Editorial — An appeal for gratitude

Marnie McAllister

When you start seeing a purple and teal heart featuring a pair of open hands in the pages of The Record, you can be sure the Catholic Services Appeal is underway.

The logo helps identify the programs, services, agencies and causes that are supported by donations parishioners make to the annual appeal. Its $4.1 million goal this year will provide a large part of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s budget.

In this week’s paper, the logo tells us that a Respect Life Month program about human trafficking was made possible by appeal donations. The presentation, part of a four-event series, was sponsored by the Family and Life Ministries Office.

The logo also appears with a story about the new director of the Office for Youth and Young Adults, an agency of the archdiocese that supports parish ministry and offers programming for youth and young adults.

The logo could have appeared with other stories and announcements in this week’s issue — in every issue — because the Archdiocese of Louisville is involved in such a wide array of efforts to support the local church.

Here’s a snapshot of the many ways the appeal supports the 110 parishes of the Archdiocese of Louisville. In the fiscal year ending in June 2023, the archdiocese:

  • Taught 100 people from 37 parishes about “Walking with Moms in Need,” an initiative to help women in crisis.
  • Offered liturgical formation classes to 1,100 people, including extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, cantors and others.
  • Facilitated more than 1,000 hours of ministry in jails.
  • Provided 41 safe environment training workshops to more than 3,300 staff and volunteers. (More than 61,000 have been trained since 2003.)
  • Held an archdiocesan Corpus Christi Procession in downtown Louisville and assisted with 12 regional processions.
  • Assisted more than 100 couples seeking annulments.
  • Hosted a health clinic at the Catholic Enrichment Center.
  • Provided for the formation of 11 seminarians.
  • Worked with Catholic schools to help enhance their cyber security.
  • Coordinated FOCUS campus ministry at the University of Louisville, which provided weekly Bible study to more than 100 students as well as a host of other offerings. 
  • Welcomed 372 new Catholics who entered the church.
  • Offered 144 catechist certification classes for 476 catechists.
  • Welcomed more than 5,000 immigrants to the community.
  • Assisted more than 100 survivors of human trafficking.
  • Offered 28 training courses related to human trafficking for professional groups.
  • Provided more than $205,000 to people in need through the Sister Visitor Center.

This is just a sampling of things the Archdiocese of Louisville has accomplished in the past year. 

It’s safe to say that tens of thousands of people have been affected by these ministries. Just think of the number of children whose formation is enhanced by the 476 catechists who continued their education. Consider how many people are touched by cantors and Communion ministers every week.

These are things we often take for granted. But real effort is required to make these ministries possible. And real funding is, too.

Fewer than 12,000 households — out of about 60,000 registered households — supported the Catholic Services Appeal last year. And that’s fairly typical participation in recent years.

Imagine what we could accomplish if everyone who is able made a modest contribution. If your faith life is enhanced by clergy, lay ministers, catechists or a ministry of the church, consider expressing your gratitude through a donation to the Catholic Services Appeal.


Marnie McAllister
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Marnie McAllister
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