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Dallas Adams worked in the garden of her Dutchtown home with her 3-year-old daughter, Olivia Demerett, in April. Adams purchased her home through the St. Joseph Housing Initiative. St. Joseph Housing Initiative is one of the Oikos group organizations that will benefit from the $1 million set aside from the Annual Catholic Appeal for affordable housing initiatives around the archdiocese.
Dallas Adams worked in the garden of her Dutchtown home with her 3-year-old daughter, Olivia Demerett, in April. Adams purchased her home through the St. Joseph Housing Initiative. St. Joseph Housing Initiative is one of the Oikos group organizations that will benefit from the $1 million set aside from the Annual Catholic Appeal for affordable housing initiatives around the archdiocese.
Photo Credit: Jacob Wiegand

Annual Catholic Appeal surpasses goal to support ministries across the archdiocese

More than 33,500 households gave to the 2023 appeal

Amanda Gullett of Union shared a moment with Connie Notestine, a chairside assistant with the Rural Parish Clinic, in the Rural Parish Clinic's dental unit Feb. 16 at Immaculate Conception Parish in Union. The Rural Parish Clinic is supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal
Photo Credit: Jacob Wiegand
Catholics exceeded the archdiocesan Annual Catholic Appeal goal once again this year, supporting important ministries across the archdiocese.

The appeal raised $16.7 million from pledges and other sources. Including estate gifts and anticipated matching gifts, the total exceeds $16.9 million. The goal was $15.5 million.

According to data from the ACA, more than 33,500 households participated, 113 parishes exceeded their financial goals and 48 parishes reached their challenge goals. Also, 48 parishes achieved their goals for new donors and 33 parishes improved participation.

“I am grateful to God and to all our selfless volunteers, clergy, and the many generous parishioners and families who have made the 2023 appeal a success. All who contributed or who prayed for the appeal can see that they are united in serving others and in serving the Church,” Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski said. “Many of the people that will benefit from this generosity may not even know that they are going to be facing a personal crisis, but we are ready to respond to their need. When we reach out in love, we can help our neighbors to experience the mercy and compassion of Christ, our Lord.”

Ascension Parish in Chesterfield gave the highest amount of any parish, raising $909,105. St. Wenceslaus Parish in south St. Louis recorded 100% parishioner participation in this year’s appeal, while St. John the Beloved Disciple in Imperial, St. Catherine of Alexandria in Coffman, Our Lady of the Holy Cross in Baden and St. Maurus in Biehle all achieved more than 70% participation.

Amid uncertainty around the archdiocese surrounding the All Things New announcements, ACA chair Christine Eilerman was moved by the continued commitment of the faithful to the ministries supported by the ACA.

“My takeaway has been just how overwhelmingly and sincerely generous the people of the Archdiocese of St. Louis continue to be again and again, regardless of maybe the personal turmoil or what’s been going on parish by parish,” Eilerman said. “People could really see that the needs in St. Louis continue to grow, and that the agencies are doing fantastic work.”

The ACA directly supports programs across Catholic education, ministries promoting human dignity and social responsibility, and missionary discipleship and leadership efforts. For a detailed list of ACA-supported programs, visit archstl.org/annual-catholic-appeal/ programs-we-support.

Funding affordable housing

Mary Kay Hartnett, left, and Ann Karasek, both parishioners at St. Gabriel the Archangel in St. Louis, prepared meals Oct. 10, 2022, at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Hall in St. Louis. The meals program is supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal.
Photo Credit: Jacob Wiegand
Of the funds raised, $1 million will be set aside for affordable housing initiatives around the archdiocese, said Brian Niebrugge, executive director of the Annual Catholic Appeal.

“It’s in recognition of the reality that affordable housing is a significant crisis facing St. Louis, and that the Church needs to have a role in helping to address that…not just in the city, but across the region,” Niebrugge said. “It’s one of those core things that if we could address it in an effective way, using Gospel principles and love instead of just government programs, I think it’s a way to help strengthen our region.”

Some of that money will go to the Oikos group’s Hearts, Hands and Homes, an ecumenical initiative aiming to raise $3-6 million by the end of the year for six organizations that work to increase access to affordable housing in the St. Louis area.

