By Barb Arland-Fye
Seminarian Guillermo Treviño wrote in his latest “blog” (a web-based column) for The Catholic Messenger about his summer experience working in the maintenance department at diocesan headquarters in Davenport. “I learned a lot from this simple experience in that it’s amazing what can be done when each person does their part, no matter how small.”
Treviño, a second-year theology student at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., is one of 12 seminarians studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Davenport. The Annual Diocesan Appeal (ADA), which kicks off Sept. 24-25 in the diocese’s 80 parishes, is paying for seminarians’ education — an average of $32,000 annually per individual.
In mini profiles accompanying this article (See Page 10), seminarians noted the encouragement they’ve received from various priests. Among them are previous directors of vocation and the current one, Father Thom Hennen, whose position ADA also funds.
Other ministries, programs and services that enhance Catholics’ ability to worship in their parishes and connect with the Church locally and universally depend on ADA funds as well:
• Deacon formation — 13 deacon candidates have passed the midway point in their journeys to become permanent deacons for the diocese.
• Liturgy — Bishop Martin Amos travels extensively to parishes to administer the sacrament of confirmation and to preside at other Masses and special events. The liturgy director educates parishes and individuals on celebrating the liturgy in meaningful and appropriate ways and is helping Catholics prepare for upcoming changes in the prayers of the Mass.
• Faith formation — Catholics grow in faith through Ministry Formation, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Catholic schools, the Stewardship Institute, youth ministry and more.
• Social action — involves Catholics in responding to needs in the community and world.
• Finance department — assists parishes with best practices.
• Technology — The IT director provides computer expertise and troubleshoots problems.
This year’s ADA goal is $2.89 million, down from last year’s $2.9 million goal because parish income declined somewhat, said Development Director Sister Laura Goedken, O.P. The new goal covers 76 percent of the diocese’s $3.75 million budget. Fees, bequests, investments and The Catholic Foundation gift cover the rest.
Some parishioners have wondered whether their parish’s ADA goal will decrease when all Capital Campaign pledges have been paid. The $22 million Capital Campaign that concluded last year addressed long-term needs of the diocese while ADA addresses day-to-day operations. “The parish ADA goal will probably not go down, but it might not increase as rapidly as in the past,” Sr. Goedken said. “The goal is based on parish income; when parish income fluctuates, so does the ADA goal.”
This year, the diocese resumes administration of the ADA. The only difference parishioners will notice is in writing checks to the Diocese of Davenport instead of to their parishes as in the past five years. “This appeal connects us with the larger universal Church and provides the resources for the many programs and ministries sponsored and coordinated by the diocese,” Sr. Goedken said. “One parish alone could not provide these programs.”
The diocese asks each Catholic family to participate; a pledge of 1 percent of annual income is a guideline for giving. “God has given each of us gifts, talents and abilities which are to be shared responsibly and wisely with others,” she noted.
In his message concerning the ADA, Bishop Martin Amos reflected on the diocesan planning process that requires more collaboration among parishes in preparing for a future with fewer priests.
“As a diocesan Church, we journey together into the future; those who staff our chancery are there not only to assist me but to serve you and your parishes on this pilgrimage,” Bishop Amos said.
“We are here to support you in your day-to-day ministries … and to work with you in this time of discernment and transition.”
Annual Diocesan Appeal 2011
Appeal goal: $2.89 million
Income sources: ADA funds 76 percent of the diocesan budget; fees, 18 percent; Catholic Foundation, bequests, other gifts, 5 percent; investments, 1 percent
What ADA funds: Catholic education, faith formation, social action, liturgy, training for ministry, priest assistance/continuing education, information and technology, marriage tribunal, hospital chaplains, counseling
Ways to give: Automatic deduction from bank account; credit or debit card payments; stock transfer, grain gifts or other assistance; payment by check. Pledges can be paid over a period of months.
Guideline for giving: 1 percent of annual income is recommended