Catholic Services Appeal is halfway to goal

By GLENN RUTHERFORD
Record Editor

This year’s Catholic Services Appeal is but a few weeks old, and already there is much to celebrate.

Last week the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Stewardship and Development announced that the annual campaign has already reached the half-way point of its $2,750,000 goal. (The campaign has received $1,596,672 as of Nov. 5.)

It’s an achievement worth acknowledging, said Ann Marie Kelly, the archdiocese’s Coordinator for Annual Giving.

“It means we’re off to a great start,” she said in a telephone interview last week.

“But it is just a start. It’s great to have reached such a significant number this early in the campaign, but we don’t want this ball to stop moving. We still have a long way to go.”

Kelly noted that last year the CSA campaign didn’t reach 50 percent of its goal until mid-November — “and last year’s goal was smaller ($2.5 million),” she said. “That means we’re running about $600,000 ahead of last year. It’s wonderful that we hit the $1 million mark by the first of November, and I think that success has provided some excitement about the future.”

This year’s campaign — with the theme “Bringing Christ to Others” — is hoping to benefit from Building a Future of Hope donors who have completed their pledges to that effort and are returning to help the annual Catholic Services Appeal. It’s help that’s certainly needed, because the campaign allows the Archdiocese of Louisville to fund more than 100 agencies, ministries and services its provides to the people of the 24 counties the archdiocese serves.

Early donations to the CSA have included those made in response to an effort that was new this year — CSA donation envelopes were printed in Spanish and distributed to those parishes that offer Spanish Masses to the growing Hispanic population of the archdiocese.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever done Spanish-language envelopes,” Kelly said, “and so far we’ve received 125 donations from one parish — St. Rita — as a result. So we’re really encouraged about that.”

The CSA campaign this year is also focused on letting the people of the archdiocese know that funds donated to the campaign do return to parishes in the form of financial support for ministries and programs such as Why Catholic?, Kelly explained.

“We’re also making an effort to reach two specific categories of potential donors with what are called ‘segmented’ mailings,” she noted. “We’re contacting Building a Future of Hope donors to let them know that ‘we still need you and hope you can return to the CSA this year.’ ”

Also receiving the “segmented” mailings will be young Catholics, Kelly said. “We want to try to reach those young people who were part of a parish when they were living with their parents but might now be living on their own. We have to try and reach those young adults who may not receive our everyday communications. We have to determine how we can reach out to them and encourage them to be a part of CSA and the life of the church.”

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will be sending additional letters out to the people of the archdiocese encouraging those who haven’t joined the campaign to become a part of it. And pastors are being encouraged to continue to mention the CSA in their communications and homilies before their congregations.

“What we don’t want to happen is for people to say ‘hey, you’re off to a great start and don’t need me,’ ” Kelly said. “We do need people to contribute; we’re only half-way to our goal. And we want to encourage new donors, those who in the past might not have been in a position to be a part of the campaign.

“We still need everyone’s help.”

The easiest way to contribute to the campaign is to do it online at www.archlou.org/csa.

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