This issue of The Catholic Missourian has been sent to all the registered Catholic households of the diocese as part of the kickoff for this year’s Catholic Stewardship Appeal (CSA).
The CSA is an annual campaign encouraging Catholics to commit to supporting their parishes while making a gift or pledge to help pay for essential diocesan services in the upcoming fiscal year.
All 110 parishes and missions and their local communities benefit from these services. This includes youth ministry, marriage and family-life support and promotion, vocation work, formation for permanent deacons, guidance and oversight for Catholic schools, communications, coordination of charitable services, advocacy in the public square, and ministry to growing local communities of Hispanic Catholics.
Bishop W. Shawn McKnight invites all Catholics to join him, his priests and fellow parishioners in sustaining the mission of the diocese.
“Our CSA, in which all — bishop, priests and parishioners — are asked to participate, supports our ministry and outreach to parishes and the larger community,” he said.
An offering to the CSA is also a tangible expression and manifestation of faith, gratitude and discipleship.
The theme for this year’s CSA is: “In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
This year’s goal is $2,275,000. However, the diocesan allocations of that goal total only $2,145,000, which is what the diocese received in the CSA last year.
A change in the funding formula for this year’s CSA highlights the crucial relationship among individual parishes and the diocese as a whole. Once the diocesan allocations are assured, every parish that achieves its parish goal will have 10 percent of that amount returned to that parish.
Parishes that exceed their goal would also receive 90 percent of the amount collected over their goal.
For parishes that reached or exceeded their goal last year, their goal for this year is the amount they raised last year.
For parishes that did not reach their goal last year, the goal is the same as last year’s.
This is the first step in Bishop McKnight’s vision of moving toward a parish-based stewardship model for the diocese, in which parishioners commit to tithing at the parish level out of their need to give, and the parishes then tithe to support diocesan and other ministries.
“With our lives, our prayers and the best use of our temporal goods, let us continue to thank God, Who gives us all good things through His Son,” Bishop McKnight stated. “Let us keep working together to announce His Good News in all facets of our lives, and watching with awe as He continues to bless and multiply our efforts.”
He noted that none of the money given to the CSA has been or will be spent on payments related to sexual abuse.