The sixth annual #weGiveCatholic online day of Catholic giving is just around the corner on Nov. 30, and excitement is growing. More than 200 Catholic schools, parishes, nonprofits and other Catholic organizations are taking part this year in the 24-hour event.
Many of the participants are using matching gifts to help increase the impact of their donations.
One matching gift – $80,000 – is earmarked to benefit Catholic schools through diocesan tuition assistance. The amount will be divided into two $40,000 gifts, one that will be offered during the morning #weGiveCatholic livestream and the other $40,000 that will be offered during the afternoon livestream. Every $100 online gift to a participating Catholic school will be matched dollar for dollar until the matching gift is depleted in each session.
Log onto the #weGiveCatholic livestream homepage at wegivecatholic.org and watch for the matching gift announcement during the 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. hours.
Sponsor Boyd Watterson also made a $15,000 matching gift that will be announced as “Matching Minutes” at 2 p.m. All gifts from $20 to $500 will be matched dollar for dollar until the $15,000 is gone.
So far, $309,920.80 has been pledged as matching gifts for participating organizations.
Among the participants with the largest matching gifts are Saint Joseph Academy, Cleveland, $55,000; Assumption Parish and School, Broadview Heights, $50,000; St. Francis Xavier School, Medina, $27,300; Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron, $20,000; and St. Malachi Parish, Cleveland, and Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Euclid, each with $17,200.
Other participants pursuing matching grants include St. Ambrose Parish, Brunswick; St. Peter School, North Ridgeville; Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office; St. Brendan Parish and School, North Olmsted; Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, Cleveland; St. James Parish, Lakewood; Jennings; Lake Catholic High School, Mentor; Light of Hearts Villa, Bedford; Regina Health Center, Richfield; Joseph’s Home, Cleveland; Holy Name High School, Parma Heights; St. Paschal Baylon School, Highland Heights; and St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Akron; Camp Christopnher, Bath; St. Hilary School, Fairlawn; St.Malachi Parish, Cleveland; St. Mary Byzantine School, Cleveland; and St. Wendelin Parish, Cleveland.
“These organizations are working so hard to raise awareness and funds through #weGiveCatholic,” said Patrick Grace, executive director of the Catholic Community Foundation, which coordinates the initiative. “Thanks to all who support them and thank you to the sponsors behind the matching gifts. They really do make a difference and help to inspire others to give.”
As matching gifts are received, #weGiveCatholic participants will list them on their sites. Once the #weGiveCatholic campaign page goes live at 12 a.m. on Nov. 30, click on the “matches” tab to see all available matching gifts.
“It seems more important than ever to come together as a community to support and celebrate the Catholic organizations that have shaped our souls with their works of education, formation, worship, and charity,” said Bishop Malesic.
In addition to the matching gifts, many other activities are planned throughout the day on the livestream. Father Don Oleksiak, diocesan vicar general, will kick off the day with prayer at 9 a.m.
At noon, Mass will be offered in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist for the donors who support all ministries of the diocese. Mass is livestreamed on the diocesan website.
The watch party will be livestreamed 9-10:30 a.m., noon to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30-7 p.m. Tune in at weGiveCatholic.org.
During the morning session, there will be live interviews streamed from Holy Trinity School in Avon and St. Rita School in Solon; Christmas music from VASJ; a special appearance by Bishop Edward Malesic to talk about the matching gifts for diocesan tuition assistance and more,
The afternoon livestream will include the noon Mass; live interviews from Catholic Charities at St. Augustine Health Ministries and St. Hilary School in Fairlawn; Christmas music by Catholic music artist Taylor Tripodi; Father Damian Ference, vicar for evangelization, will introduce the audience to some diocesan seminarians; the Archbishop Hoban steel drum band will perform and more.
During the evening livestream, Father Dan Schlegel, vicar for clergy and religious, will lead evening prayer and head into the kitchen to show how he makes his famous cinnamon rolls; St. Malachi Parish’s Back Door Ministry will be highlighted; and Father Ference will give an invitation to participate in Nine Nights of Night Prayer, which begins Nov. 30. Closing out the session will be an Advent reflection and a performance by the Cathedral Choir from the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
Serving as hosts throughout the day will be Miguel Chavez, director of the Office of Missionary Disciples; Father Ference; Mike Hayes, director of the Young Adult Ministry Office; Dene Hummon from the Office of Education; and Brooke Uehlein of the Communications Office.
The events also can be viewed on Facebook and YouTube and some participants are planning their own livestream sessions.