February 19, 2019 // Bishop

Challenges arise for Annual Bishop’s Appeal at halfway mark

FORT WAYNE — The Annual Bishop’s Appeal is about halfway through the collection season, and of the reporting 83 parishes or oratories, 59 have achieved or exceeded their parish goal. Hopefully, in the next few months the remaining 24 parishes will be blessed with the generosity to exceed their goals as well. Within the group of 24 parishes, 18 parishes are within $10,000 of their goal.

Specific information about how each parish is doing relative to its goal can be found in those parishes’ bulletins.

Five parishes already demonstrating remarkable generosity, according the Secretariat for Stewardship and Development, are St. Gaspar del Bufalo, Rome City; St. Patrick, Ligonier; St. Francis Xavier, Pierceton; St. Patrick, Walkerton; and St. John the Baptist, New Haven. All five parishes have pledges and gifts that total more than 160 percent of their parish goal.

Another piece of good news is that the overall diocesan goal of $5,433,655 has again been eclipsed, and several parishes of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will once again receive a refund for exceeding their parish goal. 

A large concern is a sharp drop in the number of donors from last year to this year. A portion of the drop can be explained by three parishes capital campaigns happening concurrently with the Annual Bishop’s Appeal, so approximately 1,134 donors from those three parishes are excluded from the total for this year. Secondly, the timing of this year’s appeal was unfortunate, as it took place in the wake of news about abuse scandals within the Catholic Church.

Continued operation of diocesan programs and facilities will depend on pledges being fulfilled, and parishioners at the 24 parishes who have not yet reached goal perhaps reconsidering whether a more generous gift might be possible. All gifts of all sizes continue to be important and appreciated, though. Unfortunately, parishes that fall short of their goal will be asked to make up the difference from parish funds.

“I thank all who support the Annual Bishop’s Appeal,” Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades said. “Through the Appeal, we, as members of Christ’s Body, together support the mission and ministries of our diocese. I pray that the Lord will bless all who make financial sacrifices for the building up of His Kingdom.”

Annual Bishop’s Appeal collection figures, current and previous two years

30th ABA

31st ABA

32nd ABA

Number of donors




Total amount pledged, all donors




Average gift per donor




Parishes who have met/exceeded goal




All figures are as of Feb. 13 of each respective year.
*Full goal of three campaign parishes added to total.

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