We Give of Our First Fruits
Since 2003, Saint Clement Parish has been deepening its understanding of being a stewardship parish. The practical spirituality of stewardship is based in the scriptures. Spiritually, this means that each person in the parish is encouraged to spend time understanding how all that they “have” is a gift from God and that each person is uniquely gifted. This leads to the next step of prayerfully deciding how those many gifts will be given back to God. This giving back is sacrificial because individually our time, talent, and treasure are limited resources. Practically, it means that as a parish we make a commitment to give of our “first fruits” to needs beyond our parish. We honor this commitment through Clement Commits, which donates 10% each fiscal year from our parish collections.
The Clement Commits program was originally 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. The program began in 2003 at 7%, increasing each year until we reached our target of a full tithe of 10%. We proudly reached that goal in 2014.
The Clement Commits committee reviews reports of how recipient funds are used and evaluates requests annually. In our fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, Clement Commits donations totaled $195,000—allowing us to allocate $136,500 to community needs and $58,500 to Archdiocesan special collections. A total of 28 organizations throughout Chicago and beyond were supported:
- Aid for Women: $5,000
- Chicago Volunteer Legal Services: $7,500
- CommunityHealth: $4,000
- Immaculate Conception Parish - El Salvador: $4,000
- Immigration Ministry - Office of Human Dignity & Solidarity of the Archdiocese of Chicago: $10,000
- Jean Donovan Community - El Salvador: $8,000
- Lincoln Park Community Services: $9,000
- Little Sisters of the Poor: $4,000
- Madonna House (Catholic Charities): $10,000
- Marillac St. Vincent Family Services: $7,500
- Mercy Home for Boys and Girls: $2,500
- Mission of Our Lady of the Angels: $7,500
- NGO La Coquille - Benin: $2,470
- The Night Ministry: $2,500
- ONE Northside: $3,200
- Our Lady of Mercy Parish: $27,330
- Parroquia San José - Puerto Rico: $10,000
- Refugee Resettlement Program (Catholic Charities): $8,000
- Su Casa: $4,000
Sub-Total: Direct Grants $136,500
ARCHDIOCESAN 2nd COLLECTIONS
- Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe: $2,925
- Catholic Campaign for Human Development: $10,725
- Collection for the Church in Latin America: $4,875
- Missionary Co-Op: $6,825
- Peter’s Pence: $2,438
- Priests’ Health and Retirement Fund: $9,750
- Retirement for Religious: $9,750
- Seminarian Education: $8,775
- World Mission Sunday: $2.438
Sub-Total: 2nd Collections $58,500
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.
The nature and scope of the Clement Commits program was unprecedented in the Chicago Archdiocese. Saint Clement can be proud to have achieved the 10% sharing goal set nearly 15 years ago. 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 parish anchors that directly tie to our practical spirituality of stewardship—“Pray.Serve.Give.”
How Can I Donate to Clement Commits?
Each time you make a donation to Saint Clement Parish, you are donating to Clement Commits since 10% of all collections are distributed through our Clement Commits program. If you would like to make a separate donation to one of the Archdiocesan Special Collections, either find a donation envelope at the back of the church or go to the Donate Now button to the right to make an online donation. Once you are logged onto our online donation system, simply select “Archdiocese Special Collections” as the fund.
How Can I Learn More About Clement Commits?
Contact Barbara Silva, Director of Community Outreach