Catholic Services Appeal tops $4.1 million goal

Four of five seminarians ordained to the transitional diaconate this year were applauded by priests and deacons of the archdiocese after their ordination Mass March 25. Seminarian education is supported by the annual Catholic Services Appeal. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

More than 11 weeks before it officially wraps up, the 2022 Catholic Services Appeal has surpassed its goals.

The Archdiocese of Louisville’s annual appeal — which began in October 2022 — had a monetary goal of $4.1 million. As of May 1, pledges and gifts totaled $4,121,765, which is 101% of the goal. 

The appeal has also surpassed its goal of attracting 11,280 donors, reaching 102% of the participation goal. 

This is the third-largest collection in the 55-year history of the CSA. 

Melissa Herberger, coordinator of the appeal, said pastor involvement was vital to making it happen.

“I definitely want to thank our pastors and also parish staff for what they do to help promote the Catholic Services Appeal,” she said during a recent interview. “All of our pastors work so hard to support the Catholic Services Appeal.”

She noted that several pastors made challenges out of the appeal to encourage increased giving. One parish priest called on parishioners to donate to CSA during homilies and throughout the year, and as a result “their participation has skyrocketed.” Similarly, a Catholic grade school held a school-wide challenge to increase participation.

“It was neat to see so many of the students bringing in gifts for CSA,” Herberger said. “Archbishop Shelton did a special thank you letter for the students and sent them each a bookmark — they had a really significant jump in their participation this year.”

Herberger said the Office of Mission Advancement, which leads CSA each year, wasn’t sure what to expect when planning the 2022 appeal, which runs through June 30.

“With things in the economy, in the stock market and just costs of day-to-day things like groceries and gas and utilities going up like they did, we weren’t sure that we would reach our goal this year,” she said.

RCIA coordinators from 44 parishes held their parishes’ Books of the Elect during the Rite of Election Feb. 26 at St. Michael Church. The Office of Faith Formation, whose programs support those entering the Catholic Church, benefits from the annual Catholic Services Appeal. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

“And to know that we’ve met it and that number continues to climb every week is just humbling and inspiring — that people are hearing the message of what the Catholic Services Appeal does for our church community and that they’re supporting it like they have. We just feel very blessed.”

Herberger said she believes more people are learning about the ways CSA benefits parishes. It helps fund more than 100 programs and ministries, including seminarian and deacon education, parish leadership development, and the offices of faith formation, youth and young adults, family ministry and worship.

This year’s appeal included four matching gift options, all of which were met. They were:

  • Seminarian Education Fund: Gifts made to the Seminarian Education Fund were matched up to $25,000.
  • Young Donors: Gifts made by donors younger than 40 were matched up to $50,000.
  • Salt & Light Increased Giving: Increases in donations made by Salt & Light level donors — those who make a total contribution of $500 and more during the nine-month campaign — were matched up to $50,000.
  • Lapsed Donors: Gifts made by donors who did not make a gift the year before were matched up to $50,000.

Herberger noted that online gifts also increased, and those who opted to make recurring gifts went up as well.

“We’ve had an increased number of people that are choosing to do a recurring gift, where they just say, ‘Take out this much money every month,’ and it will continue until they call and tell us to stop that or to change the amount,” she said. “It’s an easy way to set up a gift and kind of break down a larger gift into smaller payments.”

“No matter where you are in the archdiocese, all 110 parishes benefit from the Catholic Services Appeal,” Herberger added. There’s still time to donate to the 2022 Catholic Services Appeal. To learn more or to make a donation, visit www.ArchLou.org/CSA.

Kayla Bennett
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Kayla Bennett
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