It is with profound gratitude that we recall everyone who has been such a wonderful support to us through many years. The history of our foundation has had many an up and down road throughout the twenty-five plus years of our establishment. Many people have prayed with and for us, worried with us and encouraged us, and extended their assistance with love and financial support. Now that we have been in Florida for eleven years we are renewing our appeal so that we may continue our building projects and purchase the undeveloped land that abuts our monastery on one side.
When we made our appeal in 1995, I truly asked the Lord never to put me into the position of fundraising to that extent again in my life. The Lord is so good, and He knows just what we need to help us become humble in His eyes. Once again He has asked me to do what I truly immensely dislike and to once again be a “beggar for the Lord.” I shared with those I contacted the last time I wrote such a letter an episode that took place many years ago with a dear friend of mine. When telling this friend, who lives in Switzerland, how I truly dislike asking for money, she said quite emphatically, “Father! You must be a beggar for the Lord, a beggar for the Lord!” So for the love of God and as a beggar for the Lord, I come to you today.
Our needs are tremendous and very pressing. Our property here in DeLand is almost 11 acres and is totally fenced. Our own living section is terribly crowded; one of our monks sleeps in a closet and another in what used to be the garage; the gift shop and visiting parlor are also housed in our living area. We have completed work on our chapel, the Oratory of Mary, Undoer of Knots, but now we have three pressing needs: the building of a suitable monastery with living space for the monks, the remodeling of the building where we are living now, and the purchase of the land next door. Our buildings need to hold work rooms and a meeting hall, our gift shop and the community room and some cells (bedrooms) as well as a guest house for priests, religious and God’s faithful people who wish to come and spend some time of quiet and spiritual renewal; this hospitality ministry is a vital part of our monastic life in the Church, and it has been severely limited since our move to DeLand. The fernery next door to our long but narrow property has given us protection and privacy from the outside world but is now for sale, and our prayer is that we may obtain the eleven acres to assure our solitude since construction of new homes and condos is a constant factor in our town.
We cannot reach our goal without you. I do beg first of all for your prayers for the success of our capital campaign. I also ask you to reach out in any way you are able to assist us. In the past, many gave gifts of $25,000, $20,000, $10,000 and more. Others were only able to sacrifice a little of what the Lord had given them to aid us. Whether you are able to sacrifice a substantial gift or make a pledge for an amount to be donated in installments or if you can give any amount at all, we pledge our prayers and profound gratitude. After prayer and reflection we have decided to place in the entrance to our monastic oratory a large plaque with the names of the donors of our Monastery. Our whole monastic vocation is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and so we decided to call the donation plaque Mary’s Building Blocks. It is of paramount importance that we stress that every gift to us, no matter how small, has been a blessing. Every donor is perpetually remembered in our Masses, prayers and sacrifices every day. On our plaque there will be a remembrance of all donors, but there will be 5 special categories for those who are blessed by the Lord to make more substantial gifts. We have decided to name the 5 categories after the 4 titles of the Virgin Mary that are held by the Augustinian Family, and one that is particular to our own community. The different titles of our Blessed Mother, though indicating the range of the donation, in no way indicate that one title ranks higher than the other. The Blessed Mother is our mother, no matter what title we use when we turn to her. We ask you to please pray for those who have been so good to us, and to pray that others may join us in this holy work of God. Categories are the following.
1. Our Mother of Good Counsel, $5,000 to $9,999.
2. Our Mother of Help, $10,000 to $14,999.
3. Our Mother of Grace, $15,000 to $19,999.
4. Our Mother of Consolation, $20,000 to $24,999.
5. Mother of the Good Shepherd $25,000 and up!
All donations are tax deductible since we are a 501(c)(3) tax deductible corporation as defined by the federal government.
We place this campaign before the divine Child Jesus and under the mantle of the Mother of God through the intercession of St. Joseph and St. Philomena.
May our Lord bless you abundantly for your sacrificial gift, and may the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the angels and saints always be near you.