August 2, 2013

Pastor wraps pro-life effort, parishioner home visits, and 200-mile pilgrimage into campaign success

Fr. Joseph Gembala decided to dedicate his silver anniversary as a priest to ensure the success of Changing Lives Together at St. Malachy Parish in Sterling Heights.

Sterling Heights– The pastor of St. Malachy Parish in Sterling Heights decided last year that his parish volunteers were doing enough, and it would need to be his responsibility to conduct the parish Changing Lives Together campaign.

Fr. Joseph Gembala made it an intensely personal effort. After consulting with parish leaders to determine parish priorities, they decided to time the campaign to coincide with Fr. Gembala’s 25-year anniversary as a priest. Fr. Gembala then determined to put to use his 16 years of experience as pastor at St. Malachy by personally visiting as many parishioner households as he could to explain the campaign and ask for their support.

“I made about 600 home visits,” he said. “I walked to some, drive to others, whatever it took.” St. Malachy parishioners have pledged more than $498,000 to the campaign, surpassing the archdiocesan target.

Read full article at

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.