KANSAS CITY, Kan. — While many charities are struggling in a sagging local economy, the Archbishop’s Call to Share (ACTS) not only met, but exceeded its $3.5 million goal in a record seven weeks.
The annual appeal raised more than $4.3 million in 2007, collecting 96 percent of the amount pledged, with a similar outcome anticipated in 2008.
“I am very grateful to everyone who has prayed for the success of the Archbishop’s Call to Share and to the one-third of our archdiocesan households who have already made a sacrificial gift to this year’s campaign,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann.
“I am constantly edified and inspired by the goodness and generosity of the people of the archdiocese,” he added. “This year’s theme for ACTS 2008 is faith. It takes a great deal of faith during times when there is a certain level of economic uncertainty to make a donation. The gifts are manifestations of the faith of the Catholics in the archdiocese and their desire to share in the ministries of the church, making the love of Jesus tangible and real in communities throughout the archdiocese.”
The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas serves 21 counties in northeast Kansas with approximately 200,000 Catholics. The archbishop’s annual appeal is the primary source of funds for 44 ministries of the archdiocese, grouped into categories that include clergy, education, charity and pastoral needs.
“The generosity of our faith community is humbling,” said Lesle M. Knop, executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. “We are experiencing an increase in the amount of the average pledge, as well as an increase in the number of donors and a greater percentage of participation than in previous years.
“With God’s continued blessings we now expect to exceed last year’s total pledges as the campaign continues through the remainder of 2008.”
“Every gift is needed and appreciated,” she added. “There are numerous ways that parishes are impacted by ACTS; many of these activities would not exist without generous gifts.”
The annual appeal needs to exceed the goal in order to fully fund archdiocesan ministries because one-half of donations raised in excess of parish goals are returned to parishes in the form of rebates. If ACTS exceeds the actual amount budgeted for archdiocesan ministries, this could allow Call to Share to provide greater support to the ministries, such as scholarships at Catholic schools, and to plan for future needs.
“Last year, the Clergy Advisory Committee was able to set aside approximately $170,000 to fund a Call to Share reserve fund,” Knop said. “The reserve fund is intended to make it possible to continue to fund ministries should future Call to Share appeals fail to make their goal. We commend our leadership for this prudent foresight to help ensure funding of the important ministries that depend on ACTS to fulfill their mission.”
At this time, seven regions of the archdiocese and more than 70 parishes have exceeded their goals and thus will receive a rebate of 50 percent of every dollar raised over their goal to be used for parish purposes.
Donors who contribute $1,000 or more, added Knopf, or indicate that their gift is one percent of their annual income, are eligible for membership in the Crosier Society, a group honored with a special brunch and Mass with the archbishop on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
For more information about the Archbishop’s Call to Share, call (913) 647-0325 or visit the Web site at: www. calltoshare.org.