Appeal moves up steps
The diocese's annual fund-raiser is now within $1 million of the 2002 target
By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor
Catholics throughout the Green Bay Diocese have taken a big step in faith so far this year through their gifts to the 2002 Bishop's Appeal, said Ron Shaha, director.
Contributions to the Appeal support numerous programs and services the Green Bay Diocese offers for individuals and parishes.
Thus far, Catholics have give $3,617,395 for the Appeal, putting it within $1 million of the target of $4.6 million. Several parishes have already surpassed their targets.
"I am extremely thankful for the generous support of the parishes and the thousands of Catholics across the diocese who have given to the Bishop's Appeal," Shaha said.
The Appeal funds services such as budget managing training for individuals and couples to help them dig their way out of large consumer debt. It also makes possible counseling from state-certified therapists and helps to resettle refugees and immigrants, and supports a mission in the Dominican Republic and the weekly TV Mass.
"The Bishop' Appeal is responsible for almost 50% of the diocese's operating expenses," said Shaha. "It supports teacher training through Total Catholic Education, Marriage Preparation, sacred music programs through Pastoral Services, The Compass, and more."
Lay ministers receive training through various programs from the Worship Office.
The diocese's nationally certified Commissioned Ministry Program, offered with Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, and the master's program in theological studies at St. Norbert College, train pastoral associates, parish business managers, religious education coordinators and directors and others in leadership positions throughout the diocese.
The Appeal also helps fund The Gathering, the annual fall event for teachers and administrators in Catholic schools and religious education programs, parish leaders and lay people interested in increasing their understanding of the faith. The Gathering, held every October at St. Norbert College, includes presentations by nationally and locally recognized speakers. Last fall, some 2,000 people attended.
"We hope that people take a step by making a gift if they haven't in the past and encourage those who have donated to the Appeal to increase their gift if possible," Shaha said.
The third mailing for the Bishop's Appeal is going out this week.
In encouraging Catholics to give, Shaha recommends making a pledge or joining the Crozier Society with a $500 donation.
He also urged contributors to see if their employers have matching funds programs.
For more information, contact Ron Shaha at (920)437-7531, ext. 8196, (877)500-3580, ext. 8196; P.O. Box 23825, Green Bay 54305-3825 or e-mail: [email protected].