The start of October brings changing leaves, cooler temperatures — in theory — and the official kick-off to the Catholic Services Appeal, the largest fundraising campaign of the Archdiocese of Louisville.
Parishioners should receive literature about the campaign in their mailboxes this week and hear about the appeal in their parishes in the coming weeks.
Staff of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Mission Advancement Office said they hope to duplicate last year’s successful campaign. The goal — for a second year — is $3.9 million.
Melody Denson, new director of the Office of Mission Advancement, said the Catholic Services Appeal assists each of the 100 parishes and countless parishioners throughout the 24 counties in the archdiocese.
“The CSA might be helping the person next to you in the pew,” whether that is through a faith formation training or a marriage preparation class, said Denson during an interview in her office at the archdiocesan Pastoral Center.
The CSA is an invitation to the people of the archdiocese to partner in the work of the local church, Denson said.
The theme of this year’s campaign —
“To change the world, we must be good to those who cannot repay us” –— borrows words from Pope Francis.
In a letter to families, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz notes the campaign’s theme and invites parishioners to “serve the spiritual and human needs of those in our communities.”
“With these words he (Pope Francis) challenges us to do all we can to build up the Body of Christ in our parishes and communities by providing assistance with a generous spirit to those in need,” the archbishop writes.
“Our church and society need people who are willing to love as Christ did by joyfully giving of themselves for the benefit of those
who cannot repay them.”
The Catholic Services Appeal supports dozens of ministries, services and programs that provide education, social services and pastoral care to individuals in central Kentucky.
For example, last year, funds raised through the Catholic Services Appeal:
– Provided training for Communion ministers in special situations, such as nursing homes and hospitals;
– Offered catechist and leadership training in Spanish for parishioners in Hardin and Monroe counties;
– Assisted in the production of the 17th Camp Africa Inspire Program for youth in West Louisville;
– Provided emergency assistance for food, rent and utilities to 4,559 residents of West Louisville;
– Served 172 individuals through the Mother-Infant Care program at Catholic Charities.
Denson noted that the majority of gifts to the CSA are not large donations, but rather many small gifts that come together to boost the campaign.
“Please don’t think your gift doesn’t matter,” she said.
Also included in the invitation from Archbishop Kurtz will be a prayer intention card, which parishioners are encouraged to fill out and submit, even if they don’t contribute to the appeal. The intentions will be given to Archbishop Kurtz, who reflects on the cards during his morning prayers.
A separate form will also be included for individuals to donate specifically to the Seminarian Education Fund. It costs about $50,000 per year to educate one seminarian.
Donations may be made by mail, collection basket or online at archlou.org.
In addition, individuals may text the phrase CSA2019 to 502-237-1010 and instructions will prompt you to complete your donation.