Needs grow for Archbishop’s Call to Share

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The annual Archbishop’s Call to Share reached an important milestone this past month, surpassing the $4 million mark in funds pledged. According to Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, this is a remarkable accomplishment during these financially difficult times. Nevertheless, with the portion going to provide for rebates to parishes that exceed their targets, additional funds need to be raised to be able to provide the same amount of funding to archdiocesan ministries as last year.

Thirty percent of the 61,500 registered households in the archdiocese have contributed to the appeal. The average sacrificial gift is holding steady at $22 per month.

“Each Call to Share gift has a far-reaching and meaningful impact on the life of the church,” said Archbishop Naumann. “I am personally gratified by the thousands of individuals who have contributed to this year’s campaign. This clear and focused commitment to the church, in light of all the other demands on limited resources, demonstrates hope and trust in God.

“During these challenging times, it is crucial that the church, through Catholic Charities, responds to the needs of those individuals and families directly impacted by recent layoffs. It is also essential that we make more scholarship money available to make it possible to keep children whose families are struggling financially in our Catholic schools. Catholic Charities and the Catholic Education Foundation are the two largest recipients of Call to Share funding.”

The Archbishop’s Call to Share (ACTS) was established more than 35 years ago to further Christ’s ministries throughout northeast Kansas. ACTS provides funds for more than 40 parish ministries and organizations, including Catholic Charities and the Catholic Education Foundation.

“A prayer of thanksgiving is in order, along with our sincere gratitude to the priests and lay leaders who have done so much to help the archdiocese achieve this ambitious goal,” said Lesle Knop, executive director for the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. “Every dollar raised in the Archbishop’s Call to Share is urgently needed.”

“When the $4 million goal was set for the Archbishop’s Call to Share, no one anticipated the economic situation we are experiencing,” Knop said.

This year, Don and Liz Arth, who are members of Prince of Peace Parish in Olathe, served as honorary chairpersons. The theme, HOPE, was based on the fact that the church is the herald of the hope and joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

An ACTS Allocation Review Committee, comprised of clergy and lay volunteers, will soon review proposed budgets and grant requests that have been submitted by ministries and organizations funded by Call to Share for fiscal year 2009/2010. In 2008, more than $3.8 million was collected to fund the 2008/2009 budget, with an additional $600,000 available to parishes in the form of rebates.

The Clergy Advisory Committee, which advises on stewardship and ACTS, has been led for the past two years by Father Jerry Volz, pastor of St. Matthew Church in Topeka.

Other members of the Clergy Advisory Committee are: Father Ric Halvorson, pastor of St. Dominic in Holton and St. Francis Xavier, Mayetta; Msgr. Vince Krische, pastor of St. Ann in Prairie Village; Father Keith Lunsford, pastor of Holy Trinity in Paola; Father Mark Mertes, pastor of Holy Cross in Overland Park; Father Kent O’Connor, pastor of Sacred Heart in Sabetha, St. James in Wetmore, and St. Augustine, Fidelity; Father Bill Porter, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel in Leawood; and Father Richard Storey, pastor of St. Patrick in Osage City, St. Francis of Assisi in Lapeer, and St. Patrick, Scranton.

For more information, visit the Web site at: www.calltoshare.org.

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