Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On the day my appointment by Pope Francis as the Archbishop of Chicago was announced, Cardinal George noted that transitions in leadership always have the benefit of bringing a fresh set of eyes. I can tell you that my eyes have remained wide open with delight as I have seen firsthand the unique qualities of the lay men and women, priests and religious of this great local Church. There is an unparalleled strength and vigor in Chicago’s Catholic community, which has historically been recognized far and wide, to the point that many dioceses in our country have been blessed by the deep faith and dedication of people from here.
All of this makes me quite honored to be your archbishop and to take up the task of leading an important effort begun by Cardinal George, namely, the To Teach Who Christ Is capital campaign.
The Cardinal shared with me the needs which the campaign will address and why the very ambitious goal of $350 million has been set. A majority of the funds raised will be returned to parishes for their unique needs. Building strong parishes is essential to current and future generations of Catholics, and $150 million will directly benefit the needs, and reward the efforts, of our parishes. Also vital is ensuring Catholic education is always available to families in need. A second $150 million is being directed to the newly established Catholic Education Scholarship Trust to ensure scholarship awards are available to our children, our grandchildren, and even their children! This endowed fund truly helps guarantee excellence in Catholic education in perpetuity. How exciting it is to see faith formation being taken to a new, innovative level, and support given to catechists, as well as facility and life safety issues being addressed at our most vulnerable churches and properties.
My simple request to you is to join the thousands of Catholics across the Archdiocese who have already pledged a gift to the campaign. By coming together to support the needs of today and tomorrow we not only will benefit from our partnership with one another, but also be true to the rich heritage of our ancestors who built our churches and schools and established educational and social programs that have enriched all of our lives. We can have that same kind of impact on the Church for years to come, ever faithful to our call To Teach Who Christ Is.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich
Archbishop of Chicago