2009 Catholic Ministries Appeal a ‘hope-filled expression of faith’
Thursday, July 16, 2009
By Carmen M. Hubbard
ARCHDIOCESE — The archdiocesan Department of Stewardship nearly met its financial contribution goal for this year’s Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) thanks to the generosity of area Catholics. The CMA concluded on June 30. As of July 8, CMA donations had reached 85 percent or $3.38 million of the appeal’s $4 million goal.
“This year’s response was much more than last year, even though the economy has been down. There’s still a hope-filled expression of faith on the part of parishioners,” said Michael Vanderburgh, director of the archdiocesan Department of Stewardship.
The 2009 CMA received an average gift of $104 from 168,073 parishioners at 230 parishes.
Proceeds from the campaign assist ministries education for seminarians, deacons and lay pastoral ministers; Catholic Charities SouthWestern Ohio (CCSWO); chaplains for hospitals and prisons; college campus ministries; St. Rita School for the Deaf and the Retired Archdiocesan Priests fund.
Vanderburgh said 100 percent of every dollar donated to the CMA will go to support the ministries.
Of the total, 27 percent goes to ministries education; 25 percent goes to Catholic Charities SouthWestern Ohio; 16 percent goes to the Retired Archdiocesan Priests fund; 13 percent goes to college campus ministries; 12 percent toward chaplains for hospitals and prisons; and seven percent toward St. Rita School for the Deaf.
What used to be the Archdiocesan Annual Fund Drive, now the CMA, is a yearly campaign that helps spread the message about the good work of the church. This year’s theme was “Do Gratitude … Say Thanks by Giving,” which coincided with Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk’s 2007 letter, “Giving and Doing Thanks.”
CMA funding for CCSWO also supports their pregnancy service and adoption program as well as a home-care program by providing home healthcare aides to assist the elderly. CCSWO assists 40,000 people every year, according to Kathleen Donnellan, executive director of Catholic Charities SouthWestern Ohio.
College campus ministries, funded by CMA, at Catholic universities include Xavier University, the College of Mount St. Joseph, University of Dayton and Chatfield College and ministries at state universities such as Sinclair Community College, the University of Cincinnati, Miami University and Wright State University.
Vocation materials for those interested in religious life are available free of charge at parishes paid for with CMA donations.
Vanderburgh doesn’t anticipate changes to next year’s CMA fund but plans to expand its marketing to include a “web presence,” he said. It will include a web-based video on the Department of Stewardship website that will feature stories of each ministry and first-person profiles from those who have benefited from CMA funds.
“It’s pleasantly surprising that our finances have resulted significantly better than last year. CMA is still new and will take some time for people to understand,” Vanderburgh said. “The Department of Stewardship engages the faithful and the universal church beyond the parish boundaries. Through the CMA, it’s an opportunity to participate in spreading the Gospel of each ministry, and we rely on the 19 counties within the archdiocese to make that possible.”