While most Catholics in the state hear about the Catholic Arkansas Sharing Appeal in February, it is a yearlong program to support many diocesan, parish and school ministries.
“We really want to encourage everyone to make a pledge,” said Dianne Brady, diocesan development director.
Brady said that “while 1 percent (of your gross income) is the requested donation, every gift is important.”
Pledges can be made during the in-pew solicitation Feb. 4-5 in all parishes and paid out from March to December. One-time gifts are also appreciated.
“If we were to have 100 percent participation from all the Catholics in our diocese,” Brady said, “so much could be accomplished for the good of all.”
CASA will kick off with a recorded homily from Bishop Anthony B. Taylor in both English and Spanish. Pledge envelopes will be in the pews for parishioners to fill out.
Those who want to make a donation or pledge by credit card can visit dolr.org/online-giving.
“Today I invite you to be salt and light, to do your share in the building of the kingdom of God,” the bishop said in his recorded homily. “We do it in union with Jesus and as members of his body the Church, hence our annual Catholic Arkansas Sharing Appeal, CASA. CASA assists with those things that go beyond the capacity of our individual parishes: vocations, Catholic Charities, our faith formation programs, Catholic schools, Hispanic ministry, our deacon formation program, our tribunal and many others.”
The diocese raised $1.85 million in 2016, about $150,000 short of its $2 million goal, Brady said. The gifts came from 6,391 individuals and families.
For 2017, continuing updates to buildings on the St. John Center campus in Little Rock are one of the main priorities for the Diocese of Little Rock. Of the six buildings on campus, four of them were built between 1916 and 1920. The others were built in 1965 and 1968.
Donations from 2016 made it possible for St. John Center to begin a multi-year project to improve and remodel several buildings. Dennis Lee, chancellor for administrative affairs, said the Diocese of Little Rock was able to install a new roof and gutters on Byrne Hall, repair the outside steps on Morris Hall and Byrne Hall and repair the sewer line to Fitzgerald Hall. Donations from this year will be dedicated to remodeling Fletcher Hall (See article this page). The diocese is setting aside $475,000 from CASA donations for this project.
Other programs to be supported by CASA 2017 are:
• Diocesan ministries, $550,000
• Parish and mission support, $200,000
• Youth and campus ministry, $150,000
• Grants to Catholic schools, $100,000
• Grants to faith formation programs, $100,000
• Clergy Welfare Fund, $100,000
• Seminarian expenses, $75,000
• Catholic Charities of Arkansas, $100,000
• Catholic Adoption Services, $50,000
For more information, call (501) 664-0340 or visit dolr.org/casa.
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