Participating in the Catholic Services Appeal isn’t only about helping the Archdiocese of Louisville reach its financial goal of $4.1 million, say organizers, who can see the campaign’s goal within sight at 97 percent.
Participation is about gratitude, said Melissa Herberger, coordinator of the 2021 appeal.
“When donors give to the appeal, in any amount, they are showing their gratitude for the work of the archdiocese, including the support that the archdiocese gives to their parish,” she said during a recent interview. “Each gift helps their parish reach goal and is a statement of support for their church family. I hope that anyone who has not yet made a gift to the CSA will pray about it and consider donating.”
So far, the campaign’s participation goal stands at 82 percent. The percentage doesn’t represent 82 percent of Catholics in the archdiocese. It’s the percentage of a fairly modest portion of Catholics — 13,207.
So far, fewer than 10,900 Catholic households have contributed to the Catholic Services Appeal, which supports the more than 100 services and programs of the archdiocese.
It funds the education of seminarians. It provides for the training of catechists and adults who want to further their faith formation and become parish leaders. Multicultural ministry programs and Faith Clubs for adults with intellectual disabilities are supported by the appeal.
“Even though participation is lagging, it’s still exciting to know that 10,845 have believed in the Catholic Services Appeal and supported it,” said Herberger.
She noted that donor participation is down by about 1,500 over last year.
“I’d like to see that increase before the end of the appeal,” she said, but added that it’s a national trend.
“Some people lost their jobs, some people don’t have funds for that kind of stuff,” she said, noting the effects of COVID-19 on the economy. “Younger generations aren’t giving in the same way that their parents gave. Some of what we’re reading is that younger generations are giving more to things that really grab their attention” such as an injured animal’s recovery.
“We sent out 64,000 solicitations. We’ve had 10,845 answer the call. … The goal was 13,207. When you look at the big picture you would think that would be an easy goal,” she said. “If the rest of the 64,000 (donated), that would have a huge impact on the Catholic Services Appeal and the over 100 services and ministries it goes to support.”
Herberger added, “With every gift, 100 percent of the money raised by the Catholic Services Appeal goes back into the programs supported by the CSA.”
“Those go directly to Archbishop Kurtz and he prays for them daily in his prayer chapel,” said Herberger.