Catholic Services Appeal kicks off in parishes

By Catholic Spirit Staff

The Catholic Services Appeal for the Austin Diocese kicked off in parishes Nov. 2-3. This year’s theme is “Let Your Light Shine.” 
Danielle Madrid, Associate Director of Stewardship and Annual Appeal, said the Catholic Services Appeal supports the diocese in its mission of spreading the light of Christ, and assisting the clergy, religious and lay people who carry out this mission across Central Texas.
Through donations to the CSA, parishioners support men in their education and formation for the priesthood or the diaconate and care for retired priests; they provide leadership and liturgical training for youth ministers and those serving our multicultural communities; through Catholic Charities, they extend a helping hand to the poor and to families in need; they help support thousands of students and teachers in Catholic schools and catechists who teach religious education to thousands of children and adults; and they enhance the spirituality and worship of our parishioners. 
Through gifts to the Catholic Services Appeal, donors enable parishes to carry out programs and ministries that they otherwise would not be able to fund themselves, said Scott Whitaker, diocesan director of Stewardship and Development.
There are currently 40 seminarians in the diocese. One third of the money raised through CSA goes to support the seminarians as they prepare for their day of ordination. Whitaker said donors who give to the CSA help to eliminate that financial burden on our future priests, thus freeing the seminarians “so they really can focus on their work, their studies, and their formation to become better priests.” 
Madrid also stressed that every gift to the Catholic Services Appeal is important and appreciated because every dollar goes toward helping the local church. Even if a family is unable to financially support the appeal this year, a gift of prayers is even more important.
“Every gift in support of the CSA counts. Through your gifts, you are spreading the light of Christ throughout our diocese.  Everything helps,” Madrid said. 
Pledge cards for the Catholic Services Appeal have been mailed and were distributed at all the Masses during the first week of November. To donate, fill out the pledge card and mail it in or donate online at www.austindiocese.org.

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