March 30, 2012

Armada parish focuses Changing Lives Together on renewing sacramental life among parish members

By any measure, the Changing Lives Together campaign has been a success at St. Mary Mystical Rose in Armada. More than 140 registered households at the northern Macomb County parish have pledged $263,000 toward the parish goal of $285,000. Parishioners have become more of a family through the campaign, with dozens starting or participating in projects to strengthen the parish. The main goal, though, is to reach all of the nearly 440 families that belong to the parish to increase Mass attendance and a return to full sacramental life.

St. Mary CLT Team

The Changing Lives Together campaign leadership team at St. Mary Mystical Rose. Rev. Siaosi E. Patau, pastor of the Armada parish is on the right.

Changing Lives Together at St. Mary Mystical Rose began a year ago and parishioners are continuing to work toward their goals – financially and sacramentally. “We think everyone who regularly attends Mass has made a pledge by now,” said Marcia Pingel-Golab, a 28-year parishioner and Campaign Chair of Changing Lives Together at the parish. “Our goal is to get all our registered families to participate in the campaign and more importantly, to attend Mass,” she said. “We want all families to fill out a pledge card letting us know how they can support the parish – either through prayer, by giving of their time or expertise, or by making a financial gift.”

Campaign leaders are reaching out to all parishioners by including several families by name as part of the prayer intentions in the Prayers of the Faithful at each Mass.  “We will eventually include everyone registered in the parish,” Pingel-Golab said. “We’ve worked to do more through Changing Lives Together than raise money. We’re using the campaign as a way to reach those who haven’t been regularly attending Mass, and welcome them back into the parish family. It’s a big concern to get those back that don’t attend. It’s not so much the money we care about, it is seeing people return to the sacraments,” she added.

St. Mary Volunteers

Parish campaign volunteers Keith Lewis and Rob Golab, with Rev. Siaosi Patau, Pastor of St. Mary Mystical Rose.

The campaign at St. Mary’s will fund extensive church renovations. “We built a narthex several years ago with cash,” explained Pingel-Golab. “The parish has no debt, so we’re ready to take on the next phase of renovations to build a new entrance to the church, bring the entire building up to code, and create a more usable worship space.” At the invitation of Rev. Siaosi Patau, St. Mary’s pastor, Archbishop Vigneron attended a parish campaign event last year. “It was very helpful. We felt flattered and special that the Archbishop came to our little parish,” said Pingel-Golab.

Some parishioners have gone well beyond completing a campaign pledge card. “We have a young woman in her 20’s that started a 5K run as part of the Armada Holly Days celebration in December. “She did a bunch of publicity to sign up runners, got the race officially sanctioned, signed up volunteers, and raised more than $1,000 for the parish campaign. Another woman has organized a craft show in October at the church, with all the funds raised going to the campaign. Parishioners are really stepping up to help our cause.”

St. Mary Campaign Leaders

St. Mary campaign leaders Karen Klapatch, Robert Johnson, and Marcia Pingel-Golab at a Changing Lives Together reception.

“The campaign has brought the parish closer together. I see more friendliness and fellowship among parishioners after Mass,” said Pingel-Golab. “People seem to be talking more with each other and staying together after Mass longer than they did before the campaign.”

Pingel-Golab serves as a lector and, as a professional accountant, is a member of the parish finance council. “Father Patau had only been here for a few months, so I was happy to help – a little scared of what I’d gotten into, but honored to be asked to lead the effort. It is inspiring work and a very fulfilling experience witnessing the generosity of my friends and neighbors giving to their parish despite the economy that has affected everyone in this community.”

Updated:  April 2012

Changing Lives Together is a series of parish campaigns to generate resources to fulfill parish-developed plans and priorities. Learn more about the initiative in your parish.