May 21, 2013

Novi parish surpasses $1 million goal in prayer-based campaign

Parishioners at the Church of the Holy Family in Novi recently surpassed their Changing Lives Together pledge goal, and parish leaders agree on the main reason for their success – prayer. Before fundraising began on the $1 million-plus campaign at Holy Family, Rev. Bob LaCroix recruited parishioners to form a prayer team. The experience proved to be so meaningful, the prayer effort recently became a permanent ministry at the parish, which was founded in 1974.


The Holy Family Prayer Ministry consists of parishioners who believe in the power of prayer and are committed to praying for the parish on a daily basis and in particular for those requests written in the Prayer Request Journal.

  • Each member prays daily in whatever manner and location they desire.
  • Opportunities to pray together in community will be provided periodically throughout the year, and will be communicated for everyone’s participation.

“The parish family has been extraordinarily generous and we’re ecstatic about reaching our goal,” said Father LaCroix. “One of the unanticipated blessings from Changing Lives Together is the way that the Lord has worked through the prayer team,” he continued. “I believe the many brothers and sisters who seriously took on a commitment to pray for our parish is one of the reasons we have been so blessed,” he said. “What we experienced through this prayer team has been so special, we wanted to continue the ministry of prayer for the parish and invite others to join. I think this is the Holy Spirit at work among us. Serious intercession is always the precursor of God working in power,” Father LaCroix said.

Holy Family’s Changing Lives Together contact team solicited intentions through parishioner-to-parishioner phone calls before the campaign began, asking whether anyone had any prayer requests. More than 100 intercession requests resulted from the phone calls, which were forwarded to the prayer team.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron and Nancy Skibinski

Archbishop Vigneron and Nancy Skibinski, parishioner and administrator of the Changing Lives Together campaign at Holy Family.

“I had been praying to be a better intercessor before I even heard about Changing Lives Together, when Father Bob asked me to be one of the prayer leaders on the team,” recalled Anne Smith, a Holy Family parishioner for several years. “It was such a privilege to be asked to pray for the needs of my fellow parishioners, and very humbling to see the many requests coming in,” she explained. “The Holy Family Prayer for Changing Lives Together, which each of the team members prayed daily, asked God to unite us as brothers and sisters – as one Holy Family,” Smith continued. “Praying daily for the needs of my fellow parishioners has done that for me, and has strengthened my own faith in the power of prayer.”

As campaign activity began to wind down, prayer team members realized they didn’t want their praying to end, so they approached Father Bob who endorsed the permanent prayer ministry. A special prayer service was held on April 15 to transition from the campaign effort to a formal Holy Family prayer ministry. The service included Scripture readings and a reflection, followed by Prayers of the Faithful – a compilation of the requests received from parishioners. Father LaCroix blessed the parish prayer request journal and led a procession to the parish courtyard where prayer requests placed in the campaign prayer box were burned.

Holy Family created a parish prayer for their Changing Lives Together initiative. The prayer team also used a calendar through which members set aside a particular day to pray for each of the parish campaign leaders, priests, deacons, and parish staff.

“We may incorporate email and phone calls to receive prayer requests in the future,” said Smith. “We decided to start out in a simple way using the prayer request journal and then depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us in our next steps,” she added. Smith shares Father LaCroix’s opinion on the importance of prayer in Holy Family’s campaign success. “I’m convinced prayer had everything to do with it,” she said.

The prayer ministry team now leads the rosary at Holy Family after the 10:30 am Sunday liturgy and plans to expand it to other weekend liturgies. Holy Family parishioners also pray the rosary every weekday after the 9:00 am Mass and participate in eucharistic adoration Monday through Wednesday between the 9:00 am and 7:00 pm liturgies as well as on Thursdays and Fridays following the 9:00 am Mass until 1:00 pm.

The Holy Family Parish priorities to be funded through Changing Lives Together include bringing Christ to those in need, such as through a new evangelization effort to non-participating Catholics; replenishing financial reserves for building and site maintenance, such as replacing the parish HVAC systems, restroom renovation, and parking lot repairs; and, rejuvenating and enhancing the worship space, such as updating audio visual equipment and installing stained glass windows from closed churches.

With Father LaCroix’s support, the prayer team continues to recruit new members and intercessory requests. “This is a new parish resource, and a call to intensify our ongoing efforts to pray for God’s will and intervention in our lives,” he said. “We now have a team of more than 50 fervent prayer warriors who have been praying for the past several months for numerous intentions,” he explained. “Parishioners who submitted requests have been greatly blessed by the many prayers offered on their behalf, and those on the prayer team have also been blessed in lifting these requests before the Lord each and every day since the first request was received.”

Updated May 2013

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.