With over 200,000 Catholics in the diocese, our faith community is bursting with possibilities. As brothers and sisters with a mission to share the Gospel, make disciples, and be Christ to each person we encounter, we are able to do so much as one family, but our job is ever-growing.
The ministries supported each year by the Bishop’s Annual Appeal — which kicked off Feb. 2 — have a mission to serve people in need, those on the peripheries, and our own faith family.
Catholic Charities and other outreach ministries commonly serve those of other faiths, who may not have the opportunity to encounter Christ through His Church. Not only do the programs and ministries funded by the BAA offer assistance with earthly needs, but deep, spiritual needs as well.
Statistics tell us that the fastest growing religious group are the unaffiliated, or the “nones”, which means Catholics are being called, now more than ever, to evangelize and minister to all we encounter.
Amanda Kepshire, associate director of Stewardship and Mission Advancement, said all gifts to the BAA are used to fund the diocesan programs and ministries that reach people of all ages, demographics and needs. In addition, it supports the formation of seminarians and permanent deacons, and provides care for the retired priests of our diocese.
“It is our prayer that each member of our faith family will participate in this year’s annual appeal,” Kepshire said. “The amount people give is not as important as saying yes to being a part of building up the kingdom in South Carolina and making disciples in our own communities.”
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone reminds us that we are all called to be Christ’s instruments; His hands and feet in our world today.
“We can’t do it without each other. You are an important member of our faith family and we need your help to make a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ,” he said.
As you prayerfully consider a gift to the 2019 BAA, remember that pledge weekend is Feb. 16. Look for your pledge envelope in the mail and give what you can. Also, listen for information provided by your parish, or visit https://charlestondiocese.org/donate/.
Pledge Weekend is Feb. 16
Look for your pledge envelope in the mail and give what you can.
Photo provided: Funds from the Bishop’s Annual Appeal help support schools in the diocese.
2019 BAA allocations ($4,000,000)
Catholic Charities 27% ($950,000)
- The efforts of Catholic Charities helped more than 44,800 people last year, including food assistance, emergency aid, immigration services, disaster relief, and more
Vocations 21% ($750,000)
- The diocese has grown from 11 seminary applicants to 18 active seminarians in formation, plus two men currently in discernment
- There are also 132 active deacons, 34 retired deacons, and 46 men currently in formation to serve in our parishes and communities
Ministry and Outreach 24% ($850,000)
- Faith formation opportunities reached nearly 16,000 people throughout our parishes
- In 2018, the Office of Child Protection Services supported over 5,000 employees and volunteers through screenings and education to maintain a safe environment and protect children and vulnerable members of our community
Youth and Young Adult Ministries 7% ($250,000)
- Last year, more than 4,000 youth were engaged in events such as the Jr. High Rally, High School Youth Conference, Young Ladies Retreat, Evangelization Team, Youth Rally for Life, Christian Leadership Institute, and retreats by the Diocesan Missionary Team
- Young Adult Ministry has been blessed with a surge of growth, and there are now four regional young adult groups, with almost 800 active young adults in over 30 parishes
Catholic Schools 8% ($270,000)
- Supports more than 6,900 students currently enrolled in schools in the diocese
College Campus Ministry 11% ($400,000)
- Provides a Catholic presence at 25 colleges and universities
Retired Priests 2% ($75,000)
- Retirement and care is provided for 20 retired priests, many of whom still serve our parish communities