April 11, 2012 // Local

Annual Bishop’s Appeal exceeds all previous campaigns

The 25th Annual Bishop’s Appeal (ABA) has exceeded all previous Bishop’s Appeals with pledges totaling $6,267,759.

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades said, “Once again, I am so very grateful to all who have given to the 25th Annual Bishops Appeal. The success of this year’s appeal is a witness to the faith of our people and their commitment to our Lord, Jesus Christ. Our diocese is filled with faith-filled people whose faith is manifest in their generosity and love for Christ and the Church.”

The ABA is a major source of funding for the ministries and services of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, enabling the diocese to do the work of Jesus Christ and reach across parish boundaries in the areas of evangelization, formation and education, family and pastoral life, and charity.

The ABA is successful because it begins in the parish and is oriented toward the parish. Each parish is assigned a goal according to an objective calculation based on parish offertory totals. All overage from the ABA is returned to the parish. A successful parish appeal means not only success for diocesan ministries and services, but also success for the parish. Strong parishes mean a strong diocese. Ultimately, all ministries and services funded by the ABA promote the fullness of pastoral and spiritual renewal of all parishes.

The pledge total for the 25th Annual Bishop’s Appeal exceeded last year’s totals by $29,312.

“It is important that we have a strong Annual Bishop’s Appeal because parishes benefit greatly,” stated Harry Verhiley, secretariat for Stewardship and Development. “In our diocese parishes keep all funds raised above their parish goal. This year, we received pledges totaling $1,631,746 over our diocesan goal of $4,636,013. That means that the funds collected from the overage will be returned to the respective parishes to support parish ministries and services. A strong Bishop’s Appeal, means strong parishes. Once again, this is a true expression of good Christian stewardship.”

Diocese disperses $200,002 to 19 ‘needy’ parish projects

The Annual Bishop’s Appeal of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend includes a funding program to assist less affluent parishes. A Parishes-in-Need Fund Committee met recently to review parish requests for “needy” projects. The committee recommended a total of $200,002 be granted to eight parishes for 19 essential projects, enabling them to arrive at a more stable existence. The grants were approved by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades.

“Obviously, we can’t meet every request submitted by the parishes,” said Msgr. Robert C. Schulte, vicar general and chancellor of the diocese. “We have to consider the nature of each request in light of the total needs and financial resources of the parish as well as the other parishes in the diocese requesting funding assistance,” he continued. A total amount of $401,023 in requests was submitted this year.

“If all or part of a request cannot be met, often the committee will recommend the parish apply to another fund of financial resource in the diocese or community, or seek other alternatives,” Msgr. Schulte added.

Some funds usually remain in the account for use throughout the year by parishes when a new need arises, Msgr. Schulte indicated. If all the money is not used in 2012, however, it will be carried over and allocated to next year’s Parishes-in-Need fund.

“Hopefully, this money will strengthen these parishes financially, increase their outreach and improve their ability to do the work of Christ,” said Bishop Rhoades.

This year’s allocation of Parishes-in-Need funds brings to $5,243,949 the amount granted from the Annual Bishop’s Appeal to parishes in need during the 25 years of the Annual Bishop’s Appeal.

This year’s dispersion and the primary parish projects include:

Fort Wayne

• St. Henry — $5,250 for air conditioning for the building used by the St. Henry’s Thrift Shoppe

Fort Wayne area

• St. Patrick, Ligonier — $31,240 for construction of a new parking lot.

South Bend

• Corpus Christi — $25,000 for masonry and stucco repairs to the exterior of the church, $10,000 to replace major water supply, ceiling tiles and removal of asbestos and $3,000 to replace all the thermostats and heating and cooling controls in the church.

• Holy Cross — $36,570 for three new flat roof sections for the Smith Center Parish Office.

• Our Lady of Hungary — $19,000 to convert a room to a classroom, $7,500 to replace thermostats and valves in each classroom, $2,020 to create a window in the resource room, and $2,000 for new blinds for about half of the classrooms.

• St. Adalbert — $12,750 for four new sinks and six hand dryers for the school restrooms.

• St. John the Baptist — $977 for air conditioning repair for the rectory, $3,000 for two four-drawer fireproof cabinets for the school to file student documents and records, $825 for flush valves for toilets and urinals in school to replace leaking or non-functioning valves and $1,870 for repairs to parking lot.

South Bend Area

• St. Monica, Mishawaka — $3,000 for repair of elevator-handicap access lift in the Parish Activity Center, $15,000 for complete restoration and repair of the stained-glass windows in the church, $18,000 for demolition of a parish-owned structure on 611 Elizabeth St. and $3,000 for hiring one to two persons to help with building and grounds maintenance.

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