the Inland Register
(From the April 19, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)
According to figures released by the Diocese of Spokane’s Development Office in time for the publication of this issue of the Inland Register, the faithful of the diocese have pledged or contributed $2,322,091.82 thus far to the 2012 Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA).
The figure represents over 100 percent of the announced collective $2,314,345 goal, which reflects the combined sum of all the individual parish goals.
The campaign, however, is far from over, said ACA officials. In a sense, “The ACA is a not complete success just when each of the parishes achieves its respective goal,” Bishop Cupich said. “The nature of a fund-raising effort like the Annual Catholic Appeal is not just to pay a bill. Giving to the ACA is an act of Christian stewardship by which every Catholic household should engage in the support of the mission of their Church, regardless of an established goal.”
Contributions still needed
Referring to what he identified as a “What If? Goal,” Bishop Cupich said that if every parish were to achieve its calculated goal – and if those parishes which exceeded their goals in the 2011 ACA did equally as well again this year – then a goal of $2,547,240 could be reached.
“Such an achievement would be a huge blessing to our diocese’s financial stability,” he said. The figures released this week by the Development Office indicate that 91.16 percent of that “What If” goal had been reached. With only about 35 percent of an estimated 20,000 Catholic households participating thus far in the 2012 ACA, the “What If” could turn easily into a reality.
“If the funds collected by a parish reach or even exceed the calculated goal, God be praised for the generosity of the faithful,” the bishop said. “There are so many people who have stepped forward to be the ‘good and faithful servants’ we hear about in the Gospel. They have given flesh to this year’s ACA theme – Co-Workers in God’s Field” – as these are words that echo in their hearts.”
Contributions to the 2012 Annual Catholic Appeal are made through the donor’s parish, or can be mailed directly to: Annual Catholic Appeal, Diocesan Ministries Fund, P.O. Box 4000, Spokane, WA 99210-4000. Questions regarding the Appeal can be addressed to the diocesan Development Office (358-7319) or by e-mail: email@example.com.
Parishioner contributions to the 2012 ACA help fund the diocese’s annual administrative budget and also support the various essential ministries of the diocese. Bishop Cupich has identified the revitalization of both catechetical and youth ministries throughout the diocese as the particular focus of this year’s ACA funds. Both ministries will flourish in relationship to the success of the current campaign.
Given the financial strain on its effort to rebuild the services and ministries of the local Church in its post-bankruptcy era, ACA officials pledge that the diocese will expend each and every donation wisely and responsibly. Contributions to the Annual Catholic Appeal are deposited in a special Diocesan Ministries Fund which is governed by a board of directors which operates independently of diocesan operations. The Fund was established in 2011 in order to assure that the intention of donors would be fully respected; namely, that donations would be expended only on those ministries identified in the ACA promotional materials. Funds in the Diocesan Ministries Fund are secure from litigation against the Catholic Bishop of Spokane, a Washington State corporation sole.
The Development Office’s report indicated that 33 parishes have exceeded their goals and that 36 others are close to doing so. Bishop Cupich encouraged all parishes to see the importance of making their goals in solidarity with all those who already have. “By everyone doing their part we will reach and surpass our 2012 goal,” the bishop said. “Even more importantly, we will be telling each other that we are all in this together.”
Following a formula long-agreed to by the pastors of the diocese’s 76 parishes, the ACA goal of an individual parish is calculated on the basis of 20 percent of it’s general income reported for the previous fiscal year, which ends June 30. General income is defined as the sum of Sunday and Holy Day collection income, including anonymous plate contributions.
— Bishop Blase Cupich“There are so many people who have stepped forward to be the ‘good and faithful servants’ we hear about in the Gospels. They have given flesh to the words of this year’s ACA theme – ‘Co-Workers in God’s Field’ – as these are words that echo in their hearts.”