By Margaret Hampton
Although there are many obstacles in life, we are full of hope because we have our faith. Our hope helps us draw closer to Christ despite the ups and downs of life.
For the 2023 Idaho Catholic Appeal that kicks off during Lent, Bishop Peter Christensen chose the theme “A Future Full of Hope,” and the scripture passage from 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.”
In the Bishop’s video message to parishioners this year, he states, “Even in the hardships of everyday life, God’s love knows no bounds. This is the hope that the Church must bring to people who have no idea how much God loves them. This is how the Church meets people where they are – the sick, the broken, the fallen away – and brings them to Jesus.”
Hope brings joy, peace, strength, and provides a way forward even in the worst of conditions. When life’s brokenness and messiness lead us to Jesus, ultimately, we will find hope. Hope propels us toward a better future, it builds up our faith and that
of others, and it promotes change.
What does it mean that God first loved us? The love that He has for you today is not a new love. It is a love that He had for you before the foundation of the world. He has always known you and has always loved you.
How do you know that God knows you and loves you? You know because He said so, 310 times. That’s the number of times God professes His love for us in the Bible.
God’s love working within us prompts us to love are care for one another. Through your gift to the Idaho Catholic Appeal, you have the opportunity to express the love of God to others: from incarcerated persons to college students, to children preparing for the sacraments, to men and women discerning a call to serve the Church through the priesthood, the diaconate or consecrated life. All of these are served as a result of the Idaho Catholic Appeal and their lives are transformed.
As part of your almsgiving during this Lenten season, you are invited to join your neighbors in supporting the more than 20 ICA-funded ministries that provide healing, outreach, prayer, and encounter throughout Idaho.
Our goal for the 83 parishes and missions combined is $3,300,000. That’s a 3 percent increase from the previous year.
You can read more about the Appeal on pages 8 and 9 of today’s Idaho Catholic Register. You can also learn more and make an online gift by visiting our website at catholicidaho.org/ica . You can also give by calling 208-342-1311.
Thank you, in advance, for your loyal support of the Idaho Catholic Appeal and for providing “A Future Full of Hope” for the next generation.
Margaret Hampton is the development coordinator for the Diocese of Boise.
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