From PTA fundraisers to hurricane victims, there is so much need these days that determining how to share the fruits of your labor can be headache inducing.
But that’s a good problem to have — a first-world problem, as they say. So many of us in the Archdiocese of Louisville are fortunate to have the means to make donations. And we are fortunate there are so many worthy causes and well-run charities to receive our contributions.
Among them is the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Catholic Services Appeal, which funds such a variety of services that it’s a sort of one-stop shop for donors.
Where else can you simultaneously help a woman enslaved by human traffickers and ensure a home-bound senior receives the Eucharist?
For the last 50 years, the CSA has funded programs that serve the poor, welcome the stranger, visit the sick, feed the hungry and address other corporal works of mercy. It also funds religious education, teacher and minister formation, seminarian education and multicultural ministry, to name a few, covering many of the spiritual works of mercy.
Over the past year, funds from the Catholic Services Appeal have touched the lives of thousands of people in large and small ways. Here are of few of the things the archdiocese accomplished during the last fiscal year that ended in June.
– 547 Catholic school teachers, catechists and parish ministers took 152 catechist certification classes.
– 66 individuals who were victims of human trafficking received assistance from Catholic Charities.
– Catholic Charities’ human trafficking program also trained 4,481 people in Kentucky to help prevent trafficking.
– Emergency assistance covering rent, utilities, clothing, medicine or other needs was distributed in response to 11,800 requests for help.
– 40 homebound senior citizens received transportation to a total of 253 medical appointments.
– 800 people received liturgy formation classes, such as Communion minister training.
– 3,165 staff and volunteers who work with young people received safe environment training.
– 322 couples received preparation for marriage.
– Catholic Cemeteries provided 2,000 free flags for Memorial Day and 800 free roses on Mother’s Day for those visiting graves.
– 543 new Catholics were welcomed into the church.
– 530 families received life-skills training at the Catholic Enrichment Center.
– 18 men were prepared for the diaconate.
– Four new candidates for the priesthood were accepted, bringing the number of seminarians in formation to 19.
The list goes on. This is merely a sampling of the programs and services — large and small — that keep the Archdiocese of Louisville at the service of those in need.
If you gave to the CSA last year, you share in these accomplishments. If you’d like to join the effort to bring these works of mercy to your brothers and sisters, donate now.
Pope Francis calls Catholics to “smell like the sheep” and to work in the “field hospital” of the church. These are metaphors calling on people to live the life envisioned by Jesus in the Gospels.
We can start by contributing the fruits of our labor to the CSA. Afterward, we can let our hearts follow our checks into the field, roll up our sleeves and personally accompany our brothers and sisters in need.