“I Believe” is the theme of this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal, which is conducted in parishes primarily the weekends of April 27-28, May 4-5 and May 11-12. It’s a personal proclamation and a bold promise to share our blessings with others.
A life of giving is the centerpiece of the Christian life. We are called to give ourselves to others, share our blessings and gifts and designate part of our wealth to help others. A commitment to the Annual Catholic Appeal can be an enriching declaration of faith.
As people of faith, we believe in what we do, not what we see. But Annual Catholic Appeal makes it easy to see the results of the generosity of people of the archdiocese who support ministries that spread the faith and programs that help others in need.
Supported ministries include outreach to people who are homeless or living in poverty, Catholic education, faith formation, defending life and support for vocations, among others. The appeal provides not only direct support to the materials needs of people but spiritual nourishment as well.
Examples shown in this issue of the St. Louis Review include the food pantry operated by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at St. Joseph Parish in Farmington and the emergency shelter for homeless men operated by Peter and Paul Community Services at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in the Soulard neighborhood of south St. Louis.
At the shelter, one of the volunteers from STL Young Adults, Holly Scheibel of Epiphany Parish in south St. Louis, said that “there’s a lot of awesome things that happen here. We see them (shelter clients) at their lowest and as they’re working their way out of it.”
Gene Winch, a volunteer who picks up produce for the food pantry in Farmington, noted that because of the other volunteers and donated food, the investment from the Annual Catholic Appeal goes a long way toward helping feed people who are hungry and have few resources.
A new mobile medical clinic that will provide health care and social services to the uninsured poor in rural communities of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, starting with Washington County is another example of the Annual Catholic Appeal’s impact. The clinic is operated by Catholic Charities of St. Louis in collaboration with the Rural Parish Workers of Christ the King, which has ministered to the poor of Washington County for more than 70 years, providing food, clothing, shelter and utility assistance.
Sister Marie Paul Lockerd, RSM, DO, a family practice physician with the mobile clinic, said: “We’re not only providing physical health care, we hope to provide spiritual health care by being the face of Christ to the poor, and seeing Christ in those we serve.”
Giving is a reflection of who we are, followers of Jesus. Giving demonstrates how we love, and how convincingly we care. The Annual Catholic Appeal is our opportunity to spread that love and care.