Fr. John Gerritts - September 23, 2018
Last week I wrote about the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA).
We have some exciting news to announce in this regard. To keep you reading, I
am holding off on sharing the news with you until later in the article. Each
year every parish in the Diocese is assessed a determined amount that must be
raised to help cover the costs related to the operation of our Diocesan Church.
The goal for the Diocese of Superior this year is $2,250,000. Each parish’s
portion is calculated by taking a percentage of the revenue that a parish takes
in from regular adult giving, plus interest earned on any investments. Parishes
with a Catholic school receive a credit based on the amount the parish spends
in support of the school. Our assessment for this year is just over $128,264,
which is the amount we must pay to the Diocese by the end of the year.
Even if we do not collect the full amount we must still pay
our total assessment. If we surpass our assessment, we are refunded the overage
for our own use. The appeal is the primary source of funding for our Diocese.
The funds from the CSA are used to educate our seminarians and provide them
with health insurance; pay the salaries for our Diocesan staff; support
Catholic Charities; allow the Diocese to sponsor youth activities such as
Extreme Faith Camp and the annual Youth Rally; offer educational opportunities
for parish staff, school teachers, youth ministers, deacons, and priests; and supply
a variety of other programs and services.
We clearly benefit from the Diocese and many of the services
they provide. If the Diocesan staff didn’t handle negotiations for basic things
such as all of our insurance needs – health, liability, workers comp,
unemployment, and property – we would be paying more than our annual assessment
just to cover our parish’s insurance needs (yes we have checked, and in most
cases we couldn’t even get a quote).
In the past we have not made a real hard pitch at Saint
Patrick in the fall for supporting the CSA. As a result we’ve often had to make
a second pitch in the spring, but typically have ended up paying $40,000-$60,000
to cover the balance still owed because we had not achieved the goal set for
us. Hopefully you noticed that this last spring we did not make a last minute
request to raise more for the CSA. We were able to cover the balance owed with
what we had taken in during the year from the regular collection, gifts, and
other revenue sources. Therefore we are putting more emphasis on the appeal
this fall. I did not ask for additional contributions last spring, nor have I
any intention of asking again this coming spring.
Now for the exciting news: we have received an anonymous
donation of $25,000 as a challenge gift. We will receive the $25,000 if we are
able to raise the remaining $103,264. The party pledging this amount wishes to
show their dedication to the church in the face of current controversies and
trials. Their commitment to our faith transcends the immediate conversation and
indicates instead a devotion and perseverance to the church Jesus Christ
That would mean for the first time in many years we will have
met our goal, and come next spring we will not need to pay the Diocese $40,000-$60,000
from our operational budget to make up any shortfall. These are funds that we
can instead use for youth activities, parish and school staff salaries,
maintenance, Bible studies, outreach, and much more!
Therefore if you received a form from the Diocese in the
mail, you can turn it in to our parish or return directly to the Diocese. Just
make sure you indicate that you are a member of Saint Patrick Parish-Hudson. If
you did not receive a mailing from the Diocese we have envelopes available for
everyone by the entrances of the church. We are hoping you can turn in your
pledge by the weekend of September 29-30. You may make your payment all at once
or contribute on a monthly basis. Whichever the case, please pledge to support
the Diocese as you are able. Thank you!