This is the weekend in which we participate in the annual Bishop’s Appeal. We’ll watch the appeal video at all Masses, and all parishioners will be given the opportunity to support this appeal. This year our parish goal is $159,817.27. Any money that is given above that goal will be returned dollar-for-dollar to the parish. We count on a certain amount of over-goal money as part of our operating budget, but last year we were fortunate to go even beyond that amount, which really helped us offset the drop in collections we experienced as we emerged from the pandemic.
The diocese counts on this annual appeal as part of their operating budget. This budget funds the Catholic Schools Office, which supports all of the schools in the diocese; various pastoral offices that provide religious education, Hispanic ministry, community outreach, and all sorts of other pastoral services; and all sorts of administrative support functions for parishes, including things like finances and human resources. This past year I began serving on the diocese’s Budget Review Committee, and I can say firsthand that they run a very lean budget. In fact, their commitment to controlling expenses led to a significant (approximately $40,000) reduction in our parish goal last year, and the goal has stayed at that level this year, as well.
I hope that all of you will find some way to participate. (Remember, any school family who is receiving the active parishioner tuition discount is expected to contribute to the appeal.) Even if you are unable to contribute financially at this time, I’d ask that you still return a pledge card indicating a $0 pledge. This will not only keep us from sending you any follow-up emails (!), but more importantly, it will let us know that you’re remembering the appeal and supporting it with your prayers.
All registered parishioners should have received a mailing from the diocese which included a pledge card. Many thanks to those of you who have already turned in your pledge cards, and please contact Linda Fitzpatrick in the parish office if you never received one. If you haven’t turned in a pledge yet, please take some time to prayerfully discern how you might support this appeal. I am always grateful to be part of a community that is so committed to serving the work of the parish and the diocese.
For more information, or to give online, visit https://diocesefwsb.org/ABA/.