With the public celebration of Masses canceled, Catholics are still answering the call to support their parishes through online giving.
Donors are making a gift of self in a time of uncertainty and sacrifice, said Dave Baranowski, director of stewardship education for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It’s also important to remember that giving to parishes in the pandemic should be a gift of self, and not just a financial transaction, he said.
“When we’re offering ourselves, it changes the whole perspective and gets people thinking about it differently,” Baranowski said. “It’s like the transformation of the mustard seed. If we can offer all of our own trials, tribulations, joys and triumphs, hopefully, it opens our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit. If we’re giving (a financial gift) in union with Jesus, this allows us to open our hearts and make room for the Holy Spirit to operate in our lives.”
Of 178 parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, 118 participate in online offertory, or e-giving, with one of five vendors recommended by the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Two of those vendors, Faith Direct and Liturgical Publications Inc., are temporarily waiving monthly fees for new parish clients. Liturgical Publications Inc. also is waiving fees for existing parish clients.
Catholics are still participating in prayer, fasting and almsgiving in Lent. With stay-at-home orders in place because of the pandemic, many are foregoing non-necessities, such as lunch at a restaurant or a treat from the local coffee shop. Those might be opportunities to redirect a small donation to the parish or another charitable organization, such as Catholic Charities or the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Giving to charitable organizations also can help those who have become unemployed or underemployed during the pandemic.
Baranowski noted that an upcoming retreat he’d planned on attending at White House Retreat Center was canceled because of the virus outbreak; he still plans on sending a donation, knowing that the retreat facility relies on donors to continue operations in the future.
“It’s important to be God-centered and other-centered,” Baranowski said. “When you think the world is falling down on you, and this is hard, we’re still in Lent. There are small sacrifices we can make to give to others.”
Baranowski also recommended combining electronic giving with the archdiocesan Catholic Giving Guide (link below), which provides guidance on making a plan for giving, rather than resorting to a last-minute donation to the collection basket.
“People want to give, but they’re looking for guidance from the Church on how to do this,” he said. “The key is giving from our first fruits, and not what is left over.”
For more information on giving opportunities and stewardship education and a link to the My Catholic Giving Guide, visit
>> Online offertory
Of 178 parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, 118 participate in online offertory, or e-giving, with one of five vendors approved by the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Two of those vendors, FaithDirect and Liturgical Publications Inc., are temporarily waiving monthly fees for new parish clients. LPi also is waiving monthly fees for existing parish clients.
“We are living through an extraordinary time in the life of the Church,” said Tracy Earl Welliver, senior director of church engagement with LPi. “While Masses are in many places cancelled and events postponed, the faithful need to not only feel connected, but also be able to assist in the mission of the Church in a meaningful way.”
To learn more about online giving, contact your parish. For parishes interested in establishing online giving, contact Dave Baranowski, director of stewardship education for the archdiocese, at (314) 852-3987 or [email protected]