The Archbishop’s Appeal had a relatively quiet year in 2016 as compared with 2015 which culminated in the re-opening and re-dedication of the Cathedral. Having successfully completed structural, emergency and decorative works on this historic building, the Archdiocese of Port of Spain has not incurred any debt due to the due diligence and fundraising initiatives of the Archbishop’s Appeal.
There was a decline in donations in 2016 due mainly to the downturn in the local economy and, of course, the perception that the Cathedral restoration was complete.
Notwithstanding, the Appeal was able to raise $3,259,326, and after expenses of $817,589, remained with $2,441,737 to put towards the Archbishop’s projects. Archbishop Harris decided that 80 per cent of the funds raised was to be split between Catholic education and restoration of St Francis Church and other heritage churches in the archdiocese.
The Archbishop allocated 15 per cent for other special projects and the remaining 5 per cent towards Administration expenses. All in all, 90 per cent of all funds raised are remitted to the archdiocese for its projects.
When we look at the cumulative position from inception to December 31, 2016, after remitting $56,810,516 to the Archdiocese for the Cathedral restoration and other special projects, the balance of $6,106,885 remained. This represented funds which were committed to restoration costs incurred and retention due to contractors on the Cathedral and other parish and archdiocesan projects.
The Lydian sacred concert held on Palm Saturday in the Cathedral raised $90K and it was a pleasure to donate all proceeds to the St Vincent de Paul Society as they continue their yeoman service to those less fortunate.
A new direction
2016 was a year to regroup and direct efforts in a new direction. Focus was placed on revamping of the Appeal’s Facebook and website. It was also a time to express gratitude and give thanks to Almighty God, and to those who assisted whether by prayers or donations in bringing this project to fruition.
While the Cathedral was reopened, there remained a few items that needed completion. At present, attention is being given to the sound system, improving security arrangements, landscaping and completion of the perimeter fence and gates. Donations towards these items as well as maintenance of our Mother Church continue to be needed to save this heritage site from returning to a state of disrepair.
A business case was made to purchase rather than rent scaffolding during the restoration. It was both more cost effective and afforded the opportunity of renting out the scaffolding to raise funds for the continued maintenance of the Cathedral.
This decision has not only resulted in generating income of over $500K but has also allowed for millions in cost savings for the archdiocese and many parishes have benefitted.
A review of this Archdiocesan asset was done and given current market conditions, the scaffold is now being offered to parishes free of charge.
Future outlook – much more than raising funds
OUR LADY OF FATIMA PROJECT— JOURNEY OF PEACE
Our Lady of Fatima Project, the Journey of Peace, was launched on December 31, 2016 in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in commemoration of the centennial of Our Lady of Fatima. This project is, without a doubt, a most inspiring and phenomenal project of unity and much-needed peace within our archdiocese and our country.
As at the date of writing, our precious statue has visited 19 parishes in 15 clusters across all six vicariates as well as two Catholic secondary schools. The first visit was made to St Joseph RC Church, Scarborough, Tobago and the crowning of the statue was ceremoniously done at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Laventille on May 13, the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady.
Our statue has been warmly welcomed with love, excitement and expectation of wonderful things in every church visited. Greeted with tears of joy and faithfully venerated by many seeking peace; the old and young, the sick, the worried and families of many different faiths, there has been a groundswell movement of people returning to Church and saying the rosary. So far, about 90,000 rosaries have been distributed free of charge to the faithful.
There are amazing reports of metanoia of hearts, conversions and confirmation of faith as many have testified about marvelous things that Our Lady has done and continues to do for them through their visits. It is by the building of God’s kingdom through active discipleship and through love of God and neighbour that we develop a culture of harmony and unity.
The annual collection towards the Archbishop’s Appeal is on the weekend of November 25 and 26. The entire weekend collection at every parish will go towards the Appeal.
The Appeal asks for the prayers and continued support of the faithful as they endeavor to fulfil their mandate under the direction of the Archbishop, to raise funds to support the Catholic mission.
WAYS TO GIVE
Cheques or Direct Deposits should be made payable to:
RC ABP POS /Archbishop’s Appeal
at any branch of the following Banks:
Account Number: 3400 0076 8901
Scotia Bank Ltd
Account Number: 74815 1203181
RBC Bank Limited
Account Number: 11000 00006 66705
First Citizens Bank Ltd
Account Number: 1877233
Cheques or Direct Deposits for Mary Project should be made payable to:
RC ABP POS/Mary Project
Account Number; 340800759901
All donations can be dropped off at:
The Chancery Archbishop’s House
27 Maraval Road
Port of Spain
Deeds of Covenant
Take advantage of a tax benefit. Registration of your donation via Deed with BIR can be arranged at the Chancery.