Called to Renew: Reflection from a Pastor
by Father Jesús Herrera
translated from Spanish
Greetings and blessings to those who are part of this wonderful project that is Called to Renew. I have had a very pleasant experience with the Campaign, through my ministerial and pastoral life at the church of Santa Isabel of Portugal located in East Los Angeles.
I must say that at first, like other fellow priests, I felt immense smallness in the face of the great challenge of raising $500 million. Knowing the economic condition of parishioners in my community, such an undertaking seemed like David’s struggle against Goliath.
However, as we progressed in the Campaign plan and participated in the meetings, the optimism of Archbishop Gomez and his closest collaborators dispelled doubts and affirmed the conviction that this Campaign is accompanied by the sign of Providence – it is a spiritual good that has a material substrate. The Campaign really put order in the life of the parish. By its very nature the Campaign intended to reinforce the principle of belonging in the community and to give each parishioner the opportunity to know and feel like a present and active member of the Church. With this conviction, the Campaign achieved its goal!
Called to Renew came to reinforce the spiritual bonds that society demands of us as witnesses of a faith truly committed by the Church in the world.
I thank God, as the main inspiration for these types of actions for the good of the Church; Archbishop Gomez, as a leader and supporter of the Campaign; and CCS Fundraising, as the firm that coordinated and carried forward on the battlefield of this great project (and which, I must say, put into practice the great experience they have accumulated over seven decades in such endeavors).
What I want to highlight the most as a result of this successful experience is the need to follow the prompt directions of those who carry out the Campaign. Campaign leadership are the ones who have the solid foundation to lead us to success. I was able to personally see the effectiveness of the CCS Fundraising plan when we followed their instructions precisely. In the Campaign, you do not improvise – you have a very clear the goal to achieve and are provided the tools to be able to reach your goal.
With deep gratitude to God and the Archdiocese for this proposal, we united the parish community under this noble and necessary archdiocesan effort, regardless of the economic result (which was great at our parish).
"If I am hungry, I am faced with a material problem; but, if you are hungry, I am facing a spiritual problem." – Nicolás Berdiaeff
If I do not have any food to eat, then my problem is material; but if you do not have any food to eat, then I could no longer eat in peace. Your need affects my spiritual stability.
Rev. Jesús Herrera
Pastor, Santa Isabel of Portugal