As you know, we have many second collections here at St. Austin. There are MANY worthwhile and worthy causes that we come to you, week after week, asking for your support. It would be wonderful if you could support all of them. But in the real world that is just not realistic. So what do you do?
Well, you could just throw a couple of bucks in each one, and leave it at that. But Jesus tells us to be not only “as innocent as doves” but also “as wise as serpents” (Mt 10:16). In the case of second collections I take this to mean that we not only have to be generous, we also have to use some discretion in our giving. There may be three or four special causes or collections that you want to especially support, and give more generously in those collections (say the annual Paulist Appeal!). There may be a few that you frankly are not at all excited about, and on these you simply pass the basket without making a contribution. This is what I do. I would rather give more generously to causes I am particularly concerned about, and less generously about causes I care less about. This involves more thought and planning, but I think it is a more involved approach than simply placing a dollar or two in the basket each time it is passed.
So to assist you in your planning for the new year, I am providing you with the list of collections that are scheduled for 2016. There may be additions or date changes. If there is another horrible natural disaster, we very well may take up a special collection for that case. But what you see below is pretty much what the second collections will be for 2016. I do not publish this to discourage you but to urge you to be both MORE generous and MORE thoughtful in your giving. Be both innocent and wise.