St Mark’s Family of Faith Campaign

Duration – 3-4 minutes [but I had to speak quickly]

Prepared and delivered by Bruce Orr after 5PM [Oct 24] mass

Scheduled to deliver to all 3 masses on Sunday Nov 1st

[I reeceived very positive feedback from about 12 parishioners – “never heard an inspiring talk about money like that before”, “we talked about it a lot over supper table”, “it was light/humorous/entertaining”. “where did you get the idea to do it this way?” etc]

Props – hard hat, large metal wastepaper basket, own wallet with 1 Million $ fake bill, several denominations of Canadian bills, a few coins.

[Documenting what I said from memory]

“Hello again. I’m Bruce Orr, as many of you know. I’m here again to speak with you about our FoF campaign. This time I was selected to talk about money – a very difficult and private subject. I hope I don’t make an utter fool of myself, nor offend anyone here. Talking about money, especially in a Catholic Church is usually shunned by most.

First the good news. Our campaign, so far, is “over-the-top” with almost $ 500,000 pledged by about 100 families or 1 family in every 8. This represents 38% of our campaign goal of $1,300,000. We are truly blessed with this generosity. Mary [Benincasa] and I and all of our leadership team thanks each of our contributors  profoundly!

So let’s get started with this money talk: First I’m up here with another person, my altar ego [touch the altar]. You can call him my conscience and he frequently yells in my ear even while I’m talking with you. I’ve also brought a waste basket that I’ll call the basket of “no regrets” or a placed to throw away money that doesn’t hurt very much when we part with it.

I’ll talk about this stuff called money– how much is a lot, who does it belong to, and then I promise to give you a pathway to experience ecstasy and euphoria – even beyond pure joy.

[Reach in pocket  and take out a few nickels, quarters, loonie, ask the congregation]. Is this a lot of money? [most shook their head no] Ok then, let’s toss it in the no regrets basket, but remember that some in the world consider this a lot of money. [coins thrown in basket go clang]. Now let me get out my “precious [take out wallet, peer inside]  Oh goodness, my spouse left me some. [take out 2 five dollar bills and show them].Is this a lot of money? [congregation largely shakes head no] Ok let throw these into the basket. How about 5$ per week? Oops my alter ego is screaming in my ear – Bruce don’t go there, they’re  getting upset as that is a lot of money [$250/yr]. OK, let’s see, hey here’s a fifty and 2 twenties [show the bills]. Hey, I don’t have to ask you. This is serious money and it’s going back into my wallet. Hey what else is here, Oops, a 1 million $ bill! Don’t laugh; I paid 77 cents for this bill. Why do I show you something that none of us can give away? Ted Turner, married to Jane Fonda gave 1000 of these crisp bills – or 1 billion dollars to the United nations about 25 years ago to help develop world peace. Was it proportional? Of course, the rich can give more. Was it meaningful? Yes, It was extremely meaningful to the organization – they were able to start XXX and Do XXX – World Peace is something we all would like to see.  Was it sacrificial?  YES! he was worth 600 billon at the time so he was giving away 1/600th of his wealth. Was it sacrificial? Of course, it had to hurt a bit for him to give away a billion$.

What about us? Whose money is this in my wallet. I say it’s mine and my spouse’s – WE EARNED IT. Oops, my conscience begs to differ. He’s telling me “It all belongs to God, dear Bruce and even you and every parishioner belongs totally to God. It’s His money.

So how will I feel euphoric?  Sorry to say that when the ambassador knocks on your door, he or she can and will be very respectful but they are putting on cross on your shoulder. The cross is called  “the struggle with money”. We all struggle with money even without this added demand placed on us.

How do you get rid of the cross? Just say no!. Life will go on, but no euphoria for you! Or talk to your spouse, pray to God, talk to your alter ego and bite the bullet and pledge. You will then feel great joy. Here’s an example to show you why.

Hey all you married men, grab a couple of these 5’s. This weekend, head to the florist and buy your spouse a red rose,. Present it to her. She’ll say – hey this isn’t Mother’s Day, so why the rose? Don’t tell her it is because you love her. Tell her instead that God made you do it because he wanted to give something meaningful to one of his greatest treasures – her. She’ll cry, give you a big hug, but you will be beyond pure joy.

When you fill out your pledge cards, you really are buying 800 live red roses — one for each family in our parish.

That’s it. I’m out of here. Thanks for listen.”

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