The archdiocese is responding to the current national, state and local economic situation that is highlighted in the media on a daily basis with hope. This theme of the 2009 Archbishop’s Call to Share was developed with the Clergy Advisory Committee in order to help all Catholics in northeast Kansas reflect on what this most precious gift means in our lives.
One of the best ways for us to walk in Christ’s footsteps is to embrace stewardship. By managing well all the gifts we receive — whether they be good health and time to volunteer to worthy causes, the special skills and talents we possess, or our financial blessings — we must be sure to share a piece of all of them in thanksgiving. Through the ACTS, we have a unique opportunity to share a little of ourselves in our greater community to make the world a better place and demonstrate our faithfulness as Christian stewards.
By uniting the gifts of so many in northeast Kansas, we are able as an archdiocese to accomplish what we could not do alone. This appeal is an opportunity each year to link our individual parishes together and, as an archdiocese, to respond to broad community needs. In many ways, the archdiocese fulfills the mandate of Christ to “go out and teach all nations” through the support offered in the ACTS.
Money raised during the appeal helps to fulfill that mandate through a wide range of programs and services, one of which is our youth ministry program. The ACTS helps to make this ministry possible for thousands of young people in our archdiocese. Vocations are supported by Call to Share funds, ensuring the presence of priests in our parishes for years to come. The archdiocese is able to respond to the corporal and spiritual needs of our Hispanic brothers and sisters as they arrive in this region only through the generosity of those who give to Call to Share. Efforts of evangelization continue through weekly radio programs broadcast throughout our 21 counties. These are just a few of the many ways in which the ACTS enriches our community.
As the archdiocese grows, so does its needs.
“We feel strongly that all ACTS ministries should be carefully monitored for fiscal effectiveness,” said chancellor Father Gary Pennings. “The Presbyteral Council has enacted the ACTS allocation review committee consisting of clergy and laypeople to assist in the budget and planning process.”
When a parish exceeds its target goal, 50 percent of all the money raised beyond that goal is returned to the parish.
The ACTS supports several different kinds of ministries, including those that assist parishes in performing their local ministries and those that extend our Catholic mission of serving the community at large.
The ACTS was created by Archbishop Ignatius J. Strecker as a prayerful reflection on the changes initiated by the Second Vatican Council. As a result, the participants recommended that a network of ministries be created as a resource to expanded lay involvement on a parish level.
Today, the ACTS supports many professional men and women who serve our parishes by offering their expertise in the fields of liturgy, family life, youth ministry, religious education, and outreach to the Hispanic community, among others. Additionally, there are ministries that our individual parishes simply do not have the resources to perform. Whether it is the counseling or hospice services provided through Catholic Charities, the spiritual
formation offered to students at our college campus ministry centers, or the specialized assistance given to our seniors at Villa St. Francis, these are missions to which our parishes subscribe, but are unable to fulfill on their own. In this way, our gifts to the ACTS empower others to be Christ’s hands in our community.
Originally, the Clergy Advisory Committee suggested that the appeal serve as a program preparing us for Lent. The early winter months allow us to begin the year with a reflection on stewardship and our relationship to our larger church. One way parishioners connect to our larger church is through membership in the Crosier Society, which is a group of families that are recognized for offering a stewardship pledge to the ACTS. All who pledge one percent of their income or a gift of $1,000 or more to the ACTS are added to the Crosier Society. The society’s members are honored with a brunch and Mass with the archbishop at Thanksgiving.
As Catholics, we are united by a common faith, as well as by a common mission. The act of placing our hope — not in ourselves, but in God — is one way that we can bring comfort and peace to those around us.