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Father Michael Henning distributed the Eucharist at Mass on March 6 at St. Joan of Arc Church in St. Louis. The Annual Catholic Appeal supports retired priests like Father Henning.
Father Michael Henning distributed the Eucharist at Mass on March 6 at St. Joan of Arc Church in St. Louis. The Annual Catholic Appeal supports retired priests like Father Henning.
Photo Credit: Jacob Wiegand

Annual Catholic Appeal invites Catholics to support life-giving ministries and good works around the archdiocese

Appeal runs April 20-May 5, with a goal of $15.5 million

Jack Elfrink, a parishioner at Epiphany of Our Lord in St. Louis, and Cindy Hembrough prepared plates for the meals program at Sts. Peter and Paul on Aug. 7 at the church hall in St. Louis. The meals program at Sts. Peter and Paul is supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal.
Photo Credits: Jacob Wiegand
As the Annual Catholic Appeal kicks off in parishes across the archdiocese, Catholics are called to consider how they can generously support ministries and services that bring Christ’s love to those in need.

This year’s theme is “For the Life of the World,” inspired by John 6:51: “I am the living bread that comes down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The appeal will be conducted in parishes the weekends of April 20-21, April 27-28 and May 4-5. This year’s goal is $15.5 million; about 91 cents of every dollar goes back into the community in the form of direct services.

“Every year, the Annual Catholic Appeal provides us an opportunity to come together to share the saving hope and love of Jesus Christ by funding the life-giving ministries and good works of our local Church,” Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski said. “As Christians, we are called to follow Jesus’ example of love, so that others may come to know and love Him.”

The appeal funds programs including support for active and retired priests; adult faith formation and evangelization efforts; Catholic education assisting children with a sense of purpose and value; parish food pantries serving people who are hungry; medical and dental care for uninsured low-income residents in rural areas; programs that teach respect for human life; vocations programs, which help youth and young adults discern a vocation to the priesthood or religious life; support for youth ministry; and more.

“Because of your support, the Annual Catholic Appeal has helped many people to understand their value and to know, often for the first time, that they are loved,” Archbishop Rozanski said. “This is our mission, and we do it for the life of the world.”

The Annual Catholic Appeal makes ACA chairman Mike Heck proud to be Catholic by “the scope of it, the breadth of it, the depth of it, how it touches people in so many areas … so many different types of people with so many different needs,” he said. “It allows me, and those who participate, to do what Jesus asked us to do: to love Him and love one another.”

There are many real financial strains facing parishioners around the archdiocese, including inflation, medical costs, job losses and more, said Heck, who attends Mary Mother of the Church in Mattese. But “the deeper I go into what the ACA provides, the more I realized how important it is to be sacrificial.”

He sees the Annual Catholic Appeal as a way to increase our awareness of the good things the Church is doing for people in need and share that with others. He recalled chatting with a bank teller recently about the Rural Parish Clinic and the ways it brings medical and dental care to people without insurance.

“There’s so much good that goes on, and it’s necessary not only to serve others, but it also inspires the rest of us,” he said.

The eucharistic theme “For the Life of the World” is especially appropriate in the context of the ongoing National Eucharistic Revival, Heck said. “We realize that all the noise that’s going on in the world just distracts us from the Life of the World, and what we’re really supposed to concentrate on — our ultimate salvation,” he said. “If we can realize that a little more each year as the Annual Catholic Appeal comes around, then we’ll all be better for it.”


>> How to donate

The financial goal of the 2024 Annual Catholic Appeal is $15.5 million. Approximately 91 cents of every dollar goes back into the community in the form of direct services. The appeal will be conducted in most parishes the weekends of April 20-21, April 27-28 and May 4-5. To learn more about the Annual Catholic Appeal, visit aca.archstl.org.

SERVING OUR PARISHES DIRECTLY

Elementary School Assistance $2,000,000

Stewardship and Development Support for Parishes, Schools and Agencies $425,000

Office of Peace and Justice $140,000

Parish Emergency Assistance Fund $100,000

Parish Food Pantries $75,000

Basilica of St. Louis, King of France $50,000

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis $50,000

SERVING OUR YOUTH

Archdiocesan and Parochial High Schools $1,416,000

Archdiocesan Seminary $500,000

Vocation Programs $380,000

Newman Centers on College Campuses $265,000

One Classroom $210,000

Religious Formation $200,000

Special Education $200,000

Today and Tomorrow Educational Fund $150,000

High School Stewardship Essay Program $55,000

Office of Youth Ministry $40,000

SERVING THE PEOPLE IN OUR PARISHES

Respect Life Apostolate $450,000

Evangelization and Discipleship $400,000

Adult Faith Formation $370,000

Natural Family Planning $221,000

Hispanic Ministry $200,000

Office of Racial Harmony $130,000

Catholic Deaf Ministry $112,000

Catholic St. Louis Magazine $80,000

Catholic Renewal Center $77,000

Elementary Teachers Educational Fund $75,000

St. Charles Lwanga Center $25,000

SERVING THOSE IN NEED

Catholic Charities $1,650,000

Rural Parish Clinic $325,000

Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service $155,000

Criminal Justice Ministry $75,000

Bridge of Hope Lincoln County $50,000

Rural Parish Workers $50,000

Archbishop’s Charity Fund $30,000

Messengers of Peace Mission Work $25,000

Meals Program and Sts. Peter and Paul Church $15,000

SERVING THOSE WHO SERVE US

Care for Active and Retired Priests $974,000

Regina Cleri Priests Retirement Home $370,000

Continuing Formation for Priests $280,000

Permanent Diaconate $100,000

Support for Religious Orders $50,000

OTHER

Annual Catholic Appeal Expenses $1,500,000

Reserve for Unpaid Pledges $930,000

Archdiocesan Services $465,000

None of the money raised by the Annual Catholic Appeal is used to defend or settle criminal or civil lawsuits related to the clergy abuse scandal.


>> Your impact
Read more about the people and ministries who directly benefit from the Annual Catholic Appeal in Catholic St. Louis magazine: stlreview.com/3TUAUUd


From the Archive Module

Annual Catholic Appeal invites Catholics to support lifegiving ministries and good works around the archdiocese 9521

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