In each issue of The East Tennessee Catholic, important topics relating to the Home campaign will be covered.
Since the launch of the campaign in September that will raise needed funds for parishes, priest retirement, charitable programs, Catholic education, and cathedral development, parishioners throughout the Diocese of Knoxville — and visitors — have been submitting questions about the campaign and commenting on it, including this observation:
A trip through Knoxville and an unexpected visit to All Saints Catholic Church recently prompted a woman from Texas to make a financial gift to the Home campaign.
Attending Mass at All Saints Church on Sept. 27, this woman said she heard the words of Father Michael Woods, pastor of All Saints, and was moved to return an anniversary gift and donate the money to the campaign.
In a note to diocesan priests titled “A Stranger Shows Us the Way,” Father Woods touched on the topic of giving and the numerous times Jesus encountered a stranger whose faith amazed Him.
“In late September, I gave a homily that introduced my parish to the Home campaign,” Father Woods said. “A week later, I received a letter from a woman whom I have never met, that touched me because of her understanding of God and Church.”
Father Woods’ note and the woman’s letter were delivered to priests in an e-mail from Bishop Richard F. Stika on Nov. 14.
In his e-mail, Bishop Stika said he wanted to share the note because “I think it truly hits at the heart of what we are doing through the Home campaign.”
“This campaign isn’t about money—it’s about mission and ministry,” Bishop Stika said. “It’s about helping build God’s Kingdom. I thought this letter really personalized this important message.”
In the note, Father Woods admitted he has been “climbing uphill” to get his part of the Home campaign off the ground, but said the letter has “filled me with amazement, wonder and encouragement.”