2018 CHAIRPERSONS

BERKS COUNTY

Matt & Sandi Lloyd

Sharing our blessings is an important part of our Catholic faith. That’s why it is an honor for us to serve as 2018 Bishop’s Annual Appeal Chairs for Berks County.

The Bishop’s Annual Appeal supports education for children with special needs, preparation for seminarians, care for our retired priests, Catholic Charities services, parish programs through the Office of Catholic Life and Evangelization, and more. Your gift to the Appeal will bring the light of Christ home to Berks County, and it will help Bishop Schlert address the needs of our entire Diocesan family of faith.

At his Ordination, Bishop Schlert offered a mission statement composed when he was Pastor of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, Hellertown.  In that mission statement, Bishop Schlert called us to be “a Roman Catholic family of faith, centered in the Holy Eucharist, faithful to the Church’s teachings, bringing the light of Christ to each other and to our community.”

Through this year’s Bishop’s Annual Appeal, we are all called to serve in this mission which Bishop Schlert describes as “work for a lifetime.”  Thank you for prayerfully considering a gift to the 2018 Bishop’s Annual Appeal.

 

CARBON COUNTY

Ric & Kathy Reaman

It is truly an honor for us to serve as the Carbon County Chairpersons for the 2018 Bishop’s Annual Appeal.  Over the past few years, so much has changed where we worship and where our children attend school. As a result, many of us may have grown distant and lost the connection we felt with the Church.  Many of us may have even stopped supporting the Appeal since we didn’t think it benefits the faithful in Carbon and Schuylkill counties. Well, it certainly does!

The Bishop’s Annual Appeal helps Carbon County in many ways, benefiting our communities today and in the future.  To support our local needs today, financial support from the Appeal helps to fund the Catholic Charities’ Schuylkill/ Carbon office which provides pregnancy support, counseling services, and outreach programs for our older parishioners.  The Appeal also helps take care of the needs of our retired Priests. For the future, the Appeal underwrites Bishop’s Scholarship Awards for our local students attending Catholic High Schools. The Appeal provides grants for our Elementary schools and supports academic programs serving our school-aged children.  The Bishop’s Annual Appeal also funds our Seminarians on their journey. Today, we are fortunate enough to have a Seminarian from Palmerton.

These are all very worthwhile programs that benefit our parish communities both now and into the future.  The size and reach of these programs would certainly be minimized without your continued, increasing support of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.  

For many of us, there are new chapters yet to come.  It is important for all of us to focus on the common thread that joins us Together – our Catholic Faith.  The Church is not a building, pews and stained glass. It is the good that we can accomplish when we allow our Faith to bring us together.  Now is the time to rebuild, to look forward to our future, and to build a stronger church family and community together.

Please join us.  Together we can build a stronger Church in Carbon County!

 

LEHIGH COUNTY

Ed & Louise Bechtel

We were both raised to share the gifts God gave us: time, talents and treasure.  That may be in sharing our voices in our parish choir, volunteering within our community, or sharing material gifts with others less fortunate.  The Bishop’s Annual Appeal serves as a vehicle by which our gifts are directed to those in great need in our diocese.

We have also witnessed the support of Catholic education by the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.  Our four children attended St. John Neumann Regional School and Allentown Central Catholic High School  The schools have benefited from grants to update facilities. We have also witnessed social services provided through the diocese.  The Slatington Library, where Louise works, serves as a neutral site where representatives of Catholic Charities meet with clients. When a suddenly homeless woman evicted from her apartment showed up at the library, a call to the Catholic Charities resulted in her daughter being notified and a temporary solution found.  We are gratified to know that our donations are used to do so much good. God has been good to us. We have been blessed in so many ways. The Bishop’s Annual Appeal gives us the opportunity to share those blessings. We are humbled to be asked to represent the Lehigh County as chairs for the 2018 Appeal.

 

NORTHAMPTION COUNTY

Irene & Michael Kolessar

We are honored to serve as chairpersons for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal in the Northampton County.

Scripture teaches us that faith which does nothing in practice is thoroughly lifeless.  As Catholics, we are called to reach out in love to all of our brothers and sisters in Christ… to be the heart and hands of Jesus in ministering to those in need.  Through our contributions to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, we are able to support the work of Catholic Charities, minister to the elderly, and help to educate our children – including those with special needs – in faith-based settings.  Also, the Bishop’s Annual Appeal allows us to do more than pray for vocations; we’re able to not only support the formation of seminarians, priests, and deacons but also to provide for the care of retired priests who have dedicated their lives to serving God and his people.

We wish it were possible to give time to all of these worthwhile and important efforts.  But through our prayers and our support of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, we know we’re making a difference in the lives of many.

 

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY

Frank & Suzanne Fox

We are humbled to serve as the Chairs of the 2018 Bishop’s Annual Appeal for the Schuylkill County Deanery.  As we reflect on this responsibility, it brings to mind how truly blessed we are, and reinforces more than ever the need for us all to respond to Christ’s call to feed the hungry, give drink to those who thirst, welcome those who are strangers, clothe the naked, and visit those who are ill, or in prison, as we’re not here for ourselves.

James 2:14:17 My brothers, what good is it to profess faith without practicing it?  Such faith has no power to save one, has it? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and no food for the day, and you say to them, “Goodbye and good luck! Keep warm and well fed,” but do not meet their bodily needs, what good is that?  So it is with the faith that does nothing in practice. It is thoroughly lifeless.

In today’s fast-paced society, the pressures of our responsibilities, commitments, and the lack of time creates a delicate balance between faith, family, and work.  Therefore, with so little time, but so many requests, how does one discern between the most pressing needs of our community.

For us, our faith, trust, and support lie in the programs and outreach directed by our successor of the Apostles, our Bishop, the Most Reverend Alfred Schlert.  Through his Annual Appeal, we believe the neediest are served, as taught by Christ, and fulfilled through His One True Church.

Therefore, we humbly request your support to continue these efforts that provide for those less fortunate.  No gift is ever too small. As Saint Paul said, “Everyone must give according to what he has inwardly decided; not sadly, not grudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  Together we can accomplish much.