By Georgia Bulletin Staff | Published January 25, 2018
ATLANTA—Consider these: the ministries of Peace and Justice, Respect Life, Disabilities, Child and Youth Protection; the religious education and preschool programs; the ministries on campuses, in marriage and family life, prisons and jails, hospitals, religious education and with youth and young adults; the helpful assistance and leadership of Catholic Charities Atlanta; the education and guidance of 62 seminarians in their journey to the priesthood; the support and leadership of those in the permanent diaconate.
These ministries, services and departments—and many more—are supported each year by the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.
The 2018 appeal will be announced the weekend of Jan. 27-28 and officially launched in the parishes and missions during commitment weekend Feb. 3-4. The campaign will continue through December.
Donations made to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal provide funding for the programs, ministries and services of the Catholic Church in north and central Georgia. The goal for this year’s appeal is $8.5 million.
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, in his letter to the Catholic community, asked all to consider the “important work being done … only made possible by your generous donations to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, the main funding source for all of the ministerial, outreach, education, formation and discipleship work of our archdiocese.”
The theme of this year’s appeal is “Go therefore and make disciples,” from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 28. Archbishop Gregory, in his letter, said that these words “remind us to act upon the love of the Lord and openly share those actions of love with others.”
More than 1 million Catholics live in the archdiocese and are served by 198 diocesan priests, 79 religious order priests, 79 men and women religious. There are 275 permanent deacons in the archdiocese and 62 seminarians. Catholic schools, both diocesan and independent, serve more than 11,709 students with more than 46,000 young people participating in parish religious education programs and 15 college campus ministries.
The outreach and evangelization of the archdiocese impacts the lives of 7 million people in Georgia.
Five areas that benefit
The Annual Appeal supports five chief areas of work of the Atlanta Archdiocese: ministerial; pastoral outreach; education, formation and discipleship; Catholic Charities; and administrative costs.
The ministerial area, which receives $3.25 million, includes seminarian education ($2.1 million), permanent diaconate ($350,000), priest support and retirement care ($650,000) and priest continuing formation ($150,000).
Pastoral outreach, which receives $1.95 million, encompasses the ministries of Life, Dignity and Justice, including the Respect Life ministry ($150,000), Justice and Peace ministries ($150,000), Prison and Jail ministry ($150,000) and Disabilities ministry ($150,000). The area also includes the office of Intercultural and Ethnic Diversity ($350,000), Child and Youth Protection ($150,000), hospital ministry ($50,000), Metropolitan Tribunal ($450,000), Parish and Mission Support ($300,000) and cemeteries ($50,000).
The area of education, formation and discipleship, which receives $2.3 million, includes under-resourced school support ($500,000), parish preschool programs ($50,000), campus ministry ($550,000), religious education ($300,000), youth and young adult ministry ($200,000), marriage and family ministry ($250,000), pastoral care ministry ($250,000) and Eucharistic Congress ($200,000).
Catholic Charities receives $500,000 from the appeal, which goes to Refugee Resettlement Services ($150,000), Immigration Services ($150,000) and Family Stabilization ($200,00), including veterans case management, housing counseling, foreclosure intervention, English language instruction and counseling.
Finally, the administrative costs provided by the appeal are $500,000.
Goals set for every parish
Every parish has a monetary goal for the appeal, which is 8 percent of the offertory from the fiscal year ending one and a half years prior to the appeal start.
Ninety percent of monies collected above the parish goal are returned to the parish and 10 percent is allocated to that parish’s endowment fund at the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia.
Parishes not reaching their goal must make up the shortfall from operating funds.
Donors can make a pledge and pay in up to 10 monthly installments, through Dec. 31. Payment methods include cash, check (payable to “Archbishop’s Annual Appeal), credit card and stocks and securities.
Archbishop Gregory, in the video for the appeal, said, “There is a great importance in the active living out of our faith. … Thank you for helping the church grow in vibrancy, in charity and in hope.”
For more information about the appeal, including parish goals, please visit appeal.archatl.com.