Ticket revenue, parking, concessions, souvenirs and naming rights ... these are terms associated with professional sports franchises.
Such revenue streams fund games that entertain us. Games and entertainment are ancillary aspects of life far beyond universal needs such food, clothing and roofs over our heads. In other words, foreign concepts to the poor and downtrodden, people striving to survive day-by-day.
Similar revenue streams are nonexistent to fund vital ministries that serve the disadvantaged, care for the sick and educate our children. There's never been Cardinal Rigali Savvis Center, Trans World Dome at Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Lemp Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, or Famous Barr Catholic Charities.
That's where the St. Louis faithful come in.
Running this year April 22-May 7, the Annual Catholic Appeal is the opportunity for Catholic St. Louisans to share their treasures and help fund numerous vital ministries throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The ACA goal this year is $13.7 million, which supports ministries that "meet people where they are," in the words of Pope Francis. About 91 cents per dollar goes to these ministries.
Appropriately, the ACA theme this year is "One Heart in Charity," with Mary, the Blessed Mother, shining as our inspiration in caring for others. Mary answered "yes" to being the Mother of God, no questions asked. Will we answer similarly to the annual appeal?
"Mary was asked to give everything she had and to follow a difficult and sorrowful path — the path that God had laid out for her, and she said 'yes,'" Archbishop Robert J. Carlson stated, adding, "God will work miracles in the hearts of men and women across the Archdiocese of St. Louis" when we also answer in the affirmative, in regard to the appeal.
We aren't asked to give everything we have, like Mary was, but just a fraction of our bounty. Maybe we can increase our donations this year, or maybe we can contribute this year whereas we didn't in the past. Or not. Whatever the case, we can say, "yes," just as Mary did, and contribute for the benefit of people in need.
In this issue of the St. Louis Review, we feature stories about the ACA's impact in our archdiocese: Catholic Charities of St. Louis's aid to people devastated by a tornado in Perryville; equipment for hard-of-hearing elderly to enable them to more deeply experience Mass at Mother of Good Counsel Home in Northwoods; and campus ministry at Lindenwood University to help college students stay connected to their faith.
These are among the many ACA-supported programs and ministries that serve the area's most urgent needs: immigrants and refugees, food pantries and the homeless. The appeal also helps defend life, marriage and religious liberty, while aiding education, priestly formation, vocations, adult catechesis and our parishes.
The ACA and the largess of St. Louis Catholics make it all possible when we answer "yes," with One Heart in Charity. RELATED ARTICLE(S):Appeal builds the Church, reaches out in charity