Catholic Services Appeal unveils new logo, theme, matching gifts

Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre has often noted in homilies and messages to his listeners that “we’re all in this together.”

One way the archdiocese demonstrates that unity is through the Catholic Services Appeal.

The annual campaign supports more than 100 ministries and programs and is so present in each parish, you might not recognize all the ways you encounter it, said Melissa Herberger, coordinator of the Catholic Services Appeal. From faith formation to multicultural ministries, the youth and young adult ministry to retired priests, the appeal is financially involved.

Donating to the appeal is one way for parishioners to be part of the church, Herberger said.

“I’m excited for this year’s appeal,” Herberger said during a recent interview. “It’s another way for people to participate in their parish and their faith.”

This year’s collection goal is the same as last year’s: $4.1 million. Donations will be collected between October 2022 and June 2023.

But just as important as the collection goal, is the participation goal, said Molly Keene Smith, director of the archdiocesan Office of Mission Advancement.

She said the Catholic Services Appeal mailing list has 61,000 households. Last year, just over 11,000 people contributed. She would like to see that number increase this year.

“If the 50,000 people who didn’t donate at all (last year) each gave $10, think of what we could do,” she said.

Herberger said the more people who contribute to the appeal, the more everyone benefits from it.

“I’ve seen it at work in our parishes and our lives,” she said. “The more people who can be part of it the better.”

Established in 1968 by Archbishop Thomas J. McDonough to support archdiocesan ministries and services, this will be the appeal’s 55th year. Prior to that, the campaign, then known as the Archdiocesan Development Fund, supported the programs and directives of Vatican II, which took place from 1962-1965.

This year’s appeal will be the first that Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre will lead. Along with a new leader, the campaign this year will have a new logo and theme and offers four matching gift opportunities.

This year’s theme — Comfort My People — is also the archbishop’s motto.

“It being Archbishop Shelton’s first year, we wanted to do something special,” Herberger said. “The appeal provides so much to people. The programs and ministries bring Christ to others.”

Keene Smith said people need comfort in their lives: “Comforting God’s people is the responsibility of us all.”

The new logo is tied to past iterations — the cross imagery remains the same, as well as the gold and green — but the addition of hands and a heart help tell another side of the story.

“The heart represents our love of Christ and love of neighbor,” Keene Smith said. “The hands are open and reaching out giving to others but also open to receiving Christ’s love.”

This year’s Catholic Services Appeal offers four matching gifts, all made by anonymous donors, which will double the amount donated when certain criteria are met.

The matching gift opportunities are:

  • Seminarian Education Fund: Gifts made to the Seminarian Education Fund will be matched up to $25,000.
  • Young Donors: Gifts made by donors younger than 40 will be 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 — will be matched up to $50,000.
  • Lapsed Donors: Gifts made by donors who did not make a gift last year will be matched up to $50,000.

Although Archbishop Fabre shepherded similar campaigns as the bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana, the Catholic Services Appeal of the Archdiocese of Louisville is a much bigger undertaking, noted Herberger.

Keene Smith said that despite all the newness introduced this year, the archbishop plans to follow in Archbishop Emeritus Joseph E. Kurtz’s footsteps in at least one particular way.

“One third (of donations) come with prayer requests,” she explained. “Archbishop Kurtz started praying daily in his chapel for them. Archbishop Shelton definitely wants to continue that.”

Prayer requests can be made by all, not only those who contribute, she added. Space is provided for submitting prayers in the campaign materials that are being mailed this week.

To learn more about this year’s Catholic Services Appeal and to make a donation, look for campaign materials in the mail or visit www.ArchLou.org/CSA.

Kayla Bennett
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