The goal for this year’s Archdiocesan Annual Appeal is again $1.4 million and there is hope that even with the Saskatchewan economy struggling the goal will be reached this year. Last year it came close with $1.336 million raised or 95% of the total. It was also the second highest total raised since the appeal began in 2000.
A slide presentation that scrolled during the kick off noted that since its inception over $19 million has been raised, all to support Archdiocesan Ministries. More than 20,000 campaign envelopes were scheduled to be mailed out this year. Archdiocesan Administrator Very Reverend Lorne Crozon said 20% of all parishes contributed in the campaign “and just think what could be raised if 25 0r 30% contributed.” The number of donors and the number of parishes who contributed to last year’s campaign increased over the year previous and 35 parishes reached their goal and received rebates of about $60,000.00. The appeal refunds 80% of the excess for each parish that exceeds its goal. Crozon noted that donors can now donate on line.
He briefly described several of the ministries supported by the Appeal, including World Youth Day Pilgrims, Friends on the Outside, hospital chaplains and the diaconate program. “It’s extending Christ’s gift of love around us,” said Crozon. He called for Donor Services Coordinator Denise Walsh to stand beside the podium. She protested that it was not on the agenda but Crozon insisted she join him. He introduced her and congratulated her for the work she does in the Annual Appeal office.
Several of the ministries made presentations to parish representatives who came to the kick-off to pick up their campaign material. Theologian, Ecumenical Coordinator and Coordinator of the diaconate program Dr. Brett Salkeld, reminded everyone that the consistent prayers for vocations that each parish has been reciting for several years has paid off with 10 seminarians now on the journey to priesthood and 10 participants in the four-year Diaconate program which just began its third year of training. “What was prayed for must be paid for,” he joked as he described how the Annual Appeal supports those programs.
Eric Gurash, Coordinator of the Lay Formation program said there are 22 participants in the program and it too is supported by the Annual Appeal.
The slogan for this year’s campaign is Gifts of Mercy.
A supper of home made soup and sandwiches made by CWL volunteers from Our Lady of Peace Parish ended the afternoon.