The annual Catholic Sharing Appeal (CSA) of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston — “Sowing the Seeds of Hope” — has launched with a goal of raising $2 million to support the broad network of Catholic parishes and missions, Catholic schools and the wide variety of charities aimed at providing for the essential needs of West Virginians across the state.
“The Catholic Sharing Appeal is our way of reaching beyond ourselves and our own parishes to give hope to others through the diversity of our ministries, programs and services and by meeting critical needs in the spirit of Jesus Christ,” said Krissie Benson, director of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s Office of Stewardship and Development.
“Without the generosity of our Catholic faithful across the state,” Benson said, “our less fortunate would not receive the help they need, our Catholic Schools students would not have the tools they need to succeed in the classroom, and many of the other ministries that people across our great state rely on, could not be sustained.”
The CSA funds nearly 20 programs and ministries throughout the state of West Virginia and represents an integral part of sustaining programs that help those in need, according to Beth Zarate, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities West Virginia. “The hope that the appeal makes possible also serves to reassert the fundamental purpose of our Catholic faith and diocese as we also confront the challenges of today and work toward a new era of renewal and relevance for West Virginians of every walk of life,” she said.
Benson emphasized that all contributed funds to the Catholic Sharing Appeal are designated solely for the purpose of sustaining the many ministries of the Diocese. “In light of the recent legal filings against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston,” she stressed, “we want to make abundantly clear that all funds donated to the Catholic Sharing Appeal will be (and have been) used only for the goals stated in our appeal materials and for nothing else.
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“This promise we make to our generous benefactors and faithful supporters is absolute. Their financial gifts will only be directed to the work of faith and for the services that provide so much positive impact to individual lives and our communities.”
As is the case each year, a portion of CSA funds is returned to parishes to enable them to address their particular needs. The first 50 percent of the each parish goal is designated for funding various diocesan ministries. All funds raised over the first 50 percent are returned to parishes, including every dollar over the total goal. Monies returned to the parishes are used for a wide range of programs — from maintenance and beautification, to PSR classes and community outreach.
The proceeds of last year’s Appeal totaled $3,340,854. Of that amount, $2,370,829 was returned to parishes and missions to support their greatest needs. The remaining $970,025 provided support for school-based health programs; diocesan mission grants; Catholic Charities West Virginia; youth, young adult and campus ministry; formation and mission throughout the diocese; tuition assistance for Catholic education; and many other diocesan ministries and programs. Since the start of the Catholic Sharing Appeal in 2007, over $20,000,000 has been contributed to the Catholic Sharing Appeal from more than 127,000 generous gifts.
For information regarding the CSA or how to make a donation, visit the appeal’s website at dwc.org/CSA. Donations may also be sent to: Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Catholic Sharing Appeal, PO Box 230, Wheeling 26003.
For more information, call toll free 888-434–6237 or, for the Wheeling area, 304-233-0880.