The Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal will begin its pledge weekend in many parishes Feb. 19-20.
This appeal is a primary source of funding to help sustain and expand ministries of the 92 parishes, 23 missions, 32 Catholic schools, and various agencies in the Diocese of Charleston.
As stewards of God’s gifts, Catholics are asked to support the needs of their church through prayer, sharing our talents by volunteering, and making a sacrificial gift through pledges or donations.
The diocese operates on three main sources of funding: the Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal, parish assessments, and income earned on investments. The BSA comprises approximately one-third of the overall budget.
All Catholic parishes and missions in South Carolina participate in the annual appeal. Many of the programs supported by the diocese are funded through this campaign.
The number of registered families has increased by 25 percent over the last 10 years. This growth presents new challenges and increased needs, particularly in Catholic education and campus ministry, according to Matthew Dwyer, diocesan director of stewardship and development.
With an increase in funding, the diocese can invest substantial resources into education and campus ministry programs, vocations, priest retirement, Catholic Charities and other important ministries.
The Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal helps sustain Catholic schools, parishes, programs of religious education, and initiatives to foster vocations and respect for life.
Additionally, through its support of Catholic Charities, the appeal serves people in need — throughout our state, the nation and abroad — whose lives are affected by natural disasters, illnesses, hunger, and economic hardship.
“In the spirit of Christian stewardship — giving back a first portion of our gifts to assist others — we ask each family to consider a contribution to the appeal. The challenges and needs are great, but there is no greater need than the need to give. It is through the sacrifice and joys of giving that we grow in our relationship with God,” Dwyer said. “Ultimately, helping others see God and enhancing our own relationship with God are the reasons for all of the works of charity that we do.”
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said he was extremely grateful for the generosity that the Catholic faithful have shown toward the annual appeal.
“We have surpassed our goal for 2010 and now have an even greater challenge for 2011,” he said. “With a $2.5 million goal this year, we aim to improve our ministries and reach out to more of our brothers and sisters in need.
“I hope all of our families across the diocese will join with me and our clergy in having the most successful appeal in the history of our church,” the bishop said.
To view the 2011 Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal video in English and Spanish, or for resource materials on giving and planning, visit www.catholic-doc.org/stewardship.