Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Archbishop’s Annual Appeal begins for 2016; Commitment Weekend will be Jan. 30-31

Published January 7, 2016

ATLANTA—The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, the unified appeal conducted annually in the parishes and missions of the Atlanta Archdiocese, kicked off Jan. 1 and will run throughout the year. The donations made by individuals to the Archbishop’s Appeal provide funding for many of the essential programs, ministries and services of the Catholic Church in north and central Georgia.

The overall goal for this year’s Annual Appeal is $7.92 million. The Commitment Weekend for pledges in the parishes will take place at Masses Jan. 30 and 31.

Parishioners will have an opportunity to support the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal at their parish on Commitment Weekend when pledge cards will be available and filled out in the pews.

The theme of this year’s Appeal is “Love Never Fails,” taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. In his message to all Catholics of the archdiocese, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory explained, “As St. Paul describes the attributes of love, ‘Love is patient. Love is kind. … Love never fails,’ I cannot help but think of God’s unfailing love for each of us.”

He added, “As we embark on this Year of Mercy, I see the love of the Lord made a priority, being lived in concrete and visible ways, every day in our archdiocese. Please join me again this year in supporting the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal as a way to respond to God’s love, share His mercy and show our unending gratitude.”

The five key areas receiving funds from the Appeal are ministerial; pastoral outreach; education, formation and discipleship; Catholic Charities; and administrative costs. The archdiocesan offices funded by the Archbishop’s Appeal provide support to all parishes and missions, regardless of location.

Some of the vital ministries funded through the Appeal are: the education of seminarians who will be the next generation of priests in the archdiocese, to which $2.1 million is committed; the Metropolitan Tribunal, where marriage cases are heard, to which $420,000 is committed; and Catholic campus ministries serving college and graduate students, to which $530,000 is committed.

The ministry and outreach of the Archdiocese of Atlanta are shown in the growing numbers: 90 parishes and 14 missions enriching over 1 million Catholics in north and middle Georgia; 191 diocesan priests, 85 religious priests, 74 women and men religious, 247 permanent deacons, and 54 seminarians; 11,642 students in archdiocesan and independent Catholic schools; 46,088 students in parish religious education programs; and 14 college campus ministries. The archdiocese reaches and evangelizes more than 7 million people in north and central Georgia.annual appeal pie-chart

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 Archbishop’s 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 that parish’s 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.

Archbishop Gregory in his message said, “As we look to this year’s Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, please reflect on how you have personally experienced the love of the Lord and consider participating again, or for the first time. It is through your generosity that the ministries funded by this campaign are able to thrive and help more people experience God’s unfailing love for them.”

Frequently asked questions about giving to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal


What is the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal?

The Archdiocese of Atlanta conducts an annual campaign (as is the case in most dioceses in the United States), to help fund the work of its offices and ministries throughout north and central Georgia. The Appeal commences in January and concludes in December each year. The Appeal will include an in-pew pledge process held on the two weekends prior to Ash Wednesday.

I’d like to know how my gift will benefit the parishes outside of metropolitan Atlanta?

The offices of the archdiocese are available to provide support to all parishes regardless of location. The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal funded the education of priests currently serving in your parish. Catechists who are teaching the children of your parish receive training and support through our Office of Formation and Discipleship. Engaged couples receive pre-marital counseling retreats. All of these are but examples of the wide variety of services provided by archdiocesan offices and ministries to parishes and parishioners across the archdiocese.

What should I give to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal?

Jesus Himself gave us a guideline, “Share from your substance, not from your surplus.” You are the best judge of what this means for you—not just what you can afford, but what God is calling you to do. We do offer a guide—at least one percent of your income to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, five percent to your parish, and four percent to other charities and/or second collections, but always giving according to your means.

I already support my parish, isn’t that enough?

The Annual Appeal provides the opportunity to support our wider Church family, the Archdiocese of Atlanta, as well as our own parish ministries. When we say the Creed, we reaffirm the fact that we are members of the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” We are saying that we believe that every parish and every parishioner is responsible not only for his or her parish, but also for the wellbeing of the Church throughout the archdiocese and the world.

Why should people give?

Catholics should give because they are grateful for the gifts that God has given them in their lives and because of the great good that their giving brings to the world.

What is the in-pew process and why are we using it?

The in-pew process is designed to reach parishioners directly in their seats at Mass. Parishioners will be directed through the process step-by-step by the pastor or his designee as representatives of the Archbishop. It is used because it gives parishioners who may not be registered in a parish or who did not respond to our direct mail piece an opportunity to give.