Annual Appeal hits halfway mark

Categories: Around the Diocese

By Kristi Anderson
The Visitor

Last year, St. Agnes Parish in Roscoe, one of the three parishes Father Glenn Krystosek shepherds, reached their Annual Diocesan Appeal goal for the first time since he started there in 2009. His other two parishes, St. Louis in Paynesville and St. Margaret in Lake Henry came very close.

“I try to help parishioners realize the importance of the annual appeal,” he said. “It does help everyone in the diocese in some respect, through the Office of Marriage and Family, the Tribunal, Catholic Education Ministries. It helps the Vocations Office prepare seminarians studying for the priesthood. These are things that impact or will impact all of us at some point.”

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2015 Annual Diocesan Appeal – Making All Things New

Bishop Donald Kettler said in a letter to potential donors that “the Diocese of St. Cloud — including you, me and more than 50,000 other households — is blessed by ministries and offices that serve our parishes, Catholic schools, families and organizations throughout all 16 counties They fill critical needs of our faith life — needs that our parishes cannot provide on their own.”

Curt Hanson, director of the diocese’s Office of Stewardship and Development, hopes that all parishes and parishioners will put forth extra effort to reach this year’s goals.

Annual goals are based on the number of envelope holders in each parish. This year, the appeal request was mailed to 51,195 households in the diocese. As of April 30, 3,584 donations totaling $497,398 have been received.

The overall goal is to reach $1.2 million this year. Another mailing will be sent at the end of May to those who have not yet made a contribution.

Since last fall, Hanson has traveled with Bishop Donald Kettler to deanery meetings where priests were invited to bring members of their staff, parish councils and trustees to talk about the annual appeal.

“The discussions have been really good,” Hanson said. “Not because they are easy but because we have the chance to hear candid conversation, and we are truly listening to what people have to say.”

What he heard was that some feel there is a disconnect between the diocese and their parish.

“They have expressed that they think the ‘church’ is their parish and doesn’t extend much beyond that,” he said. “That’s a feeling we’ve been working hard to change and part of the reason why we’ve been having these meetings — to get out there and meet people in the parishes and hear what they have to say.”

Hanson has heard that some people would like more information about how the appeal dollars are spent. He hopes that by talking about it and dispelling any misconceptions, Catholics throughout the diocese begin to see that the Annual Diocesan Appeal is intended to help everyone.

“Bishop Kettler has said that he needs the annual appeal so that he can do his job,” Hanson said. “He is asking that we help him build up the Body of Christ here in central Minnesota.”