The 2018 Catholic Community Annual Appeal has begun. This year’s themes are “We, though many, are one body in Christ” and “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another.”
Father Frank Coady, Diocesan Administrator, sent a letter to every registered parishioner asking them to prayerfully consider a gift to support the ministries and programs that impact parishes across the Salina Diocese. As Father Coady said in the letter “To follow Christ is to have more concern for others than for ourselves. In this, we experience the joy and deep satisfaction that comes from being a servant. To give is to receive.”
He further explains, “the CCAA is your yearly opportunity to put this giving attitude into practice, to experience salvation by serving the ministries, parishes and individuals throughout the diocese…We have all received from the generosity of God and these opportunities to give back make us who we are: the body of Christ joined together as one.”
The Salina Diocese serves more than 44,000 Catholics across 26,685 miles. The diocese spreads east to west from Manhattan to Atwood, and north to south from the Nebraska border to just south of I-70. It includes small rural parishes and larger urban parishes. It serves young Catholics to more mature Catholics, leading all to a closer connection with Christ. The themes this year reflect the diversity of the diocese and calls each of us to be generous.
CCAA gifts provide the funding for ministries and programs across the diocese that respond to a broad range of needs and interests, and consequently, bind us together as a community of faith. The $1.1 million goal will support four primary categories of ministries and programs in the diocese: Seminarian and clergy education; education and formation for youth and adults; diocesan administration; and national church collections.
Seminarian and clergy education will receive 44 percent of the gifts. These funds provide health care for our clergy, priests’ retirement, and continuing education for active as well as retired priests. In addition, these gifts support the education of seminarians. The diocese has 53 active priests and 20 retired priests, along with 10 seminarians. Priests bring God’s presence into each parish. Seminarians represent the future of our diocese. This is an important need within the Salina Diocese.
Education and formation will receive 35 percent of the gifts. Programs and ministries funded in this category are diverse and include youth ministry, the family life office, Hispanic ministry, rural life office, youth religious education, adult education, Catholic schools, and natural family planning.
A smaller percentage of the gifts, 12 percent, will help to fund administration, which includes the Chancery building, the Bishop’s Office and Office of Safety and Security. Five percent of the gifts are shared with other Catholics across the US and throughout the world.
Gifts to the appeal make a difference. All donors are joining in partnership with the diocese to provide the services that enhance and sustain Catholic life in local parishes. Furthermore, donors are extending Christ’s service and love beyond the diocese, to the nation and the world.
The diocese was blessed last year, when the generosity to the appeal exceeded the $1 million goal. The need has increased to $1.1 million this year. An increase in generosity this year will continue to sustain these ministries much needed by our parishioners and parishes.
In his letter, Father Coady asks everyone to “prayerfully consider responding with a gift to our annual diocesan appeal…If you have been especially blessed this year, consider increasing your gift to serve others. Whatever amount you can give, your participation is important. As you make your gift, encourage others to do the same. Together, we though many, are one body in Christ.”
Each registered parishioner received a pledge card with the letter from Father Coady. If not, or if another is needed, contact Beth Shearer, Director of Stewardship and Development. The pledge cards have the option to give once, quarterly or monthly over 10 months, starting in March and ending by December 31, 2018. Pledging over time makes a larger gift more comfortable. Electronic gifts can be made thru the Salina Diocese website at www.salinadiocese.org .