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Saint Andrew Catholic Church

Father ShcakelfordFather Christopher Shackelford was faced with a dilemma. The explosive growth in his town was making it increasingly difficult to support the needs of his parish, let alone the community. As the first bilingual pastor of Saint Andrew, he already was serving five masses each weekend—two of which were in Spanish. The parish had a growing youth program, hoped to develop an active Life Teen program, and was home to three permanent deacons. Father Shackelford knew he needed a plan that would foster and enhance the sense of commitment and dedication among his parishioners. So, he turned to Cathedral Corporation.

Cathedral discovered that less than one-third of the 2,400 registered parishioners were part of the mailed offering program. As a result, Father Shackelford decided to upgrade to the bilingual Liturgical Series envelope program, include bilingual pastoral letters, and mail them bi-monthly to 100% of the parish.

“The insertion of pastoral letters has been a cost effective way to reach out to the parish community with stewardship education, important information, pastoral encouragement, and most importantly, heartfelt thanks for their growing support and continued prayers,” said Father Shackelford. “I believe it is important for all registered parishioners to take part in the community through their participation and support.”

Since the implementation of the updated mailings, participation in the program is up to 40% and increased giving has steadily held between 18% and 22%. The additional annual expense of mailing envelopes to the entire parish family was recovered in the first month’s weekly offerings. Not only has the parish increased regular weekly support, but are also quickly closing in on the 50% mark of a large Capital Campaign to expand a facility that is literally bursting at the seams. (The present parish hall only seats 100, and 10 classrooms accommodate a religious education program with more than 900 students.) They hope to be able to break ground soon on a new Family Life Center that will include nine additional meeting rooms, a commercial kitchen, and a hall to seat 1,000.

Saint Andrew’s ministry reaches far beyond its parish walls; they provide the only active soup kitchen open Monday through Friday—serving lunch to anyone in need—as well as a very active Saint Vincent de Paul Society. Providing the Channelview area with over $3,000 in support each month, Saint Andrew Catholic Parish has truly reached from within to build a parish community of God’s people.

Channelview, Texas
September 2006

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