View or download our 2023 Annual Report

Dear Friends in Christ,

When we originally began searching for an image that exemplifies the theological truth behind the campaign’s theme Because He First Loved Us, the task seemed too daunting. How does one capture the height and depth and breadth of God’s infinite love for us? After much prayer, searching, and deliberating, this image painted by a Spaniard named José Luis Castrillo, who kindly gave us permission to use his work, rose to the top. When you look at his painting of the Sacred Heart, it’s hard not to be moved to reflect on the sacrifices and victory of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Not only does this painting give us a visual encounter with Jesus’ great love for us, but also an invitation to have our hearts look more and more like His heart. “I have been crucified with Christ: yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” Galatians 2:19-20. As disciples, we are all called to have hearts that are conformed to His heart so that we may love with the same radiant love. A love that is dynamic, joyful, that knows suffering, and is a light to all people. That was the reality we wanted the people of the Diocese of Helena to sit with and contemplate as they considered supporting the future of our faith. Jesus gave completely of Himself. As we begin to give of ourselves to God’s mission, we find that new and exciting adventures await. That is what this campaign is truly about. A campaign for Catholic life where each of us learns anew how to love Because He First Loved Us.

The Because He First Loved Us campaign has five specific elements: grow priestly vocations, care for our retired priests, strengthen our parishes, restore our Diocesan Cathedral and help others discover Christ. You can read more about each of these elements on pages 6 and 7. All of these elements speak to the future of our faith; the ability to keep parishes open because we have enough clergy; the care of our aging priests who have dedicated their lives to serving us; the ability to provide our individual parishes with the resources they need; the preservation of our Diocesan mother-church and renewing the mission of evangelization that will introduce more people to a relationship with our Lord—fallen away Catholics and new souls alike.

It is our privilege at the Foundation to walk with each of you. We consider our mission—to serve and strengthen the people, parishes, ministries, and apostolic mission of the Diocese of Helena—a ministry. We get to work with people who have a passion for their faith and a commitment to preserving that faith for generations to come. This is why we are so excited to manage the Because He First Loved Us campaign. We are helping to breathe new life into our Diocese for the next generation and beyond.

One of the promises Jesus made to St. Margaret Mary when teaching her the devotion to His Sacred Heart was, “I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.” This campaign has been a tremendous blessing to the Foundation and our staff. We pray that it may enrich your life, too, in the most sacred heart of our Lord. I encourage you to use this beautiful image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to meditate and pray with.

If you’ve already given to the campaign, please accept my grateful thanks. If your parish campaign has yet to launch, I urge you to spend time in prayer as you consider a gift. And if a donation just doesn’t work for you at this time, please share your prayers that this effort might be successful and have long and lasting effects for our Diocese.

In Christ,

Daniel Thies | Executive Director