenges of the markets and numerous other financial sebacks of the past year, all impacting “the possibilities of helping.”
“But beyond that,” he said, “are the generous hearts, the vision of being blessed and using those blessings especially for the work of the Church, especially in ways that take care of the human condition, those who are in need, and perhaps taking care of the faith of others through our programs of education, our programs of marriage, our programs of so many aspects (of faith) … “We need to be witnesses and a shining light at this moment.”
The bishop noted the attendance of Cathy Weightman-Moore, director of Catholic Charities.
“It is kind of one of my hopes,” he said, “that we expand … our Catholic Charities’ opportunities here in the diocese because there is just so much need, so much good, so much being the hands of Christ in those kinds of activities.”
“Mostly (this event) is a very heartfelt word of thanks to all of you,” Bishop Malloy concluded. “To do this in the context, as I said earlier, of a Lenten Mass … this kind of joins me to one of (my childhood Lenten memories) and to be able to do that with you this morning is a great pleasure and a great privilege. To everybody, thank you … for everything that’s going into this.”
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