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RENEW International Announces
40
th Anniversary Capital Campaign: Forward at 40
at Mass of Thanksgiving

RENEW International has announced the public phase of the Forward at 40 fundraising campaign celebrating RENEW’s 40 years of ministry to parishes throughout the world.

The Forward at 40 Campaign will raise funds for four RENEW priorities: 1) Engaging young adults and young families in the Catholic faith, 2) growing Ignatian Business Chapters (faith, work, and leadership small group program), 3) building organizational capacity, and 4) ensuring RENEW’s future through its endowment.
The goal of the national campaign is to raise $4 million. To date, RENEW has raised more than $2.5M million. The successful fund drive will ensure that RENEW’s impact will continue and that its future is a vibrant one.

The campaign co-chairs are Jack Norris and Joseph Franzetti; honorary co-chairs are Peter Lynch, president of the Lynch Foundation, and Msgr. Thomas Kleissler, co-founder of RENEW.

A lead campaign gift of $1 million has been made by the Lynch Foundation. Peter Lynch said, “The Lynch Foundation has been a proud supporter of RENEW International for almost three decades. Carolyn and I were able to participate in ARISE Together in Christ in our own parish, Star of the Sea in Marblehead (Massachusetts), as well as travel to Nigeria and India to experience RENEW's impact on parish revitalization throughout the world. We are excited to continue our partnership with RENEW as it engages young families in the Church with Baptism Matters and future sacrament-related programs for new generations of Catholics. With our investment in the endowment, we hope that this work will continue for years to come.”

The capital campaign was announced on Nov. 4 during the final event of RENEW’s year-long 40th anniversary celebrations, a Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady of Mercy in Park Ridge, NJ. Our Lady of Mercy was the parish where the first seeds of RENEW were sown by Msgr. Kleissler. RENEW supporters, participants, and staff (current and former) filled the church to celebrate the achievements of the past forty years and look toward the future of the organization. The principal celebrant for the liturgy was Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown where almost 90 percent of parishes are engaged in RENEW’s process ARISE Together in Christ.

In his homily, Bishop Bartchak commented, “I am sure that all of you who have been with the RENEW experience for these past 40 years can appreciate that RENEW is so effective because it brings participants into small groups in which our Catholic faith can be shared in a way that is so real and as easy as sharing our stories. The approach to evangelization that RENEW International has been applying for these past 40 years is all about weaving the stories of the lived experience of Catholics with the stories of the Sacred Scriptures.”

RENEW President and Executive Director Sister Theresa Rickard, OP (left) and RENEW director of pastoral services Milissa Else (right)

catch up with Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in front of the banner for

ARISE Together in Christ. Nearly 90 percent of the parishes in Altoona-Johnstown started the process this fall.


RENEW President and Executive Director Sister Theresa Rickard, O.P., D.Min., commented, “As we mark our 40th anniversary, we see the results of the work begun four decades ago: RENEW International has successfully revitalized Catholic parishes by unlocking the power of small groups. Forward at 40 will take our important work not only to the next level but also to the next generation.”

In this difficult time for the Catholic Church, RENEW acts as an agent of change, healing and revitalization, offering Catholics the opportunity to strengthen their faith and a pathway to healing the body of Christ.