The theme of the 2016 Catholic Services Appeal, set to begin Oct. 1, is “Everyone is called, Everyone is sent.”
Staff members of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Mission Advancement hope parishioners take this message to heart.
“Every gift to the CSA is important and impacts the ministries funded by the campaign,” said Sarah Wunderlin, coordinator of annual gifts.
The annual appeal seeks to raise $3.5 million this year. That’s up about $250,000 over last year’s goal, which donors shattered.
Donations to the appeal, the largest free-will offering of the archdiocese, support more than 100 ministries and programs — from marriage preparation programs provided by the Family Ministries Office to rent and utility assistance offered by Catholic Charities.
Last year’s campaign raised an unprecedented $3.6 million — more than 111 percent of the original $3.25 million goal. And, 14,338 individuals participated in the 2015 campaign.
Organizers of the appeal said they hope to see an increase in the number of donors this year.
“Depending upon a parish’s size and their past participation, we’d like to see one to five additional donors added,” Wunderlin said. “That would be about two percent increase in donor participation.”
There’s a matching gift challenge this year for first-time donors and for those who haven’t given in a number of years, Wunderlin said. An anonymous donor has agreed to match up to $50,000 for new gifts or pledges.
“This is a way to double your gift amount,” Wunderlin said.
Parishioners can expect to hear about the 2016 appeal at Masses on Oct. 8 and 9. Information about the campaign and the ministries it funds should arrive in household mail by the first week of October. In addition to a letter from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz and a gift form, a prayer intention card will also be enclosed.
“You can fill it out and send it in regardless if you are able to give to the CSA,” Wunderlin said, noting the prayer intentions will be placed in the archbishop’s private chapel. “We want everyone to know they can
participate in prayer.”
The theme, “Everyone is called, Everyone is sent,” comes from Pope Francis’ words in a 2014 address to Austrian bishops. In that address, the Holy Father said:
“Speaking about God, bringing the message of God’s love and salvation in Jesus Christ to men is the duty of all the baptized. And this duty involves, not only speaking with words, but in all one’s actions and way of doing things.”
Organizers of the appeal said they find continued support for the campaign encouraging and said it demonstrates the generous nature of parishioners.
“Our year-to-year success reflects the spirit and generosity of the people of the archdiocese,” Wunderlin said, also noting the “terrific leadership” of pastors who encourage donors.
To learn more about the appeal or to give online, visit www.archlou.org/CSA.