September 24, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Since 1905 Catholic Extension has partnered with Catholic organizations and universities throughout the country to develop strategic initiatives and funding to support the needs of mission dioceses. The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is one of 87 “Mission Dioceses” supported in some ways by Catholic Extension. Their Mission is all about “Building Faith, Inspiring Hope, Igniting Change.”
Over the last 10 years our diocese has received $1.1 million in funding with a 10-year additional impact revenue of $1.8 million. In this time our local Church has been the recipient of 128 Grants and 7 Church Building Grants. Monies received have been used for leadership training, extending church presence to the most under-resourced communities, renovation of church facilities, enhancing faith formation for children, teens, and young adults and families, assisting the Church in increasing fundraising capabilities and enhancing social outreach. We owe a debt of gratitude to Catholic Extension for all of their efforts.
Having just returned from the Bishops Mission Conference sponsored by Catholic Extension in Chicago, Illinois, I was blessed to meet and interact with brother bishops from other Mission Dioceses. We have a charge to go forth and reach the peripheries so that we leave no one behind. We are all called to be “missionary disciples.” We stand on mission lands, but the peripheries can often be dismissed or invisible. Thanks to Catholic Extension, we are not alone.
As we forge ahead, I invite you to help us to identify the peripheries in our diocese. In the spirit of our Holy Father, Pope Francis and the theme from the recent conference “Let us Dream Together.” If you see a particular need on the periphery or have a dream for outreach of some kind, please put in writing and forward to Monsignor Robert Siffrin, Vicar General.
Be assured of a remembrance in my prayers. I hope you will do the same for me. Together, let us pray, “That All May Be One.”
Fraternally in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Bonnar
Bishop of Youngstown