Catholic Services Appeal launches Nov. 8-9

By Catholic Spirit Staff

The Catholic Services Appeal for the Austin Diocese kicks off in parishes Nov. 8-9. This year’s theme is “A Joy Which is Shared.”
Danielle Madrid, associate director of Stewardship and Annual Appeal, said the Catholic Services Appeal supports the diocese in its mission of spreading the joy of Christ, and assisting the clergy, religious and lay people who carry out this mission across Central Texas.  
“We are particularly blessed that the generosity of people across the diocese allows us to fully fund the education of our seminarians,” she said.
There are currently 46 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. Donors who give to the CSA help to eliminate that financial burden on our future priests, freeing the seminarians “so they really can focus on their work, their studies, and their formation to become better priests.” 
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.
Bishop Joe Vásquez said as stewards of the many gifts that God has given us, we are called to return a portion of our time, talent and treasure in gratitude for God’s great bounty.
“Through gifts to the Catholic Services Appeal, we help form children, adults, ministers, priests, deacons, etc. in sharing the Good News and the joy of the Gospel with others,” the bishop said.
This year’s theme, “A Joy Which is Shared,” reminds us that we have been challenged by our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to “go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Guadium, 49).  By sharing our blessings with those in need, we are also sharing the light of our faith with one another and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
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 joy of the gospel 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 weekend of Nov. 8-9. To donate, fill out the pledge card and mail it in or donate online at www.austindiocese.org.

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