By Barb Arland-Fye
Parishes have wrapped up campaigns for the Annual Diocesan Appeal, which inspired 11,088 donors to contribute to the well-being of the diocese and their own parishes.
Pledges totaled $2.73 million, or 94.5 percent of the diocese’s $2.887 million goal. Thirty-six parishes met or exceeded goal this year, 13 more than last year. Another 17 parishes achieved 90 percent of goal or higher. Altogether, 53 of the diocese’s 80 parishes pledged at least 90 percent to their individual parish’s goal. The average gift was $245, with 30.65 percent of parishioners participating in the campaign.
“I am very pleased with the results. Parishes did a very good job of promoting the Annual Diocesan Appeal,” said Sister Laura Goedken, OP, development director for the Diocese of Davenport. (See a link to the results parish by parish below the end of this article.)
Seminarians Bob Cloos and Bill Roush say the financial support parishioners provide to the ADA “makes it possible for us to respond to ‘The Call.’ The ADA helps pay for our tuition and books and supplies us with a small monthly stipend to meet personal expenses, the two said in an email from Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis. “It would not be possible for most people to respond to ‘The Call’ if we did not have this support from our parish members. In order to meet the demands for the Church’s future needs we are requesting prayers for an increase in vocations. With this increase the demand for ADA funds also increases. We appreciate your contributions to not only our future, but the future of the Diocese of Davenport.”
Diocesan Social Action Director Kent Ferris notes that the ADA is critical to the ongoing services being provided through the diocese’s immigration office, which he oversees. The staff provides affordable service to hundreds of families and individuals annually who are in this country legally and seeking to become U.S. citizens, he said. He’s also director of Catholic Charities and says ADA helps in work that the agency is undertaking in areas such as restorative justice and health ministry.
Pastors such as Father Rudolph Juarez of St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City say they strive to help parishioners see the big picture. His parishioners pledged 103 percent to their parish’s ADA goal.
“We are pleased here at St. Pat’s that we have generous parishioners who see the importance of providing for the needs of the local Church because we realize that as a parish we form part of the diocesan community. We have been doing our best to grow in our sense of stewardship and come to see our ability to share our time, talent and treasure as a true blessing. While we still have a ways to go, we are pleased that we are able to do our part at this point in time always trusting in God’s providence.”
Holy Family Parish in Davenport, which has struggled to make goal some years, pledged 102 percent toward its goal this time. People “realize the need and they’re responding to the need,” said Father Bob Harness, the pastor.
The diocese determines each parish’s goal from the weekly collection plate offering, with allowances for parishes with schools or other special considerations. Parishes that fall short of goal are obligated to contribute the shortage from other resources. The ADA covers 76 percent of the diocese’s $3.75 million budget. Fees, bequests, investments and The Catholic Foundation gift cover the rest.
Ss. Mary & Patrick Parish in West Burlington saw its goal increase 9.4 percent over last year and parishioners nearly met the goal, pledging 94 percent.
“Ss. Mary & Patrick parishioners always come through when asked,” said their pastor, Father Dave Steinle. “That is just their ‘style.’ I try to impart to them the importance of the Appeal as it really does help ministries at the parish level because the schools office, religious education office, finance office, etc., really do provide assistance to the parishes. I also strive to impress the fact upon the parishioners that we are part of the diocesan Church.”