We Give of Our First Fruits
In 2003, Saint Clement made a leap of faith by committing to a "first fruits" program designed to share at least 7% of the funds we collect in the general collection to help the poor and others in need outside of the parish. The Clement Commits program was designed to eliminate most second collections at Mass and to make a financial commitment as a parish to put our faith into action among those less fortunate than ourselves.
This program has been so successful we have been able to raise our committed donation a half percent nearly every year. Our goal was to reach a full tithe of 10% of collections going directly to the poor, which we proudly have reached for fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014).
Clement Commits Program Reaches 10% Sharing Goal!
At the recommendation of the Finance Council and the Stewardship Council, Father Simpson and Saint Clement’s Pastoral Council have approved a plan to increase the annual percentage share of the Clement Commits program from 9.5% of general collections in fiscal year 2013 to 10% in fiscal year 2014. By giving 10% of general collections to needs other than our own, Saint Clement has reached the percentage sharing goal set when the parish adopted the Clement Commits program in 2003.
When the Clement Commits program was first established, Saint Clement committed over $100,000, representing 7% of its general collections for fiscal year 2003, to help meet important needs beyond the boundaries of the parish. Last year, the Clement Commits program contributed nearly $200,000, representing 9.5% of Saint Clement’s general collections, to a wide variety of charities and other service organizations in need throughout Chicago and beyond. The recipients of Clement Commits funds are chosen and reviewed each year by parishioners and the pastor. In the decade since its creation, Clement Commits has enabled Saint Clement to make impactful contributions to our local and El Salvadoran sharing parishes, the Lincoln Park Community Shelter, numerous anti-poverty and abuse victim programs, a variety of other community-based and immigrant programs as well as many Archdiocesan-based charities.
Clement Commits also enables us to eliminate most second collections at Mass by contributing to a variety of Archdiocesan collections, including the Retirement for Religious, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Missions Office, Seminaries, Retirement For Priests, Propagation of the Faith, Peter’s Pence, and Aid for the Church in Latin America and Eastern Europe.
The nature and scope of the Clement Commits program is unique in the Chicago Archdiocese. Saint Clement can be proud to have achieved the 10% sharing goal set over a decade ago for Clement Commits. As Saint Clement’s Mission Statement recites: “Grateful to God for our many blessings, we have a sacred responsibility to share our gifts, serve the common good, make a meaningful difference in people's lives and respond to the challenge to live the Gospel every day.” Clement Commits represents a tangible expression of our parish mission as we strive to give meaning to our stewardship theme to “Pray.Serve.Give.”