Annual Appeal surpasses goal, raises $4.26 million

For the ninth straight year, the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal surpassed its goal.

The campaign, which began last September and ended June 30, produced pledges and donations totaling $4.26 million, nearly 4% over the goal of $4.1 million.

“I am amazed once again this year at the generosity of the people of the archdiocese,” said Archbishop George J. Lucas. “I am also grateful for those who worked hard on the appeal, as well as those who have offered their prayers and material support.”

Brent and Michelle Pohlman, members of St. Gerald Parish in Ralston, were this year’s urban general chair couple. During weekend Masses, they and other parish leaders and curia staff shared their faith stories and how the fruits of the annual appeal have benefited themselves and people throughout the archdiocese.

“It was exciting to see the Catholic community come together and continue to support our archdiocese and meet our goal,” Brent said. The appeal’s success “speaks to the fact that we’ve got really strong leaders in our archdiocese.”

Donations to the appeal provide 21% of the archdiocese’s annual operating budget, said Bree Kotulak, development officer in the archdiocesan Stewardship and Development Office. 

A total of 14,693 donors took part in this year’s drive, she said. Ninety-one, or 66% of parishes exceeded their financial goals; 37 exceeded participation goals; and 33 surpassed both goals.

“We are all one church and we are all impacted by the annual appeal, therefore we encourage as many people as possible to participate,” Kotulak said.

Adding to the success of the annual appeal were 1,242 donations to the Archbishop’s Circle, which includes donations or pledges of $1,000 or more. This year, such gifts totaled $2.23 million, compared with $2.263 million last year.

The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal supports ministries and programs throughout the archdiocese, including professional development for faculty and tuition assistance for students in Catholic schools; assistance for individuals and families in crisis; training for lectors and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion; marriage preparation and family enrichment programs; support for priests and deacons; religious education; and adult and youth faith formation. 

“So much is possible in our parishes and communities because of the resources provided through the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal,” the archbishop said.

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