After the initiative’s launch on April 19, $1.8 million in funds already raised was distributed evenly between the six organizations. The six include St. Joseph Housing Initiative, which converts vacant houses into homes for low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers; and Catholic Charities’ Pathways to Progress program, which provides long-term, wrap-around case management and support services to members, working to empower families toward stability and sustainable economic independence.

That initial funding was instrumental in St. Joseph Housing Initiative’s recent purchase of its first three homes in the Baden neighborhood of north St. Louis, expanding its reach out of the Dutchtown/Carondelet area.

India Brown and her coworker, Albert Pletz, sorted through items intended for Society of St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores in March at the distribution center at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Outlet in Cool Valley. Brown is a graduate of the Pathways to Progress program, which is supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal.
Photo Credit: Jacob Wiegand
Pathways to Progress was able to hire additional member advisers (case managers) for its north city location, with plans to expand into south city in the coming months. Collaboration among the six Hearts, Hands and Homes organizations has also improved their collective ability to serve people with housing needs, said Brian Thouvenot, chief community officer at Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

The ACA funds will also support affordable housing initiatives in the works at Catholic Charities, and others as needs arise, Niebrugge said.

Bridge of Hope

Bridge of Hope Lincoln County was a new recipient of ACA funding in 2023, receiving $50,000 toward its new emergency shelter and crisis center in Troy. The shelter, under construction on grounds near the Lincoln County Health Department, will provide short-term housing for men, women and families while connecting them with case managers to navigate next steps. The facility will also include a day-service space with access to the internet, laundry, showers, meals and more resources, as well as a large gathering space to host classes, trainings and meetings.

Archbishop Rozanski blessed the shelter site at a groundbreaking on June 28.

“We acknowledge the compassion and dedication that has led to the creation of this center, where individuals in need will find shelter, support and a renewed sense of hope,” Archbishop Rozanski said. “May this place be a testimony to the power of faith, love and unity in serving others. Bless this space, and may it inspire all of us to contribute our time, talent and resources to better serve our brothers and sisters in need.”

Second-grader Isabel Reinberg, right, looked at a book with classmates Dylan Bross and Mia Turner on Feb. 24 at Christ the King School in University City. One Classroom Foundation, which supports students like Isabel who have Down Syndrome, is supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal.
Photo Credit: Jacob Wiegand
Through a partnership with Catholic Charities of St. Louis, Bridge of Hope recently hired its first executive director, Dan Colbert. The organization plans to open the shelter in January 2024.

The task force that became Bridge of Hope was formed in the summer of 2021 to address rising homelessness in Lincoln and surrounding counties. Former Sacred Heart pastor Father Michael Lydon, now episcopal vicar for the Southern Vicariate, was a founding member of the board, alongside other Sacred Heart parishioners and members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal

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

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

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis $50,000

Parish Food Pantries $50,000

SERVING OUR YOUTH

Archdiocesan and Parochial High Schools $1,416,000

Archdiocesan Seminary $525,000

Vocation Programs $380,000

Special Education $300,000

Newman Centers on College Campuses $262,000

Religious Formation $200,000

Today and Tomorrow Educational Fund $150,000

One Classroom $110,000

High School Stewardship Essay Program $55,000

Office of Youth Ministry $40,000

SERVING THE PEOPLE IN OUR PARISHES

Then-transitional deacon Josh Deters gathered with other seminarians for morning prayer Feb. 23 at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury. The seminary is supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal.
Photo Credit: Jacob Wiegand
Respect Life Apostolate $450,000

Evangelization and Discipleship $425,000

Adult Faith Formation $370,000

Natural Family Planning $220,000

Hispanic Ministry $200,000

Office of Racial Harmony $120,000

Catholic Deaf Ministry $110,000

St. Charles Lwanga Center $100,000

Catholic St. Louis Magazine $80,000

Catholic Renewal Center $77,000

Elementary Teachers Educational Fund $75,000

SERVING THOSE IN NEED

Catholic Charities $1,650,000

Rural Parish Clinic $300,000

Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service $125,000

Criminal Justice Ministry $100,000

Bridge of Hope/Lincoln County Housing Initiative $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 $880,000

Continuing Formation for Priests $430,000

Regina Cleri Priests Retirement Home $350,000

Permanent Diaconate $150,000

Support for Religious Orders $20,000

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.


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