Rock Island couple featured in video promoting 2020 Annual Diocesan Appeal

Mary Anne and Deacon Joe Dockery-Jackson pray in the perpetual adoration chapel of St. Pius X Church in Rock Island in this screen grab from the promotional video for the 2020 Annual Diocesan Appeal.

“We’ve each been given gifts that we give back to God. And just like the ordinary bread and wine become the very Body and Blood of Christ, those meager gifts that we bring forward . . . God will take and use them in tremendous ways.”

So says Deacon Joe Dockery-Jackson of St. Pius X Parish in Rock Island, who with his wife Mary Anne are featured — along with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC — in an eight-minute video promoting the 2020 Annual Diocesan Appeal.

The Annual Diocesan Appeal will be conducted primarily through direct mail this year rather than in-pew solicitations because of the continuing pandemic.

While the annual promotional videos are usually shown at Masses, that may not be the case around the Diocese of Peoria when the appeal opens the weekend of Sept. 19-20. Because pandemic concerns continue to keep some from church, pastors and diocesan officials are asking Catholics to view this year’s video online at cdop.org/ada2020.

Viewers will be introduced to the Dockery-Jacksons, the parents of nine who have long been active in the diocese’s pre-Cana marriage preparation program. The couple’s faith deepened when in the late 1990s they went through formation as Joe prepared for ordination as a permanent deacon in 2002.

“HOW BLESSED WE ARE”

On the video — produced prior to the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in March — they recall meeting in Macomb when Joe was working on a masters degree and Mary Anne was an undergraduate at Western Illinois University.

“It was love at first sight,” recalls Joe in the video.

“My perspective was different,” replies Mary Anne with a laugh.

But the love story continues, and from the start it has included a commitment to follow the church’s teaching for married love.

The Dockery-Jacksons tell the story of how their family hosted a foreign exchange student from China. Joe’s work later took him to China and he was able to meet the girl’s parents.

“I think about my friends in China and how they hunger for God, and the few resources they have to learn about God,” says Joe in the video. “And I realize how blessed we are in America and especially through the work that happens through the parishes and the diocese.

“And that’s why I’m so supportive of the ADA,” he continues. “It’s an opportunity for us to know God, to love, and to serve him.”

“Loving God is something we take out into the world, into our diocese” says Bishop Jenky at the video’s conclusion. He listed Catholic schools, programs such as Cursillo and TEC, Catholic Charities, priestly vocations programs, the permanent diaconate, marriage preparation and other activities supported by the Annual Diocesan Appeal as ways the sharing of God’s love is accomplished.

“Thanks to your generosity,” said the bishop, “I believe the Catholic Diocese of Peoria is alive in the practice of knowing, loving, and serving our good God.”

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