Bishop Robert J. Baker has launched a campaign to fund the building of St. Joseph Residence, special living quarters for retired clergy to be added on to the Carter-May Home in Charleston. The goal of this effort involves an upgrading of the Carter-May facility and two additional wings added to the building, one for clergy and one for lay people.
Michael Gocsik, secretary of the Office of Stewardship and Mission Advancement, answered questions about the campaign for The Miscellany.
TNCM: A second collection for retired religious has been scheduled for the week of Dec. 8. Is this collection the same as the one for the St. Joseph’s Residence Fund Dec. 1-2?
Gocsik: No, the second collection for retired religious is completely separate from the St. Joseph Residence Fund. The St. Joseph Residence will be a special wing of the Carter-May Home for our retired diocesan clergy. This is a one-time request for this facility. The appeal is beginning Dec. 1-2 because the mission and goal of the St. Joseph Residence was far too great to delay any further.
The second collection for retired religious is an annual collection, sponsored by the United States Catholic Council of Bishops. Its purpose is to help defray some of the unfunded liability of elderly sisters, brothers and religious order priests from across the country.
TNCM: How does the St. Joseph Residence Fund relate to the Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal?
Gocsik: The St. Joseph Residence Fund is not related to the Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal. The Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal is an annual fund that supports the Office of Vocations among other ministries and organizations throughout the diocese. The St. Joseph Residence Fund is a special, one-time only request.
TNCM: If a parishioner tithes, how does this additional request relate to his or her giving?
Gocsik: Bishop Baker has encouraged everyone in the Diocese of Charleston to begin his or her journey toward tithing or sacrificial giving. He asks each individual and family to consider contributing 5 percent of their income to their parish, 4 percent to charities of their choice, and 1 percent to the diocese.
If someone is currently giving 1 percent to the diocese, Bishop Baker is asking the individual to prayerfully consider giving a portion of what he or she would have designated to other charities, toward this one-time, special request. For example, instead of giving 4 percent to other charities, consider giving 3 percent and giving 2 percent to the diocese to support the St. Joseph Residence Fund and the Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal.
TNCM: Can people leave a gift in memory or honor of a priest who has touched their life?
Gocsik: Absolutely! When parishioners receive their special envelope, there will be a space provided for the name of a priest that will be honored or commemorated. If someone is sending in a contribution at a later date, or lost his or her envelope, just be sure to include the priest’s name on a piece of paper. These gifts can also be in honor of priests outside of the Diocese of Charleston.
TNCM: When will construction begin?
Gocsik: If we raise our goal of $2 million, we anticipate beginning construction in the fall of 2002.
TNCM: How can people make a gift to the St. Joseph Residence Fund?
Gocsik: They can contribute to the St. Joseph Residence Fund in several ways. Parishes will be sending out a special collection envelope along with a letter from Bishop Baker. People can choose to pay through placing a contribution in the envelope and sending it in the mail or can support the St. Joseph Residence Fund directly by sending a check (payable to the Diocese of Charleston: St. Joseph’s Residence Fund) along with any memorial requests to The Diocese of Charleston P.O. Box 300, Charleston, SC 29402. All individuals/families interested in making a contribution have the opportunity to do so by Dec. 31. 2001. We also accept credit card donations by calling the Office of Stewardship and Mission Advancement at (843) 853-2130 Ext. 212.