January 11, 2012

Prayerful giving brings success to parish in Orchard Lake

Our Lady of Refuge Reception

Father McEnhill and Archbishop Vigneron with Our Lady of Refuge campaign co-chairs Phillip Mansour (left) and Michael Blanek (right). Father McEnhill and parish representatives joined the Archbishop for a Mass and reception at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in preparation for the campaign.

More than 360 parish households at Our Lady of Refuge have responded to a straightforward call from their pastor, Father Gerald McEnhill – consider a set of parish priorities, pray for God’s guidance to fund those priorities, and make a sacrificial commitment greater than initially thought possible.

The approach is working at the Orchard Lake parish, where parishioners have surpassed a $700,000 goal with nearly $962,000 in pledges to Changing Lives Together. “From the start, we believed the key element should be prayer,” said Father McEnhill. “Changing Lives Together at our parish is about stewardship, and stewardship is a statement of faith. It is about recognizing that all we have comes from God,” he added. “We are all instruments of the Lord, and giving is one important way to acknowledge and act on that.”

It also helped to provide parishioners a clear understanding of how Changing Lives Together would affect Our Lady of Refuge. “We set out to eliminate our $138,000 parish debt, reduce our energy expenses by putting new windows in our buildings, fix the parish parking lot, and establish a Stephen’s Outreach Ministry,” explained Father McEnhill. The Stephen’s ministry is an evangelization program that helps parishioners in crisis to heal through prayer and the listening ear of fellow parishioners.

In a campaign that began in September 2011, parishioners fulfilling their pledges have already enabled the parish to reduce its debt by $43,000. Detailed updates on the parish campaign are published on the parish website, including funds received, as well as a parish-produced video that proved popular with parishioners in the campaign launch. “We have definitely seen an increase in parishioner involvement at Our Lady of Refuge,” said Father McEnhill.

Changing Lives Together has proven to be the most successful campaign in Father McEnhill’s seven-year tenure at Our Lady of Refuge. “I thought we would reach our target but I didn’t expect us to surpass it by as much as we have,” he said. “That shows you what prayer can do.”

Updated: January 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.