More than 100 agencies, ministries and services provide assistance to people in need in the Archdiocese of Louisville, largely through a free-will offering fund known as the Catholic Services Appeal.
This annual fund-raising program, which will begin next month, is made possible by the donations of people throughout the 24 counties that make up the archdiocese.
Like last year, the theme of this year’s Catholic Services Appeal is “Bringing Christ to Others.”
“That really is what we do every day in our faith. Everything we do in our ministries is about bringing Christ to others, making Christ present in a world that many people say desperately needs to hear the message of Christ,” said Nicholas Eve, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development.
The appeal will officially begin in October, Eve noted, adding that the goal of this year’s campaign is $2,750,000.
To prepare for this year’s appeal, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, archdiocesan chancellor and chief administrative officer Dr. Brian Reynolds and Eve have been meeting with priests, parish leaders and lay parish representatives.
At a meeting at the Chancery last Thursday, Aug. 30, pastors and parish leaders were informed of the range of ministries and services that received funding from the Catholic Services Appeal in the last year.
Reynolds told those at the meeting that between 7,000 and 10,000 people throughout the archdiocese participated in the first and second sessions of the Why Catholic? program.
Also, he noted that the Office of Worship successfully implemented the introduction of the Third Roman Missal, which the church began using last Advent.
The Office of Multicultural Ministries celebrated the 25th anniversary of the African American Leadership Awards in the past year, and the Office of Young Adults and Youth Ministry sponsored the archdiocese’s first Teens and Twenties Encounter Christ (TEC) retreat in August, priests and parish leaders were told.
The young adult and youth ministry office also sent its largest delegation from the Archdiocese of Louisville to this year’s National Catholic Youth Conference.
Those attending the meeting also learned that the Office of Vocations currently has 17 young men in the seminary for the Archdiocese of Louisville and boasts 11 different discernment programs, including a nun run, the chancellor said.
“In short, in my mind, we have a lot of good things going on thanks to the stewardship of our people who support these ministries,” Reynolds noted.
In the past year, the Catholic Services Appeal has received a total of $2,230,677 in pledges from 13,359 donors, Eve said.
“When we look at the total generosity, this is what I think is so amazing, so affirming about Catholics in the Archdiocese of Louisville,” he added. “The amount they contribute to their parishes, the amount they contribute to special collections, the amount they are contributing in payments to the Building a Future of Hope campaign and the amount they gave to the Catholic Services Appeal last year — that’s an unbelievable amount of money.”
And, he said, “that doesn’t even count the amount of money they donate to other Catholic causes.” Eve said the archdiocese is “very blessed with people who are very generous.”
Eve also said that the appeal is more than just a call for philanthropy.
“It really is about the spirit of faith in all of the households in the archdiocese,” he said.
The letters announcing this year’s Catholic Services Appeal will be mailed to registered Catholic households beginning Sept. 20. Also on Sept. 20, pastors will begin to display posters and materials in parishes prior to the official start of the appeal next month.
By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer