Catholic Services Appeal launches with goal unchanged

Detroit — The Catholic Services Appeal, the annual archdiocesan campaign that supports a host of ministries and services each year, will get under way for 2013 the weekend of May 4-5.

And like the last three years, the target amount for the campaign is largely unchanged from the year before, as is its theme: “Sharing Christ in and through the Church.”

Catholics across the Archdiocese of Detroit will listen to a video message from Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron about the appeal, which funds everything from promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life to youth ministry and the Mass for Shut-Ins.

Archbishop Vigneron expressed his gratitude to the faithful for their donations, saying the Church was in a better position to share Christ’s message because of them.

“Thanks to your generous gifts to the CSA, we in the Archdiocese of Detroit are able to share Christ in our six counties and beyond through a variety of ministries,” the archbishop said in the video message. “These resources address the spiritual and material needs of countless people throughout our region each day, allowing us to advance the mission of evangelization.”

This year’s overall goal of $17,828,885 was kept virtually steady for the fourth straight year, despite a 1.5 percent annual increase before 2010. Archbishop Vigneron had pledged after his installation in 2009 that there would be no increase in the target amount for at least three years.

However, many individual parishes’ goals may have changed, especially as mergers, clusters and reorganization through the Together in Faith restructuring plan have altered membership roles and combined resources at many parishes.

Each parish is responsible for meeting its individual goal, and any shortfall must be filled by the parish’s own coffers. On the flip side, however, any money raised in excess of the Catholic Services Appeal target is kept by the parish to use for its own various ministries and needs.

Carmelo and Margarita Moyet of St. Damien of Molokai Parish, Pontiac, said their own marriage is a testament to the gifts of the Catholic Services Appeal.

“We like that our gifts to the CSA support couples entering into the sacrament of marriage,” the Moyets said. “When we wed nearly 23 years ago, marriage preparation helped us look beyond our immediate love and understand that we were making a lifetime — and a spiritual — commitment to each other, in front of God.”

Sacred Heart Major Seminary, religious education classes, youth, campus and young adult ministries were all mentioned as examples of programs benefiting from the Catholic Services Appeal in the archbishop’s video message.

“One parish could not possibly provide all of these ministries, but the local Church ensures that all of the needs of our faithful are met, thanks to those who support the CSA in a spirit of stewardship for the work of evangelization,” he said.

“The Gospel according to John shows us the foundation of this mission: namely, the love of God and neighbor. Our Lord tells his disciples, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ The world will know we are his disciples if we love one another.”