The newly-named Bishop’s Annual Appeal – Call to Share — has begun across the Salina Diocese.
Formerly called the Catholic Community Annual Appeal, the Bishop’s Annual Appeal – Call to Share provides an opportunity for every member of the diocese to share and make a difference. This is an invitation to take one’s faith beyond the parish and provide financial support to help with the larger needs of the Church and Catholics across the diocese. This year’s Bible verse is Psalm 133:1: “Behold, how good it is, and how pleasant, where humanity dwells as one!” In many ways this passage is at the very heart of the Call to Share appeal. The annual appeal asks people not to do everything, but rather, acknowledges that members of the Diocese of Salina must work together to be strong. The more who respond, the more powerful the result.
The Bishop’s Annual Appeal is the yearly opportunity to come together as a diocese and support the needs of more than 40,000 Catholics across more than 26,600 square miles of northcentral and northwest Kansas. Gifts to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal provide the funding for ministries and programs across the diocese that respond to a broad range of needs and interests, and consequently, bind the diocese together as a community of faith. The $1.4 million goal will support five primary categories of ministries and programs in the diocese: caring for clergy and seminarians; evangelization and ministry; education and formation for youth and adults; diocesan administration; and national Church collections. “Nearly 90 percent of the funds we raise are spent in direct benefit to individuals and parishes in every corner of the diocese,” said Bishop Jerry Vincke in his letter. “The other funding will help our general administrative operations, as well as our new endeavors to establish a new communications office and focus on evangelization.”
Caring for the clergy and educating seminarians will receive 49 percent of the gifts. These funds provide health care for clergy, priests’ retirement and education of seminarians. The diocese has 51 active priests and 17 retired priests, along with 12 seminarians. Priests bring God’s presence into each parish. Seminarians represent the future of our diocese. Caring for the clergy and educating future priests are important needs within the Salina Diocese.
Evangelization and ministry along with education will receive 37 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 and Catholic schools. A smaller percentage of the gifts, 10 percent, will help to fund diocesan operations. This includes the Office of the Bishop, Finance and Communications. To ensure all Catholics are informed, the diocese is adding a full-time communications director to manage the messages. And finally, four percent of the gifts are shared with other Catholics across the U.S. and throughout the world via national collections. 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.
In his letter, Bishop Vincke asks everyone to take three steps: listen and learn about the need; pray and discuss each family’s ability to give; and decide and act with a gift.