Schools, evangelization efforts among ministries helped by appeal

While this year’s $3.65 million goal for the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal has been met – and even surpassed with $4.4 million in pledges – needs remain and everyone is invited to help, officials working on the appeal said.
“We want to invite any parishioner who has yet to contribute to prayerfully consider making a gift,” said Shannan Brommer, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development. “The need is still so great, and your contribution enlivens every facet of parish life and ensures that the sacramental life of the church reaches more people and the message of the Gospel touches more hearts.” 
Catholic schools and the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis are two among many ministries helped by the appeal, Brommer said.
Teacher recruitment and support, technology initiatives, updating and improving buildings for students and staff – all are commitments that will continue to make Catholic schools strong, said Michael Ashton, superintendent.
“We can’t sustain our teachers without fair and comparable benefits,” Ashton said. “We need to sustain them with high-quality professional development and give them ways to pursue leadership roles.”
Creating virtual classrooms, offering blended learning with small groups and online tools, and helping high school students earn college credits are among expectations that must continue to be met, Ashton said. “These are ‘must haves’ in today’s academic environment,” he said.
The annual appeal also helps spread the faith – and the archdiocese’s pastoral vision of “One church: encountering Jesus, equipping disciples, living mercy” – in part by assisting the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, said Jim Jansen, director. 
“Helping others encounter Jesus begins by equipping disciples to be a bridge to their families and friends,” Jansen said. That process includes having staff from the evangaelization office travel the archdiocese, listen and help pastors and lay leaders reach out in new and exciting ways to those around them, he said. 
Continued training for staff in his office and grants to help parishes establish evangelization programs are among other needs, Jansen said.
“Our team combs the country to find the best resources,” he said. “It is a joy to be able to provide financial assistance to parishes that are just getting started.”
Archbishop George J. Lucas also encouraged every parishioner to contribute to the annual appeal – financially or with prayer.
“Each year we give a full accounting of the good done by the annual appeal,” he said. “More and more we intend to show the appeal is helping to further our pastoral vision for more vibrant parishes, and a more vibrant archdiocesan church,” he said.
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