Frequently Asked Questions
Annual Catholic Appeal
What is the Annual Catholic Appeal?
Since 1976, the Annual Catholic Appeal has been a unified effort in which all parishioners are asked to provide critical, financial support to more than thirty diocesan ministries running more successfully at the diocesan level than at the individual parishes. Appeal funds are the major financial source used to underwrite operating costs of these ministries.
Why is it important for me to support the Annual Catholic Appeal?
Your participation helps those whose needs are the greatest – the poor, the vulnerable, those on the margins of our society. Your gift demonstrates your commitment to Catholic education and the fight of the unborn; it supports those who are ill, imprisoned and dying; and helps to strengthen struggling families as well as offers counseling to the grieving and the addicted enabling thousands of individuals and families throughout the diocese make positive changes to improve their lives.
What programs benefit from the Annual Catholic Appeal?
The programs supported by the Appeal are concentrated in five areas: Catholic Education, High Schools, Pastoral Services, Catholic Charities and Administration & Communications. A listing of supported ministries follows:
- Catholic Education
Campus Ministry; Catholic Schools; Catholic Youth and Young Adult Ministry; Deaf Ministry; Religious Education; and Special Needs Ministry
- High Schools
Padua Academy; St. Elizabeth; St. Mark’s; Ss. Peter and Paul; and St. Thomas More Academy
- Pastoral Services
Chaplaincies; Deacon Formation and Ordained Deacons; Hispanic Ministry; Ministry for Black Catholics; Office for Marriage and Family Life; Office for Religious; Office of Worship; and Pro-Life Activities
- Catholic Charities
Basic Needs Program; Bayard House; Behavioral Health, Addition Recovery Support and Domestic Violence; Casa San Francisco; HIV Services; Immigration and Refuge Resettlement Program; Pastoral Services at Marydale Retirement Village; Pregnancy Counseling; Seton Center; and Thrift Center
- Administration & Communications
Annual Catholic Appeal; Archives; Chancery; Office of the Bishop; Office of Public Relations and Media; Office of Safe Environment; The Dialog, Catholic Press, Inc; and Tribunal.
How does my parish benefit from the Annual Catholic Appeal?
Every Appeal gift goes to support diocesan programs and ministries which in turn provide services that no one parish can offer on its own. Additionally at least 50 percent of contributions received beyond a parish’s assigned target is returned to the parish. Parishes operating or supporting a school receive 100 percent of over-target contributions.
How do I make a pledge to the Annual Catholic Appeal?
During Mass on Commitment Weekend, April 18 & 19, you will be invited to complete a pledge form which will be collected and forwarded to the diocesan development office for processing. If you are unable to attend church on Commitment Weekend, simply call the development office at (302) 573-3120 and a pledge form will be mailed to you. Or, you can make your pledge online by clicking here
How much should I give?
Charitable giving is a reflection of our Christian stewardship of treasure. Giving back to God, either through contributions to your parish, the Annual Catholic Appeal, or other worthwhile charities, should require a sacrifice, one that recognizes God’s generosity to us individually. Therefore, your gift is a personal decision between you and God, and should be made after careful reflection.
Are Annual Catholic Appeal funds used to pay legal fees or settlements from sexual abuse cases?
No. Annual Catholic Appeal gifts are used solely to fund existing ministries, programs, and services that benefit the formation and well-being of individuals and families throughout the diocese. Annual Catholic Appeal gifts have never been or will be used to satisfy legal fees or settlement costs associated with matters of sexual abuse.
Why should I make a pledge instead of a one-time gift?
Making a pledge allows you to spread your gift over several months, which may make it easier for you to pay, and may also allow you to give a larger gift.
Instead of honoring my pledge with cash or a personal check, is it possible to give the diocese appreciated securities or closely held stock?
Yes. Simply telephone the development office at (302)573-3120 to obtain the necessary instructions.
I may be interested in participating in the Annual Catholic Appeal; however, I have more questions. Whom do I contact?
Please contact Deborah Fols, diocesan development director, at (302) 573-3120. She welcomes your call and the opportunity to answer your questions.