Catholic Services Appeal sets new record

The Archdiocese of Louisville has surpassed its fundraising goal for the annual Catholic Services Appeal, making this the largest appeal in its history at $4,190,571.

“We have surpassed last year, which was the largest CSA ever,” said Melissa Herberger, who leads the campaign. Donations to the Catholic Services Appeal fund more than 100 ministries and services, touching every parish in the archdiocese.

As of April 5, the appeal had reached 102 percent of its $4.1 million goal, and 59 parishes had reached their goals. Another 18 parishes were at 90 percent or better. While the campaign goal has been met, donations can be made through June 30.

So far, 10,800 households — out of about 60,000 in the archdiocese — have contributed to the appeal this year, said Herberger, the coordinator for annual giving and stewardship.

“We have kids giving and people up to 97 years old — people from all over the archdiocese,” she said, noting that some schools get into the spirit and have had contests to increase contributions.

“We’re hearing more and more that people are inspired by the work the appeal does,” Herberger said. “We had someone who gave last week for the first time. She was 93 and had never given before. Her son was helping her plan her annual giving and he told her about the CSA. After hearing all the ministries it supports, she wanted to give. Up to that point, she hadn’t really known what it was.”

Molly Keene Smith, director of the archdiocese’s Office of Mission Advancement, said her office focused this season on explaining how the appeal touches each parish.

“It supports every facet of parishes in central Kentucky — every parish, every ministry,” said Keene Smith. “We have engaged couples who give for the first time because Engaged Encounter was supported by CSA and deacons who give because their formation is supported.”

“So many things that happen at Mass each week are affected,” she noted.

  • Seminarian education — which cost about $1 million this year — is funded by the appeal.
  • Music and liturgical ministry are supported by the Office of Worship.
  • Religious education is supported by the Office of Faith Formation.
  • Building maintenance is supported by funds from the appeal.
  • Retired priests who fill in at Masses are supported by the appeal.

“The list goes on,” she said. “There are so many things you can see from your pew.”

Keene Smith and Herberger said they’re grateful to pastors, parish staff and parishioners who make the appeal a success. 

“We say that on behalf of Archbishop Shelton (Fabre). He’s grateful,” said Keene Smith.

Herberger added that a fully funded Catholic Services Appeal provides more opportunities for the local church to live its mission. “Anytime we can bring Christ to more people — it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Marnie McAllister
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Marnie McAllister
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