CSA beats goal by $5.3M; 2016 effort kicks off next weekend

Detroit — Parishioners of the Archdiocese of Detroit contributed $23.1 million to the Catholic Services Appeal in 2015-16, far surpassing the goal of $17.8 million set for the campaign.

The generosity of parishioners in Metro Detroit comes as the archdiocese prepares for a major push forward on evangelization.

“The CSA gives us all the opportunity to support the good works of the archdiocese and thereby put into action the Good News Jesus preached,” Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said in a letter to parishioners regarding this year’s CSA campaign, which kicks off May 7-8.

This year’s campaign follows the theme of Pope Francis’ 2013 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, calling on the archdiocese to “Celebrate the Joy of the Gospel.”

“Our 35th annual Catholic Services Appeal takes place during the Year of Mercy, when Pope Francis has asked us to be mindful of the gifts of our risen Lord’s love and mercy,” Archbishop Vigneron said.

The target for the 2016-17 campaign remains the same as each of the past seven years under Archbishop Vigneron, at $17.8 million.

The CSA is the primary funding mechanism for most of the archdiocese’s central ministries, supporting programs and institutions such as Sacred Heart Major Seminary, evangelization programs, priestly vocations and training, youth and minority ministries, young adult programming and RCIA formation.

Founded by Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka in 1981, the Archdiocese of Detroit’s CSA has long been recognized as the most successful regular diocesan fundraising campaign in the country.

Funding from the CSA also supports music and liturgical ministry programs, communications and social media outreach, support for consecrated individuals and Catholic schools, as well as certain national collections of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In all, the campaign supports 117 programs and services.

“Truly, this is evangelization at work,” the archbishop wrote. “It is significant that the many ministries, programs and services our CSA funds serve as the practical means of delivery of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.”

Fundraising targets are set for each of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s 226 parishes based on factors such as the number of registered households. Last year, 189 parishes met or exceeded their targets, with anything extra collected returning to the parish for its own programs.

Last year, 69,744 families pledged to the CSA, with an average donation of $331.58. Of the $23.1 million in pledges, $22.1 million has been collected so far.

The largest portion of CSA dollars — $4.6 million in 2015 — funds mission-supporting grants to parishes, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, schools and national collections, with other portions going toward clergy life, priestly vocations and seminarian education ($2.58 million); seminary building and maintenance costs ($2.94 million); Catholic schools, evangelization, youth and minority ministries ($1.98 million); parish life and Christian services ($2.38 million); stewardship and development programs ($1.2 million); communications, social and digital media ($1.48 million); and the Metropolitan Tribunal ($706,000).

Catholic Services Appeal

To find out more about how the Catholic Services Appeal funds the various ministries and services of the Archdiocese of Detroit or to learn how to donate, visit www.aod.org/csa.