Annual Mass Gives Thanks
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 14, 2024

ROCKFORD—The annual Mass of Thanksgiving for donors to the Diocese of Rockford was held Wednesday, March 6, at St. Rita Church.

The annual event welcomed a few dozen people for Mass where Bishop David Malloy spoke about faith and the important Church seasons, including Lent, which “tends to pull us out of this individualism, this getting (our) focus on the day-to-day and therefore on myself, and therefore on my opinions, and therefore the kinds of things that ultimately are the basis of sin itself.”

He quoted Pope Leo the Great, “O, Christian, remember your dignity,” and added, “that’s what brings us further out of ourselves and into the focus of faith, and that joining and uniting with it.”

The bishop also noted the need of every Catholic to share their faith with others, particularly to pass it on to their children. “Let us recognize the gift of faith that has been given to us, and it’s not just given to us, it’s entrusted to us … to protect it, to enter into it, to love it … sharing it more widely,” he said.

A meal followed in the parish hall where guests were welcome to linger and visit for as long as they wished.

“This is an informal breakfast, brunch following the Mass, and its whole theme is to say ‘thank you,’”
Bishop Malloy noted before leading the meal blessing. “I was told that last year … people stayed around and had a whole other urn of coffee, which is exactly what the game plan is here, to just have a morning … just to say ‘thank you’ and to say how good it is for us to be together, not only as a matter of faith but as a matter of the goodness that flows from that, one to the other.”

Several members of the diocesan staff from various offices were present at the gathering to mingle and meet everyone, to answer questions, and to share about the ministries “that your funds help support,” said Claudia Broman, director of the Office of Charitable Giving. Representatives included those from the Catholic Foundation, the Education Office and Catholic Charities.

The bishop expanded on that staff presence in his closing remarks.

“I think we really need to see that kind of work (of the diocesan offices and staff) as being an extension of you, of ourselves,” Bishop Malloy said. “We’ve got folks to do (diocesan and charitable works) with us, for us, on our behalf, in our name, united to us because of the contributions and so on. It’s a great message, and it’s a great reality …

“This is a direct help for my work, and my responsibilities, my mission … (this morning) is just an opportunity to say thanks to everybody. And if you want, there’s going to be a fifth urn of coffee.”


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