Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


2014 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal begins

By MARY ANNE CASTRANIO, Staff Writer | Published February 6, 2014

ATLANTA—The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, the campaign to fund the offices and ministries of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, is underway for this year, and the upcoming commitment weekend for pledges in the parishes is set for Feb. 22-23. The Appeal is an opportunity for local Catholics to support the greater church family of all of north and central Georgia.

The theme of this year’s Appeal was taken from Leviticus 19:18, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In a letter to all Catholics of the archdiocese, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory said that the theme “reminds us that the Lord calls us to share his immense love for us with all of those we encounter.”

He asked that Catholics “reflect on how you have personally experienced the love of the Lord” and participate in this important fundraising effort, which supports the ministries, programs and services of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

The five key areas receiving funds from the Appeal are ministerial; pastoral outreach; education, formation and discipleship; Catholic Charities; and administrative costs. Overall, the goal for this year’s Appeal is $7.5 million.

The archdiocesan offices funded by the Appeal provide support to all parishes, regardless of location.

Archbishop Gregory said, “I am always awed by the compassion of the people of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. I see countless men and women acting out of love, serving those in their midst, and actively thanking the Lord for their gifts in support of their local parish and the ministries of the archdiocese through the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.”

The ministry and outreach of the Archdiocese of Atlanta is revealed with simple numbers:  88 parishes and 11 missions enriching over 1 million Catholics in north and middle Georgia; 182 diocesan priests, 80 religious priests, 246 permanent deacons, and more than 44 seminarians; 11,625 students in archdiocesan and independent Catholic schools; 44,180 students in parish religious education programs; and 14 college campus ministries. The archdiocese reaches and evangelizes over 7 million people.

Dave Spotanski, executive director of stewardship for the archdiocese, said, “Through the generosity of the people of the archdiocese, the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal continues to grow each year. Every year more and more parishes exceed their goals—this year by an average of nearly 30 percent—resulting in total parish rebates for 2013 of around $2.250 million.”

The 2014 campaign began in January and will conclude on Dec. 31. During the Appeal, parishes will hold an in-pew pledge process on the weekend of Feb. 22-23.

Every parish has an individual monetary goal for the Annual Appeal, which is 8 percent of the offertory from the fiscal year that ended 1.5 years prior to the start of the Appeal. As each family donates to the Appeal, their parish family moves closer to its own goal. When a parish goes over its goal, 90 percent of the extra money goes back to the parish tax-free to be used for local needs as determined by the parish and 10 percent is allocated to the parish endowment at the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia. If a parish does not reach its goal, the shortfall must be made up from the parish operating funds.

Spotanski said, “In addition to the invaluable ministries and outreach the archdiocese is able to sustain through the kindness of our faithful, the parishes are able to do some extraordinary things at home—special projects, local initiatives, and growing their endowments in the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia, so that the gifts made today will last forever.”

He added, “Building up this local Church in Christ’s name benefits every person in every generation. To me, that’s stewardship exactly as He intends it.”

Payments can be made securely online. All pledges must be paid by Dec. 31.  For more information, contact your parish or mission or go to the stewardship website at