But parish goals won’t increase. Instead, the campaign has secured four matching gifts — each targeting a different program or demographic to help promote giving.
“Five of the last six years we’ve had matching gifts and the year we didn’t, we didn’t make goal,” said Melissa Herberger, coordinator for annual giving and stewardship for the Archdiocese of Louisville.
“I think it inspires people to give or give more when they know their impact is going to be doubled.”
The annual appeal supports more than 100 ministries and programs of the archdiocese, such as seminarian formation, youth ministry, Hispanic ministry, outreach programs and faith formation.
This year’s theme comes from Psalm 39:8 and asks, “Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.”
In the latest CSA video, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz explains the theme.
For more than 200 years, he says, the church in central Kentucky “has had leaders and faithful who have forged forward. They believed in the hope that God gave them. And not only that, they shared that hope with others.”
We can’t know all the benefits of their works, he said, noting the same will be true of today’s Catholics who give to the CSA.
“It is our opportunity to hope in God and to share that hope in others. We may not know, but God our Father knows. And so, I want to thank you and tell you very clearly: Your gift matters.”
During a Mass with archdiocesan employees, whose work is supported by the appeal, Sept. 29, the archbishop noted, “Anytime I’m tempted to think any good I do is all because of me, I’m on very thin ice,” he said. “As we pause to be on the threshold of the Catholic Services Appeal — that freewill offering that really supports all of our ministries — it would be good for us to take a step back and worship our Lord and to remember that any good that we do isn’t because of any good we do one person at a time, but it involves many, many, many.”
It even involves, he added, the angels and saints in heaven, who can lend their prayers of support.
Like the work of the church involves many, the work funded by the CSA also touches many, said Herberger. She hopes that parishioners recognize the CSA at work in their parish and in the larger community this year as they consider giving.
“With the last year, so many community programs were shut down,” she noted, referring to the pandemic and the limitations it put on day-to-day life.
“The Record was able to get the paper out when so many people were stuck at home. The Office of Hispanic Ministry was making a few hundred calls a day for people who needed help. They were helping people find places to go for food, for help.
“With all the negativity we see out there, we need church now more than ever,” she said.
Each of the matching gift options will be funded up to $50,000.
- The Seminarian Education Fund: Gifts will support the education of seminarians in formation for the priesthood. The Archdiocese of Louisville pays for the education of each seminarian. There are currently 10 in formation.
- Young Donors: In an effort to encourage young adults to engage with the church, gifts made by donors age 40 and younger will be matched.
- Salt & Light Increased Giving: The amount of increase in a donation by a Salt & Light level donor (one who donates $500 or more) will be matched.
- Deacon Donors: Gifts made by the deacon community — deacons or diaconate candidates — will be matched.
Catholic households can expect to receive booklets or postcards about the CSA in the mail in early to mid-October.
To view the CSA video and other resources, visit www.archlou.org/CSA.