Catholic Services Appeal is three-quarters of the way to its goal

St. Patrick Church measures donations made to the Catholic Services Appeal by adding a leaf to this tree in the church lobby every time a new family gives to the appeal. This photo, which shows 305 leaves, reflects progress through the week of Thanksgiving. (Photo Special to The Record)

A little more than two months into this year’s Catholic Services Appeal, the campaign has reached 74% of its goals — for both dollar amounts and donor participation.

“It’s been really humbling and exciting to see so many people supporting the Catholic Services Appeal this year,” Melissa Herberger said of the more than 8,000 people who have already given to the appeal. “We’ve seen a lot of first-time gifts, people that have never given to the CSA before, and a lot of people that haven’t given in many years that are giving to the CSA this year.”

As of Dec. 5, the campaign has collected $3,036,719. The collection goal is $4.1 million. Herberger, who serves as the coordinator of the Catholic Services Appeal, said that many donors include a note in the envelope. One she received Dec. 5 came from someone who attended a regional Mass that Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre held earlier this year. As the archbishop joined the archdiocese in March of this year, this is his first appeal with the Archdiocese of Louisville.

“She said she was so taken with him and his story and his message that she increased her giving this year — she almost doubled it,” Herberger said. “It’s nice to see those kinds of things.”

Archbishop Fabre isn’t the only new addition to this year’s appeal.

In February, the Office of Mission Advancement will host a Priest Variety Show to benefit the CSA.

“I’m excited for people to come and see how wonderful our priests are and their many, many talents,” Herberger said. “I know they have to wear many hats every day on their job, but I think sometimes their hidden talents aren’t ones that people see a whole lot.

“We have some really awesome acts that are going to be performed,” she noted. “We’ve got a priest that has a band that’s going to be playing, we’ve got several singers, we’ve got a clown,” as well as a dancer, some artists, an author and “some priests that are going to get together and make some culinary treats.”

The show will be held Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at the St. Xavier High School Cultural Arts Center, 1609 Poplar Level Road. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased now at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/68921.

Scan the QR code to purchase tickets to the Priest Variety Show Feb. 3 in St. Xavier High School’s Cultural Arts Center. (Photo Special to The Record)

Herberger noted that several priests creatively challenged their parish and school communities to donate to the appeal.

“We have a couple of pastors that are really doing some creative things for CSA that have really pushed their participation numbers up. St. Patrick and Holy Trinity (churches) in Louisville are really amping things up this year.”

St. Patrick has created a faux tree in the parish’s lobby, and each leaf represents a family that has donated to CSA, Herberger said. At Holy Trinity, Father Shayne Duvall has discussed the campaign in his homilies and challenged his parishioners to “prayerfully consider” making a donation.

Herberger said her office appreciates all of the priests who encourage their parishioners to give to the appeal and and who educate parishioners about how the CSA works in their parish.

“A lot of people, especially in Jefferson County, will think, ‘Oh that doesn’t pertain to us,’ and a lot of people outside the county will think, ‘Oh that’s just for people in Jefferson County.’ But all 110 parishes see CSA at work, they might just not realize that they’re seeing it at work,” Herberger said.

No matter where donors live, which church they attend or which CSA-sponsored services they receive, Herberger said her office appreciates every single person who donates.

“We’re just very grateful for their prayers, for a successful Catholic Services Appeal and for their generosity,” she added.

To make an online donation to the Catholic Services Appeal, visit www.archlou.org.

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