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 | By Jackie Edgerton

Catholic Appeal of South Carolina

Each year, Catholics across the state come together united in their love of God and one another to support the Catholic Appeal of South Carolina (CASC). Formerly the “Bishop’s Annual Appeal,” the name was changed to demonstrate that the initiative is for every Catholic and puts our faith into action. It is the opportunity to abide by the greatest commandment of all and love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength — and love our neighbors as ourselves (Mk 12:29-31).

A common misconception is that the appeal is what’s used to fund the diocese, or “keep the lights on” at the Chancery. But that’s not what CASC is for nor what it does. The nearly 90,000 registered Catholic households across the diocese share the gifts God has bestowed to provide critical funding to operate ministries and outreach programs. CASC supports Catholic school tuition assistance and programs, funds vocation discernment and seminarian education and assists our retired priests after their lifetime of service.

Every gift matters. Every dollar funds the work of the Church throughout South Carolina. It does not pay salaries for Chancery employees, because CASC participation is for building and strengthening the Catholic community in all seven deaneries across the Palmetto State. It puts the teachings of our faith into public action.

The Gift of Life

The impact of your generosity brings hope, encouragement and service to several ministries, including Family Life, where Kathy Schmugge is the senior director. 

“The world needs the light of Christ,” she explained. “We are confident that through collaborating with other departments and parishes, we can together be true disciples of Christ and help form more disciples.” 

Family Life ministry works to strengthen marriages and families “by creating opportunities for each person to understand their dignity as a child of God, heal from the past, learn to forgive and gain the skills to help others,” she added.

The annual Marriage Anniversary Celebration, held this month, is just one of the many programs of Family Life whose outreach includes marriage preparation, post-abortion healing with Rachel’s Vineyard, Natural Family Planning and infertility issues, grief support and so much more. Funding through CASC assists Family Life in carrying out this mission, as well as other ministries like St. Clare’s Home in Greenville County, which helps women in crisis pregnancies and mothers in need. 

The appeal also funds evangelization to those on the margins, mental health support services, child protective services, catechesis and emergency assistance to parishes. Additionally, it provides extra funding to Catholic Charities of South Carolina to serve those living in poverty, and to the Restorative Justice program. Restorative Justice helps individuals transform their lives and get on their feet after incarceration. The program’s success has dramatically reduced the recidivism rate — the rate at which people return to prison — to one of the lowest in the nation.

Thanks to your support, the collective service to these ministries builds a stronger Catholic Church and community.

Next Generation of Priests

The gracious support of Catholics through the appeal provides critical funding to the vocation discernment program and the formation of our seminarians.

Currently the diocese is fostering 20 men on the incredible journey toward priesthood. 

“CASC is one of the primary sources of funding for the formation of our seminarians studying to become priests for the diocese,” said Father Rhett B. Williams, vocations director. “The funding goes towards tuition, room and board, books, medical insurance and travel allowances for the men.”

Your donations make seminarian formation possible.

Education & Youth Evangelization

The appeal provides direct funding for programs that support the future of the Catholic Church. Donations provide tuition assistance to expand access to quality Catholic education for families. With rigorous academics taught in a moral and Christ-centered environment, Catholic schools nurture the whole child: body, mind and soul.

CASC aids college-age students and young adults, too, in many of our colleges and universities with regional faith formation and campus ministry programs.

Deacon Jerry White, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, emphasized that “the dollars that people give to CASC that go toward the youth and young adult ministries are not changing lives for a day or two, but rather for eternity! We are so grateful for donations of every size, as they are making a difference in building up the kingdom right here in South Carolina,” he said.

You Matter

In a time when society at large seeks to divide and keep us apart, our charity as Catholics unites us in living out the Gospels in a radical and public way. When we support CASC, we join other faithful members of the universal Church in love of God and of our neighbors.

Every donation counts. Every penny helps grow and strengthen the Catholic Church, allowing our ministries, schools and parishes to flourish and serve.

Coming together in support of CASC transforms us into good stewards of God’s grace.

Jackie LaPan Edgerton is the senior director of the Office of Stewardship & Mission Advancement. After 20 years as an attorney-litigator, she now serves the growing Catholic community of South Carolina. She is married to Dr. Colin Edgerton, and the family attends Stella Maris Church on Sullivans Island. Email her at