The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

$2 million CASA goal set for 2024's diocesan mission

Bishop Taylor’s homily about CASA giving to be shared at all Feb. 3-4 weekend Masses

Published: January 31, 2024      
Courtesy Baptist Health
Duwan Booker, a seminarian for the Diocese of Little Rock, works on his schedule before visiting patients July 13, 2023. The 11-week Clinical Pastoral Education program at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock covers training required for all seminarians. Seminarian training is partly funded through CASA.

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor is highlighting the mission and missionary spirit of the diocese with his Catholic Arkansas Sharing Appeal message this year by emphasizing, “We are a mission diocese, and we are a diocese with a mission.” 

He said one aspect of being a mission diocese can be seen in the 22 priests serving in the state from India, Africa and Latin America. 

“It is easy for us to forget how much we are still a mission Church, in terms of distance and population,” he said in his recorded homily. “Although we have 130 churches scattered throughout the state, we still have eight counties with no Catholic church and 36 counties without a resident priest — almost half of the state.” 

As a diocese with a mission, Bishop Taylor pointed to the growth of the Church in Arkansas, especially in the northwest part of the state. 

“We are a mission diocese, and we are a diocese with a mission.”

“Indeed, our Catholic population has tripled in the last 50 years, from 55,000 to 166,000, and we now constitute almost 6 percent of the general population; we used to be less than 3 percent,” he said.  

He acknowledged that as the Church in the diocese has grown, Catholics in Arkansas have made sacrifices to help the Church grow, including through their support of CASA, which raises money for parish, school and diocesan ministries. 

“By supporting the work of the diocese, you participate in the missionary outreach of the Church beyond your local parish,” he said. 

In 2023, $2.1 million was raised from Catholic donors for the benefit of the entire diocese.

Dianne Brady, diocesan development director, said CASA will kick off at all Masses Feb. 3-4 with a video/audio homily from Bishop Taylor. Parishioners will be encouraged to fill out a pledge card and make a one-time gift or pledge over the next 10 months by check, credit card or cash. Each family is asked to prayerfully consider contributing 1 percent of their annual income. 

This year’s CASA goal is to raise $2 million by Dec. 31 to support the ongoing ministries in the diocese. The allocation of funds contributed to CASA in 2024 will be decided by Bishop Taylor when the diocesan budget for fiscal year 2024-2025 is completed.

Thanks to the generosity of Catholics in 2023, CASA funds are supporting the following: 

  • Parish and mission support, $120,000: Helps offset salaries and benefits for one priest, a permanent deacon and 10 religious sisters serving in mission churches. 
  • Youth and campus ministry, $230,000: Helps support diocese-wide youth ministry activities and Catholic campus ministry at eight locations around the state.
  • Grants to Catholic schools, $100,000: Grants are distributed to parish elementary schools and Catholic high schools on a needs-basis for scholarships, educational materials and building maintenance. 
  • Grants to faith formation and youth programs, $100,000: The Faith Formation and Catholic Youth Ministry offices administer grants for evangelization to parish religious education and faith formation programs. Grants also support parish youth ministry activities.
  • Diocesan ministries, $550,000: Helps support all the ministries and personnel at the diocesan offices.
  • Seminarian expenses, $75,000: Helps pay the seminary tuition and living expenses for 25 seminarians.
  • Catholic Charities of Arkansas, $100,000: Provides help and hope to people who are poor and vulnerable through services, such as a free medical clinic, immigration legal services, refugee resettlement assistance and prison ministry. 
  • Respect Life Office, $50,000: This ministry organizes the annual Mass for Life, provides resources for Respect Life Month and offers pastoral services through Project Rachel, the diocesan post-abortion healing ministry.
  • St. John Center maintenance and renovation, $575,000: The main campus for the Diocese of Little Rock includes space for the diocesan offices and ministries, a meeting center with overnight facilities for Catholic groups, a dining hall and St. John Manor with accommodations for senior priests.

Brady, who is retiring in March after nearly 20 years working for the diocese, said she is grateful for the growth in CASA participation, especially among the Hispanic community. 

“When I started we were getting fewer donors, but now we are getting pledges and they are some of our biggest supporters. And not just with CASA, but with other things like Taste of Faith (a diocesan vocations fundraiser). When I started our goal was $1.3 million, and we weren’t making our goal. Then Bishop Taylor came (in 2008) and that first year we did almost $2 million. Since then we have been close, if not making our goal, every year. Just watching our donor base grow with our goal has been rewarding.” 

For more information about how to participate in CASA 2024, visit or contact the Stewardship and Development Office at (501) 664-0340.

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