A Time to Speak — Catholic Services Appeal funds hundreds of ministries

Molly Keene Smith

Within their first month on the job, newcomers to the staff of the Archdiocese of Louisville usually say some version of the following sentence. “Wow, I had no idea about all the ministries and services that are provided by the agencies in the archdiocese!”

I can say without a doubt that I was one of those people. Working for the archdiocese is a privilege and an honor for me. It has given me an incredible opportunity to immerse myself in my faith through my work and has opened my eyes in so many ways.

How about you? Do you know where your gift to the Catholic Services Appeal goes? Are you aware of how many people are brought to Christ with the outreach provided and the services funded by the appeal? The numbers below (from either 2019 or 2020) provide a snapshot of the magnitude of the mission:

3 Seminarians ordained as priests

14 Candidates entering the permanent diaconate Class of 2024

40 New teachers mentored by experienced educators

100 Individuals trained to work with engaged couples

172 New/expectant mothers in Mother-Infant Care Program

190 Widows/widowers receiving outreach and assistance

200+ Participants in inclusivity and diversity workshops to combat racism

370 Attendees at the VII Archdiocesan Hispanic Encuentro

388 Catholics received into the church through the RCIA program

558 Attendees at catechist certification classes

698 Referrals for counseling services

832 Marriage preparation/enrichment classes and retreat participants

850 Faith formation seminar/retreat/event attendees

1,104 Individuals provided with assistance with immigration legal issues

1,045 New or renewed Communion ministers trained for parish ministry

1,200 Catholic schools professional development attendees

1,215 High school graduates connected with local college Newman Centers

1,500 Hours of coordinated visitations to hospital patients

2,055 Human trafficking prevention trainings

2,400 Youth interactions promoting religious vocations

2,492 Nursing home visits to assist and advocate for residents and their families

2,341 Safe environment training attendees

3,300 Couples in first 5 years of marriage receiving resources with Love Being Married newsletter

15,829 Instances of food, clothing, utilities and rental assistance through Sister Visitor Center

28,200 Interactions through intergenerational programming at the Catholic Enrichment Center

28,700 Parishioner households receiving The Catholic Connection newsletter

59,400 Parishioner households receiving The Record newspaper

These numbers are selected from either 2019 or 2020 since, as you might imagine, COVID-19 presented a multitude of challenges in 2020. Providing services such as these is the definition of what it means to be Catholic, and the need is greater than ever.  Together we are the hands and feet of Christ, providing hope and love through our ministry to others as we strive to fulfill his mission here on Earth.

One hundred percent of your donation to the Catholic Services Appeal goes directly to funding these and a multitude of other services throughout the archdiocese. Your gift, in any amount, will be put to immediate use and is greatly appreciated.

This has certainly been a year like no other. Many are struggling physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually. If you are unable to make a gift this year, we humbly ask that you offer up your prayers for the success of the appeal and for all those whose lives are impacted by its outreach. Please know that we are also praying for each of you. This pandemic has changed many things about our lives, but nothing can stop us from loving and serving our God.

Donations may be made by mail, in your parish collection basket or securely online at www.archlou.org/CSA. Thank you for your financial support and for your prayers for the 2020 Catholic Services Appeal.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be faithful in prayer.” — Romans 12:12

Molly Keene Smith is the director of the Office of Mission Advancement

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