||Teachers in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs spread the faith to young people throughout the Diocese of Madison. Contributions to the Annual Catholic Appeal help fund diocesan offices which assist schools and parishes in their work. (Photo by Amy Schereck)
MADISON -- “We need Living Water to continue to learn and grow in our faith. Water is so important to normal life, and Living Water represents Christ. The Annual Catholic Appeal creates a ripple effect: One life touches another life.”
Those are the words of Barbara Wills, principal of St. Joseph School in Hazel Green, who is one of those whose reflections are included in the Diocese of Madison’s 2012 Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) brochure.
The theme of this year’s appeal is “Fountains of Living Water.” Wills, who has worked in Catholic education for 25 years, continues her reflections on the theme saying, “Those Living Waters spread amongst the children we’ve taught and to their families. When you give to the ACA, you’re not only dropping money there, you’re continuing in your own way to spread Jesus to everyone. That’s our mission in life.”
The Annual Catholic Appeal offers members of the Church in the 11 counties of the diocese the opportunity to help support the essential ministries which carry on Christ’s work. In the area of education, for example, gifts to the ACA help provide funding to the Office of Catholic Schools and also support the Seat of Wisdom Institute in the diocese, which helps keep Catholic educators current on matters of the faith.
This year’s ACA goal of $3 million provides funding for spiritual and temporal ministries in the diocese such as Catholic Charities (including rural life ministries and the Catholic Multicultural Center), Office of Catholic Schools, Camp Gray, Evangelization and Catechesis, Worship and Diocesan Choir, continuing education for clergy and deacons, Hispanic ministry, seminarian education, and diocesan planning. Education and distressed parish grants will be funded with monies received above the 2012 goal amount.
According to Jill Driscoll, associate director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development, parishioners in the Diocese of Madison will be receiving a direct mailing from Bishop Robert C. Morlino the week of January 30. The mailing includes a letter from the bishop, pledge card, brochure, and prayer card along with a reply envelope.
“We encourage people to prayerfully consider a pledge, not just a one-time gift,” said Driscoll. She pointed out that people may commit to pledges to be paid over a five-month period.
“Through the Church, her ministers, and all the faithful around the world, Christ is inviting each of us to become a Fountain of Living Water,” said Bishop Morlino in his message to people of the diocese. “Through her teachings, outreach, and, very substantially, through her sacraments, the Church is the fountain of grace that Christ chose to help mankind choose salvation.
“In this way, we have a very serious, albeit joyful, mission to fulfill right here in the Diocese of Madison. We do this in so many ways in our homes, families, parishes, and communities. And we do this together through the evangelization, teaching, outreach, and service made possible through the Annual Catholic Appeal,” said the bishop.
He urged people in the diocese to consider joining him again in the support of this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal, “which continues to bring about great good here in the Diocese of Madison and beyond our diocesan borders. Thank you for playing your part in our diocesan mission, in support of this life-giving appeal.”
Bulletin announcements and Prayers of the Faithful about the Annual Catholic Appeal begin in parishes the weekend of January 28 to 29 and will continue throughout February. The Annual Catholic Appeal will be announced in parishes throughout the diocese on the weekend of March 3 to 4.
Commitment Weekend is scheduled for March 10 to 11, when parishioners will complete an in-pew pledge form. If they have already given a donation or a pledge from the direct mail solicitation, they will indicate that on the pledge form.
Training sessions with parish staff and volunteers as well as kick-off meetings with pastors are being held to acquaint them with the Annual Catholic Appeal case statement, information, and process.
For more information about the Annual Catholic Appeal, contact the Office of Stewardship and Development, 702 S. High Point Rd., P.O. Box 44983, Madison, WI 53744, or visit the diocesan Web site at www.madisondiocese.org