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Archbishop’s Annual Appeal launches at Masses Sept. 9-10

Dr. Mary Lux of Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk already sees a lot of interest in this year’s Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, which kicks off at weekend Masses Sept. 9-10.

"In making personal invitations within the parish, we’ve seen people respond, so we’re hoping that’s indicative of what will happen on a bigger scale," said Lux, who is serving as a general chair couple with her husband, Dr. David Lux, and Cheri and Tom Hassenstab of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Omaha.

This is the second straight year the appeal has invited couples to serve.

"The general chairs are important to the appeal because they are an extension of the archdiocese beyond the archbishop and pastors," said Tom Crowley, development officer in the Stewardship and Development Office. "They bring the work of the archdiocese closer to home."

This year’s goal is $3.65 million. With a $3.5 million goal last year, the appeal raised $3.98 million, the seventh consecutive year it has surpassed goal.

Lux said she and her husband have been active for years in their parish and beyond, including parish capital campaigns and as members of the Archbishop’s Committee for Development.

They want to support the broader church, Lux said.

And through the appeal, all parishioners can support archdiocesan offices and ministries – and in doing so, benefit their own parishes and schools – said Breeane Peterson, development officer in the Stewardship and Development Office.

That’s because the appeal accounts for 23 percent of the archdiocese’s operating budget, providing support to Catholic schools, funding adult faith formation and youth ministry programs and annually training more than 600 extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist and lectors. The appeal also helps Catholic Charities with its annual assistance to 75,000 people, annual marriage preparation for nearly 1,200 couples and other programs that enrich family life.

As general chairs supporting the campaign, the Luxes and Hassenstabs took turns attending training sessions for parish leaders Aug. 8 in Columbus and Aug. 9 in Omaha, and kickoff receptions in Omaha Aug. 22 and Norfolk Aug. 24. They will continue to serve as motivational and information resources during the campaign, Peterson said.

And once again this year, pastors, plus parish leaders and guest speakers from archdiocesan offices and the Archbishop’s Committee for Development giving personal testimonies, will promote the appeal at weekend Masses in parishes across the archdiocese.

Parishioners also will receive an information packet in the mail the week of Sept. 11, and reminders will be issued through e-mails, parish bulletins, articles in the Catholic Voice, announcements on Spirit Catholic Radio and the archdiocese’s website, Peterson said.

"The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal is extremely important to the archdiocese and to all of us," she said. "To be able to have one annual appeal that brings us all together is a special thing – all of us coming together in unity to benefit all parishes."

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