Annual Diocesan Appeal makes a difference

Lindsay Steele
People praise God through song and dance during a theological conference in Ottumwa in this 2017 photo. The conference was made possible with funding from the Annual Diocesan Appeal.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

Translation services, Ministry Formation Program in Spanish and diocesan-wide multicultural activities depend on funds from the Annual Diocesan Appeal.

Miguel Moreno and Ana Shambaugh plan and coordinate those efforts through the Diocese of Davenport’s Multicultural Ministry office where he is coordinator and she is a part-time administrative assistant.

“The ADA gives us assistance with all events and programs that the Multicultural Ministry provides,” said Moreno. “Some of those programs help to educate our communities in spiritual and pastoral dimensions.”

Diocesan Development Director Michael Hoffman said the ADA is a year-long appeal to all parishioners in the Diocese of Davenport. “We encourage every member to make a contribution. It could be a one-time donation or an ongoing donation. Every dollar received helps to assist the diocese in offering many programs and services not provided by the parish,” he said. The money that a parish raises above its goal is returned to the parish.

The two-year Ministry Formation Program (MFP) in Spanish offers a prime example of how ADA dollars are at work in the Multicultural Ministry office. Moreno said, “There are 57 participants who will graduate from the program this May. The ADA also supports us with our spiritual retreats and workshops in the diocese.”With the help of ADA funds, the Multicultural Ministry office can provide scholarships so that more people can participate in programs or activities. For example, Moreno said, “We have a couple who lost their jobs at the beginning of our formation program. With ADA help, they could stay and finish the program.” His office also works with adults whose salaries don’t cover all of their personal or family expense and thus prevents them from participating. “It would be a challenge for them to be in our program if we didn’t receive ADA support.”

The Multicultural Ministry office also assists with translation for various diocesan offices including the Marriage Tribunal, diaconate program, vocations, and The Catholic Messenger.

Hispanic Catholics represent a growing population in the Catholic Church in the United States and soon will account for 50 percent of that population, Moreno said. “Our diocese has a significant Hispanic community with more than 25,000 in the diocese. To help them, our office has eight parishes that offer Spanish services; there are nine priests who speak Spanish and one diocesan office that help priests and parishes to evangelize through MFP and different evangelization events.”

As for other diocesan-wide activities, the Multicultural Ministry office worked with the Anglo, Vietnamese and Hispanic communities to bring Catholic musician Tony Melendez to Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport last year. Melendez, who was born without arms, learned to play the guitar with his feet. “Our cathedral was full and it was a wonderful experience,” Moreno said. “We could not have done that without ADA assistance.”

Now the Multicultural Ministry office is preparing for a theological conference titled “Mary, Full of Grace,” scheduled for Aug. 10 in Ottumwa. “We are expecting over 2,000 participants,” Moreno said. More than 1,500 people attended a theological conference sponsored by his office in 2017. They came from throughout the Davenport Diocese and several states.

Many events are held in Davenport because of accessibility to larger spaces. “When we have an event in Ottumwa, it is because we have a big Hispanic community there and because it is near the center of the state. We also use St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City as a meeting site.”

To learn more about the ADA, visit the diocesan website page at www.davenportdiocese.org/
development. To learn more about the offices that the ADA helps fund, visit www.davenportdiocese.org and go to the offices tab.
Hoffman said, “You can make your donation via our website or bring the money to the parish office. Again no pledge or donation is too small and is appreciated and it goes toward doing great work for Jesus’ church.”

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