Amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the important work of the Annual Catholic Appeal will continue.
Each year, the Annual Catholic Appeal supports dozens of important Church ministries that touch people of all faith traditions. This year’s theme, “Because We Are Catholic,” shows how the Church unites as one in its efforts to assist those who are in need, as well as furthering Catholic education, faith formation, defending life and support for vocations. The appeal provides not only direct support to the material needs of people, but spiritual nourishment as well.
The traditional pledge drive that takes place in parishes during April and May has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date, said Brian Niebrugge, executive director of the Annual Catholic Appeal. However, Catholics are encouraged to make a donation to the appeal at aca.archstl.org.
“The appeal continues to accept donations so that the families, parishes, and ministries that rely on the Church for help can continue,” Niebrugge said. “We are working to reschedule the ACA weekends for parishes, but the work of the Church goes on. Many people are hurting, and our first mission is to pray for those who are suffering because of the coronavirus and for those who are on the front lines — medical personnel, social workers, essential employees, first responders, delivery people, cleaning people, grocery store workers — all those who continue to serve in spite of the dangers of this virus.”
Niebrugge noted that this is an important time to pray for parishes and for people who have lost their livelihoods. He encouraged those who are able to donate a little extra to support others in need. Numerous agencies supported by the appeal, such as Catholic Charities of St. Louis and its federated agencies, are essential in serving people impacted by the economic disruption as a result of the virus outbreak, he said.
John Glunt, the 2020 appeal chairman, said that the Annual Catholic Appeal team, under the leadership of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, is eager to regroup as soon as possible.
“The need is greater than ever,” Glunt said. “We have an ongoing mission, and plans in place to get donations where they can do the most good. We do it because we are Catholic.”
Giving to the Annual Catholic Appeal changes lives and enables Catholics to give witness to their faith, Archbishop Carlson said. Jesus sends people out to bring His life and light to others, the archbishop said, and “that universal mission, to go out to everyone because we are Catholic, is central to the work supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal.”
Archbishop Carlson said the people of the archdiocese have been so generous in the past, which has led to a tremendous impact on services provided by the archdiocese.