ALLOUEZ — Through all the challenges that come with life, Catholics know that the Lord always walks alongside them. “God lifts us to rise above those tough times and calls us to share his hope and love with those who need it most,” said Tammy Danz, director of the Bishop’s Appeal.
In keeping with that knowledge, “We Rise Again” is the theme for the 2021 Bishop’s Appeal. The Appeal kicks off this weekend, Feb 6-7, in parishes across the Diocese of Green Bay.
“When someone makes a gift, they share our Lord’s love with thousands of people all around the 16 counties of the Diocese of Green Bay,” said Danz. “We are excited to share a few stories from the ministries supported by the Appeal because, through these stories, you can see how your gift changes lives.”
The Bishop’s Appeal, an annual diocesan-wide fundraising campaign, invites Catholics from across northeastern Wisconsin to support the mission and ministries of the Diocese of Green Bay. This year, the Bishop’s Appeal goal is $5,450,000.
The 2020 Appeal raised more than $5,910,000 from more than 27,550 families and individuals. These gifts support many ministries, like counseling through Catholic Charities and training for faith formation leaders and pastoral associates.
The Compass asked Danz to explain more about the Bishop’s Appeal:
Why was “We Rise Again” chosen as this year’s Bishop’s Appeal theme?
This theme is the perfect response to all of the challenges we’ve collectively experienced in the past year. By joining together and reaching out to our brothers and sisters in need, we bring the love of Jesus to them. Through these beautiful acts of charity as a church, we can rise again.
What impact does the Bishop’s Appeal have?
When someone makes a gift to the Bishop’s Appeal, they are supporting many important ministries across the diocese. My diocesan colleagues in Parish Life and Evangelization ministries continue to develop programs and support parishes in providing connections with the faithful. This has been especially vital in the past year when isolation has been so rampant.
For example, Catholic Charities provides family strengthening programs, adoption services and mental health counseling. Each year, Catholic Charities serves thousands of people in need. Catholic Charities is the social outreach arm of the Catholic Church and embodies this Scripture passage from Matthew: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40). With the funding from the Bishop’s Appeal, Catholic Charities is able to provide services that elsewhere might be too costly and out of reach to those most in need.
Youth Ministry and Faith Formation leaders receive training that helps shape our next generation of Catholics so that pews are full for years to come. Camp Tekakwitha and campus ministry at UW-Oshkosh and UW-Green Bay also receive funding from the Bishop’s Appeal.
To learn more about all of the ministries visit catholicfoundationgb.org/appealstories.
What is the Catholic Foundation doing differently in light of COVID-19?
The pandemic has given us the opportunity to reflect on what is truly important in our lives. The need for connection with God and with one another is certainly at the top of that list. We all long to be known and loved. God knows us and loves us unconditionally.
The ministries supported by the Bishop’s Appeal are the megaphones that broadcast that love far and wide. We are focusing on sharing this message and awareness of the Bishop’s Appeal as broadly as possible using web, video and social media to help reach folks that may or may not be back in the pews. We’ve put together a series of short videos that will be shared from the Diocese of Green Bay Facebook page. Please give the Facebook page a “like” and you’ll see the videos as soon as they’re released.
What advice can you offer about making a gift?
Spending time in prayer and asking the Lord for guidance on how best to share the gifts he has given us is always a great place to start. The average gift for the 2020 Appeal was $214. That’s less than 60 cents a day. Every single gift is important. For some of us, a gift of $10 is deeply sacrificial, but, for others, a gift of $100, $250, or joining the Crozier Society with a gift of $500 or more, is possible. Please know how grateful we are for the beautiful support shown to the church through the Bishop’s Appeal.
There are several easy ways to make a gift to the Bishop’s Appeal. During the second week of February, every registered family in the diocese will receive a letter from Bishop Ricken inviting them to make a gift. You can simply fill out the pledge card and mail it back in the blue envelope. On the pledge card, you have options that range from making a pledge gift over 10 months, a credit card gift or an electronic withdrawal right from your checking or saving account. You can also make your gift online at catholicfoundationgb.org/give.