Annual appeal exceeds its goal of $2.75 million

By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor

A combination of generosity and compassion enabled the annual Catholic Services Appeal to meet its goal of $2.75 million this year, said Nick Eve, the director of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Stewardship and Development.

The office announced on June 4 that it had met and exceeded its goal. Donations still seem to be filtering in. As of The Record’s deadline, the total donations reached $2,755,622.

“We want to really thank our donors and our pastors who encouraged the donors and spread the good word about the Catholic Services Appeal,” said Ann Marie Kelly, the office’s coordinator of annual giving, in an interview last week. “People were generous. We achieved the goal we were hoping for. And compared to last
year, gifts have increased by more than $500,000.”

Contributions to the appeal, known as the CSA, support more than 100 archdiocesan ministries, services and programs.

The stewardship office promotes the appeal in different ways each year. This year, Kelly said, “we tried to put a face on a need.”

“We focused on telling donors stories” about the people served by the archdiocese, Kelly noted. “We told them about the seminarians,” for example, whose education is funded by the appeal.

Kelly also told them about how the CSA underwrites about $100,000 of the Why Catholic? program. It also funds youth ministry programs and programs that serve people in need, she said.

Nick Eve, the stewardship office director, said that with each passing year, the needs of the archdiocese and the people it serves increase.

He noted that services to aid impoverished people need more and more help because of cuts to government funding.

“I think everyone knows several government programs are facing cuts,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean the numbers of people needing assistance isn’t growing. We’re able to step in and help meet some of that need.”

He also noted that as the archdiocese promotes vocations to the priesthood, the cost of seminarian education rises. Funds from the CSA are critical for supporting that effort, he said.

He and Kelly thanked parishioners around the archdiocese for rising to meet that challenge.

Kelly noted that donation envelopes were printed in Spanish for the first time this year. And she said 1,500 more people than last year responded to the appeal.

Eve also noted that most Building a Future of Hope campaign pledges have been fulfilled now and that has helped families rejoin the CSA.

While the monetary donations are essential, Eve and Kelly also celebrated another kind of contribution to this year’s CSA.

People sent in their pledge forms with notes addressed to the archbishop explaining, “ ‘I can’t financially support it — money is tight — but I want you to know it’s in my prayers,’ ” Kelly said.

“Every year you see a little of that,” said Eve. “But this year, we’ve seen more.

“This has been a very interesting year,” he added. “It tells us people are hearing the message; they recognize the importance of the appeal and the importance of prayer.”

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