With proper recognition of previous donors cited as a key to the start of this year’s Diocesan Development Fund appeal, four “thank you” receptions were held for contributors in each deanery of the state following Masses celebrated by Bishop David B. Thompson.
The events took place last month at Prince of Peace Church in Taylors on Jan. 18 and at St. Peter Church in Columbia on Jan. 25. This month, ceremonies were held at St. Andrew Parish in Myrtle Beach on Feb. 8 and St. Francis by the Sea on Hilton Head Island Feb. 15.
Greg Bowden, DDF assistant, said the receptions were “well received” and that parishioners were “thankful the bishop came to their community.”
He estimated that 2,500 people attended all four events, which he called “a high priority of the bishop.”
Bowden also emphasized that Bishop Thompson, “stepped into the parish schedule,” celebrating the last Sunday morning liturgy at each church.
For the Pee Dee reception, Bishop Thompson left North Augusta at 5 a.m. Sunday morning to drive 225 miles to St. Andrew’s Church to express his appreciation for the support given by the parishes there to the Diocesan Development Fund.
“The inspired words of God are meant just as much for us as they were for Isaiah and Paul and Peter,” he said in his homily. “We are asked to spread the good news of salvation.”
Bishop Thompson stated that Henry Ford bought a new car only once. “As strange as it may seem, it was not a Ford. In today’s reading we are not selling automobiles. We are selling a message of salvation. Each of the readings has the Henry Ford syndrome in it.” The bishop referred to the ad slogan: “Have you driven a Ford lately?”
“I come here today to show my appreciation for those who have been very, very generous in giving,” Bishop Thompson emphasized. “This is, as they would say in baseball, Fan Appreciation Day.”
In the future, Bowden said the receptions will move to different parishes each year, and that pastors will be encouraged to send a delegation to each donor recognition event.
Tim Bullard and Jordan McMorrough contributed to the above article.