Catholic Stewardship Appeal 2019

Where does the money go?

Formation – $1,225,350
includes pastoral ministry, vocations, education, youth and Hispanic ministry, development, and other direct services to parishes and individuals

Outreach Services – $549,650
includes a commitment to Catholic Charities, advocacy for life and the poor, and assistance to parishes in need

Matrimonial Tribunal – $260,000
provides annulment and pre-marriage assessment services at no charge to members of the diocese

Chancery Staff Services – $110,000
covers services for employees and visitors to the Catholic Center, in addition to building and grounds maintenance

Parish Incentives – $214,500
Returned to parishes who make or exceed their goal (see back panel for more information)

No money collected in the Catholic Stewardship Appeal or in your parish contributions will be used for any payments related to sexual abuse.

Something NEW this year

In gratitude for the efforts parishes make in this important appeal, this year, after the overall diocesan goal is realized, every parish reaching its goal will have 10% of that amount returned to that parish. Parishes exceeding their goal will also receive 90% of the amount collected above their goal.

According to this formula, the total budget for diocesan allocations is the same as the amount collected in last year’s CSA ($2.145M). Money collected in excess of that amount will be shared with those parishes achieving their goal.

A vision for the future

With Bishop McKnight’s leadership and the support of our pastors, we hope that we will become a tithing diocese. When parishioners decide to give from their “first fruits,” acknowledging their gratitude to a generous and merciful God, everything will change.

As people make a commitment to tithe to their parish, the parish will become the focus of their giving. Rather than an annual diocesan appeal, parishes will tithe to the diocese, with 90% of their income remaining in the parish and 10% going to the diocese.

With this 10%, the diocese will fund the ministries and services currently supported by the CSA. Other tithing dioceses have also successfully eliminated second collections by using money from the parish tithe to make contributions to Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Communications, World Mission Sunday and other worthy ministries of the Church in our country.

We have a long way to go, and it will take time, but focusing on grateful giving and a sharing relationship between parishes and diocese are important first steps.

Parish life is an ongoing diocesan priority. Currently, seven parishes are involved in a program to help them address their needs for retention, growth and evangelization. They are working with Rich Curran, director of Parish Success Group, to develop effective strategies to meet their goals. If this proves beneficial, it will be offered to another group next year.

To support married couples and families, our new Department of Faith Formation gives renewed emphasis to marriage preparation, marriage enrichment, and Natural Family Planning. Family assistance will expand as resources permit.

Our diocese has 6,000 students in the care of 550 teachers and principals. The Diocesan School Office staff works with the latter to support them in their responsibility for formation and education. One service is an online program to prepare faculty to be better catechists. With a beginners’ and an intermediate level, the “My Catholic Faith Delivered” program offers classes that cover content, prayer and teaching methodology.

As the Gospels remind us, Jesus calls us to the peripheries of society to bring God’s mercy to those in greatest need. The CSA helps us do this in many ways: supporting Catholic Charities, prison ministry, hospital and nursing home ministry, and pro-life advocacy. We do our best to welcome refugees and assist the poor and homeless, but the sheer numbers and new demands challenge us to do more.

We need more priests! While deeply grateful to our international priests, we must have more homegrown vocations. Though still far below replacement needs, we do have more seminarians this year than last. We hope to continue and improve those numbers with the appointment of two young and energetic priests, Fr. Christopher Aubuchon and Fr. Joshua Duncan, to our Vocations Office.

Good communication is critical to an engaged Church. The former role of communications director is now two part-time positions: parish communications coordinator and diocesan communications director. Among their other duties, Jill Alberti is helping parishes improve contacts with parishioners, especially in digital media. Helen Osman is leading a team in utilizing new digital tools to improve our effectiveness and efficiency in telling the Good News of our faith.