Staff members of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Mission Advancement are encouraged by the number of participants taking part in this year’s Catholic Services Appeal — especially the number of new donors.
As of Nov. 17, the appeal had received $2,524,316, in gifts and pledges, representing 78 percent of the campaign’s $3.25 million. Contributing to that figure are 221 donors who have never given to the appeal in the past.
“I think that number of new donors really conveys the energy we are experiencing in this campaign,” Richard “Tink” Guthrie, director of the advancement office, said in an interview at the Chancery last week.
Matthew Schuhmann, coordinator of annual giving, said the number of new donors indicates to him that people are more aware of the appeal and its mission.
“People are being inspired by their pastors, by the video, by the work being done in their parish,” he said. “Something or someone has inspired them to participate in the work of the archdiocese.”
Guthrie said parishioners are more likely to take part when they are invited by a fellow parishioner or their pastor.
People can be invited through “the homily by the pastor, the letter from the archbishop or articles in The Record. This year there are increased numbers of those responding to that invitation,” he said.
Guthrie also said the appeal has wide support across the archdiocese in large part because pastors are “champions of the appeal’s mission.”
“Oftentimes what they are raising is not for themselves but it could go to their brother priests,” Guthrie added.
One particular aspect of the appeal that has seen tremendous support, Guthrie said, is the Seminarian Education Fund.
The education fund supports the tuition and other costs associated with preparing seminarians for the priesthood. Parishioners may donate to this cause by selecting the “Additional Gift for Seminarian Education” option on the pledge form, The Record insert form, the in-pew form and online submission form, Schuhmann said.
“Seminarians really are the future of the church. To me it shows that parishioners of the archdiocese believe in the future and want to ensure its positive impact,” Schuhmann said.