Annual Catholic Appeal: Why it’s vital to support diocesan ministries and services Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 -- 12:00 AM

This weekend, March 2 and 3, Catholics throughout the Diocese of Madison will be asked to contribute to the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA).

Members of parishes have already received a letter from Bishop Robert C. Morlino with information on the ACA. It was an opportunity to pledge support for the ACA even before the public process started. We have already sent in our family’s pledge to the ACA. People can pay in one lump sum or give a pledge to be paid over a five-month period.

I believe it is vital to support the ministries and services in our diocese funded by the ACA. (Please note that I am giving an objective opinion, since the Catholic Herald does not receive support from the appeal; our paper is supported only by subscriptions and advertising.)

Every Catholic benefits

In my work as editor of the Catholic Herald, I have observed much of the work of our diocesan offices. Some people might say, “I don’t use any of the offices. Why should I  support them?”

First of all, even if you don’t know it, you do receive services from the diocesan offices. Every Catholic in our diocese benefits from them.

Here are just some of the ways the lives of Catholics are touched by the diocesan offices:

Priests celebrate Mass and the sacraments for Catholics throughout the Diocese of Madison. The ACA helps support the education of seminarians, who will be our future priests. The ACA also provides for the continuing education of our current priests.

Catholic Charities helps serve people throughout the diocese through more than 35 programs. For example, it operates the All Saints Neighborhood in Madison which provides housing for independent seniors and assisted living for those who need more help. Although All Saints is located in Madison, people from throughout our diocese have come to live there (my mother-in-law is one of those living there, so I can attest to the importance of this valuable service to our elderly). Catholic Charities also provides Mobile Food Pantries throughout our diocese, and it serves individuals, families, persons with developmental disabilities, and those addicted to alcohol and drugs. Financial assistance is also provided to the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison.

Life-long education in our faith is so important. Our diocesan offices assist our parishes in educating more than 7,000 students in 44 Catholic schools, as well as providing resources for training catechists, teachers, and those involved in marriage preparation (there again I’m one of those, along with my husband, who has benefitted from training to do marriage preparation in our parish).

We all appreciate good liturgies. Our diocesan Office of Worship helps make that happen through training and workshops for those involved in liturgy and music. Our Diocesan Choir presents outstanding concerts and also visits local parishes throughout the year.

These are just a few of the ministries and services funded by the Annual Catholic Appeal (see the insert in this week’s paper for more information). Every Catholic in our diocese benefits from our diocesan offices, and every Catholic should support them. Please contribute to the ACA if you haven’t already done so.