By Glenn Rutherford, Record Editor
There was little question that last year’s goal for the annual Catholic Services Appeal was ambitious.
That goal was $2.75 million, yet the archdiocese — thanks to “both its leadership and its generous people” — not only met the goal but exceeded it by nearly $11,000.
That quotation was from Nicholas K. Eve, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development. In a meeting last week, Eve and Ann Marie
Kelly, coordinator of annual giving for the office, both noted that the leadership of pastors throughout the archdiocese was key to the CSA success.
“Our pastors were the ones who helped make the key points of importance to potential donors,” Kelly noted. “They helped bring nearly 1,000 new donor families into CSA involvement — and that’s big.”
The pastors know first hand the needs of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s 111 parishes, Kelly said. “They are able to explain to their parishioners and to
others the good work, the support, the benefit to those who need it that is being provided by the Catholic Services Appeal.”
Its benefits — whether providing help through Catholic Charities and the Sister Visitor Center in the city’s West End, the Why Catholic? program throughout the archdiocese, or any of the more than 100 other ministries, services and programs supported by the CSA — are ubiquitous.
In a six-minute video sent to pastors throughout the archdiocese, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz notes that “once you become an active member of a parish, virtually everywhere you look” you see a program or a ministry being served by the Catholic Services Appeal.
That’s why the 1,000 new families who took part last year were so important.
That’s why the 20 percent increase in contributions — one of the largest in the history of the archdiocese, Kelly said — is so significant.
That’s why supporting this year’s CSA effort is once again at the heart of the services, ministries and programs offered throughout the archdiocese.
And that’s why this year’s goal of $3 million is again ambitious.
“Sometimes over the years people have had the idea that the church is separated into two parts,” Kelly explained. “They think of the Chancery, and then they think of their parish as being on its own, kind of isolated.”
What the CSA does, both she and Eve noted, is draw attention to the fact that every aspect of the archdiocese — from parishes from one end of the city of Louisville to the other — to those outlying parishes in the Kentucky Holy Land and the Southern Kentucky missions, are reached and touched and helped by the CSA.
In the six-minute video — which can be viewed at www.archlou.org/CSA — Father Charles Walker, pastor of St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., discusses the new school which recently opened on the parish’s new property.
“People can come here and see a school for 500 children and not think about the CSA,” he said. “But I’ve never been to a place in the archdiocese where I didn’t feel or see the resources made possible by CSA.”
The campaign is, quite simply, “a reflection of who we are as a church,” said Eve. “And we have shown time and time again that the people of the Archdiocese of Louisville are a generous and caring people.”
The theme of this year’s campaign is the same as it’s been in the past — “Bringing Christ to Others.” Letters from pastors endorsing the program will be mailed to parishioners throughout the archdiocese on Sept. 20, and the first “Catholic Services Appeal Awareness Weekend” will occur Sept. 28 and 29.
Those two events will be followed Oct. 1 by a letter to the people of the archdiocese from Archbishop Kurtz. So this year’s campaign and the quest to reach its $3 million goal is underway and will last from now until next June.
“Meeting our goal last year was a good, healthy sign,” Eve said, “one that shows that the people recognize the good work of the CSA.”