If just 800 more families could have given the average gift to the Catholic Arkansas Sharing Appeal, the Diocese of Little Rock could have reached its 2017 goal.
Dianne Brady, development and stewardship director, said she is hoping more Catholics will choose to become involved in this year’s campaign, which kicks off Feb. 3-4 in all parishes. An audio homily in English and Spanish from Bishop Anthony B. Taylor will be played and pledge cards and envelopes will be handed out.
The diocese’s annual appeal provides funding for diocesan ministries, like marriage preparation, youth and campus ministries, Catholic Charities and the Catholic Schools Office, as well as grants for faith formation and schools that are handed out across the diocese.
In his homily, Bishop Taylor noted that he will mark his 10th anniversary as bishop in June.
“I rejoice in the ways in which the Lord has blessed our local Church during this time and the many things we have accomplished together — much of which has been paid for through your generous contributions to CASA, our annual Catholic Arkansas Sharing Appeal. All of this is the fruit of your — and my — commitment to the Lord,” he said.
This year’s goal is $2 million, the same goal the diocese has set for the past eight years. Some years the diocese is able to make its goal. In 2017 the shortage was about $120,000, Brady said. The average gift is $146.
People can make their gift as a pledge over 10 months or they can make a one-time payment. Online gifts with a credit card or electronic check can be made at dolr.org/online-giving.
While the diocese has 56,000 registered families, only about 6,000 choose to participate in CASA.
“If we just got 20 percent participation, it would be wow,” Brady said.
It is suggested to give 1 percent of your gross income income to CASA.
Brady said she believes more families don’t give to CASA because they probably don’t know what the annual appeal is and how many people it helps.
“I don’t think people give because they don’t know what it is about. So many people don’t understand the diocese and what our role is,” she said.
She said she is hopeful the priests will explain the importance of the annual appeal.
“The pastors are really the key,” she said.
This year CASA will continue to support the renovation of St. John Center in Little Rock. The diocese completed its update of Fletcher Hall in January.
Programs to be supported by CASA 2018 are:
• Diocesan ministries, $550,000
• St. John Center renovations, $575,000
• 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
• 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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