CSA 2013 challenges us to
"Be Doers of the Word."
The annual Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) has kicked off in the Diocese of Gaylord. With an overall goal this year of just over $3 million, CSA provides an opportunity for the Faithful of the Diocese to fund the ministries and programs of our diocesan church while supporting a variety of local, national, and international charities.
The theme for the 2013 CSA campaign, "Be Doers of the Word...Faith Without Works is Dead," is drawn from the Epistle of St. James and has a particular resonance in this Year of Faith: the Appeal gives us a concrete opportunity as a diocesan family to put our faith into action, by responding with the love of Christ to our brothers and sisters in need.
Parishioners throughout the diocese are receiving in their home mailboxes this year’s brochure highlighting how CSA spreads the faith and builds up not only our local diocesan church, but the outreach and ministries of the wider Catholic Church as well.
Bishop Bernard Hebda asserts that CSA is essential to the life of diocese and touches every area of ministry and all 21 counties: “It is CSA that funds my work and that of our diocesan pastoral staff. Without CSA, there would be no Diocesan Superintendent for Schools, no diocesan programs for faith and liturgical formation, no vocations office, and no support to parishes facing human resource challenges. Without CSA we would have to curtail our diocesan Hispanic and migrant ministries and we would no longer be able to evangelize and reach the homebound through a televised Mass. It is CSA that maintains our diocesan website and social media efforts, sustains successful grant-writing, enables us to offer programs to prepare those entering marriage, supports opportunities for spiritual enrichment and makes it possible for us to reach out to priests in retirement.”
Countless residents in northern Lower Michigan benefit from CSA through its support for the work of Catholic Human Services. CHS receives the largest single grant from CSA funds and improves the lives of people in our diocesan community through critical counseling opportunities, adoption services, substance abuse prevention efforts and senior adult programs According to Catholic Human Services CEO David Martin, “CSA is crucial to our efforts to provide services to people through satellite offices in virtually every county in the Diocese of Gaylord.”
Gifts to CSA not only support our work here in northern Michigan, but also provide us with funds to support the work of the Church throughout the world. Through CSA, for example, our diocesan Church is able to meet our obligation to support the work of Pope Francis without taking up the annual Peter’s Pence collection mandated in most dioceses. Likewise, we are able to support Catholic Home Missions, Catholic Relief Services, the Solidarity funds for the Church in Eastern Europe, for the Church in Latin America and the Church in Africa without further burdening parishes. The use of CSA funds to meet these obligations allows us to strengthen our ties with the Universal Church and our brothers and sisters in some of the most desperate reaches of the world.
Parishes throughout the Diocese of Gaylord will be kicking-off their appeal for pledges to the CSA at Masses this weekend, giving parishioners an opportunity to respond to God’s love by sharing a portion of the gifts entrusted to them and actively supporting the ministries and programs of our diocesan and universal Catholic church. As in the past, an incentive is being provided to encourage contributions: once a parish reaches it CSA target goal, any additional funds received are returned to the parish for local ministries. These rebates may be used at the discretion of the Pastor in consultation with the Parish Finance Council to assist with various local parish projects and ministries.
Making a pledge to the CSA is easy, and may be done with or without a down payment. In addition to cash pledges, gifts of stock may also be donated to the appeal. Pledges may be made directly through your parish, as well as electronically through the diocesan web site. Parishioners who choose to donate through the diocesan web site should also inform their parish so the donation is included in their target totals.
Please prayerfully consider a gift to the 2013 CSA so that we may continue our good works together as a diocese. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your local parish, or Danielle Parish at the diocesan development office at 989.732.5147 or via email at email@example.com.