Parish efforts help boost annual appeal

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
CSATo say the 2014-2015 Catholic Services Appeal campaign was successful would be an understatement.

The annual appeal — which funds programs from supplying food to those in need to educating future priests — raised $3,245,500. That’s 105% or $145,500 more than the goal of $3.1 million.

This year’s campaign would not be possible if not for the diligent work of pastors and lay ministers in parishes, said Matthew Schuhmann, coordinator of annual giving for the archdiocese’s Office of Stewardship and Development.

“We had such an incredibly successful appeal due to the generous people of the archdiocese and the continued leadership of pastors,” Schuhmann said.

Fifty-seven parishes reached or exceeded their goals this year, which represent more than half of the 111 parishes across the Archdiocese of Louisville. An additional 20 parishes were within 90 percent of their goals, Schuhmann noted.

One parish that went far beyond its goal was the Church of the Ascension, 4600 Lynnbrook Drive. The parish raised $40,656 — 27 percent more than its goal. That is about $13,000 more than the parish collected the year before.

Father Steven Henriksen, who just completed his first year leading Ascension, said his parish was successful in meeting its goal, not because of some magic formula, but because of the generosity of his parishioners.

“If you present the need, they will respond with open hearts and they certainly did with the Catholic Services Appeal over the past year,” Father Henriksen said in a recent phone interview.

He said he and his staff put a human face on the appeal.

“We know the appeal, for example, provides funding to Catholic Charities of Louisville. Catholic Charities engages in a whole range of services from refugee resettlement services to the Sister Visitor Center.

“Connecting people with that reality is not only a challenge but a real opportunity that we as pastors have in making pleas to the people for support,” said Father Henriksen, who also serves on the board of directors of Catholic Charities.

In addition to raising nearly an additional third of its goal, Ascension doubled the number of people in the parish who contributed to the appeal.

“It really wasn’t about big donors. This was really about people saying they were willing to ante up $100, $150 or $200 over the course of a year.

That was the part of the campaign that was really gratifying to see,” he said.

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