Archdiocese keeps CSA target steady at $17.84M

Study finds Detroit’s campaign most successful in nation of its kind

DETROIT — The goal for the 2012 Catholic Services Appeal is $17,839,175 to fund most of the ministries of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

That figure represents no change from the previous year, and the 2012 effort also continues the theme of “Sharing Christ in and through the Church.”

“Because of your generous gifts to the annual CSA, the Archdiocese of Detroit is able to share Christ in our six counties and beyond through a variety of ministries, programs and services,” Archbishop Allen Vigneron said in his video message of support for this year’s CSA, to be shown in parishes in the coming weeks.

“Not only do these vital resources address the spiritual and temporal needs of countless people on a daily basis, our outreach to the community witnesses the evangelizing mission Christ gives to His Church: to share His Good News with the world around us,” he said.

The unchanged overall goal reflects Archbishop Vigneron’s commitment after his installation that there would be no increase for three years. Before 2010, there had been several years of 1.5 percent annual increases.

CSA targets for individual parishes may have increased or decreased because these are established according to each parish’s particular circumstances.

According to a study by the International Catholic Stewardship Committee, the Archdiocese of Detroit’s CSA is the most successful campaign of its kind of any diocese in the United States.

“There is something in the DNA of the people of southeastern Michigan that is just generous,” said David Kelley, archdiocesan director of development.

He said this trait is also reflected in support for the Church’s missionary outreach arm, Propagation of the Faith, and such non-Catholic efforts as the annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.

The archbishop said all Catholics in the archdiocese benefit from the CSA.
“Our Catholic schools and parish religious education programs, supported by the Department of Evangelization, Catechesis and Schools, continue the formation in the Catholic faith that parents begin at home,” the archbishop said. “CSA-funded ministries and programs strengthen the faith lives of our youth and young adults during a time in their lives when they are most vulnerable.

“The CSA also helps in the important ministry of preparing engaged couples to be holy in their marriage. Gifts to the CSA provide Sacred Heart Major Seminary with the resources to form and educate priests and permanent deacons, as well as lay pastoral ministers and catechists, to serve faithfully in our parishes. CSA-funded discernment events encourage priestly vocations to men of all ages,” he said.

Archbishop Vigneron also noted that the CSA supports such efforts as the televised “Mass for Shut-ins” and the archdiocesan website, www.aodonline.org.

And he pointed to CSA support for the RCIA program, guidance for parish pastoral and finance councils, and programs of formation in Christian stewardship as a way of life.
“Because your gifts to the CSA allow the Archdiocese of Detroit to offer these ministries, programs, and services to everyone, parishes do not need to duplicate our efforts. And no one parish would have the resources to do so,” the archbishop added.
Most parishes and missions of the archdiocese kick off their general appeal for CSA pledges at Masses the weekend of April 28-29.

Some parishes have already launched their general appeal to parishioners; most have been soliciting pledges from their largest donors for weeks now.

The CSA continues to be a success, even though the area’s active Catholic population has been shrinking, Kelley said. He said the number of people pledging has been declining, but the average amount pledged has been rising.

All parishes and missions are required to meet their individual targets, but many strive to exceed it because everything collected in excess of the goal is donated to the parish. For example, the total pledged for last year’s CSA was $20,363,000, Kelley said.

By exceeding their CSA target, a parish can receive contributions that are not subject to the 6 percent archdiocesan assessment — the cathedraticum — that applies to ordinary contributions to a parish.

The proceeds from the cathedraticum go primarily to covering the basic administrative expenses of the archdiocese, whereas the CSA funds most ministries.