Why do we have an annual appeal in our Archdiocese?
Our Archdiocese is in a unique position to share Christ with others through numerous ministries and organizations that depend on our funding. With our Archbishop’s leadership, with an increasing commitment by all our Catholic family and our growing parishes, we view the annual appeal as an opportunity to improve our stewardship of available resources. The Archbishop’s Call to Share (ACTS) enables greater participation in the essential work of the Catholic Church in Northeast Kansas. It unites and strengthens us. The financial pressure many of our parishes are experiencing is of great concern. Increased offertory by every parishioner is vital for our parishes as they face increased costs for energy, human resources, as well as basic operations.
Why now, and why is there a need for ACTS?
Our Archdiocesan leadership carefully evaluated timing the ACTS appeal so that it would not pose a conflict for parish, school and other organization fund-raising, and deliberately chose the early winter months for the benefit of all concerned. A small percentage of offertory submitted annually by parishes to support the work of the church is not equal to the task of meeting all necessary budget items. If all Catholics contributed regularly to their parishes through weekly offertory, the need for an annual appeal would perhaps be less critical. In spite of careful and prudent budget review, the costs to support staffs that provide numerous programs and services, transportation, communication, and the maintenance of facilities continue to rise.
What will the funds be used for?
We believe that a broader understanding of what it means to be Catholic extends beyond our parish community. We form a community of faith, which fosters the mission of Jesus Christ by our gifts to ACTS. These funds are used to cover items approved in the archdiocesan annual operating budget, but not covered by other sources of funds. They will be used to sustain programs that enrich the life of the Church, that appeal to a broad range of needs and interests, and that, consequently, bind us together as a community of Faith.
Where can I find a report about ACTS?
An annual report of ACTS contributions and allocations is published annually in The Leaven and on this website under “About ACTS”.
How and when can I pay my pledge?
The Office of Stewardship and Development of the archdiocese processes your gifts when made through a parish. Parishioners may make a one time gift or a pledge over ten months. Click here to make a gift online, or call 913-647-0325 to ask specific questions.
What is the appropriate commitment to make to ACTS?
No one can answer that for you, but the Archbishop has recommended that if you are contributing five percent of your annual income to your parish, and four percent to other charitable work, then perhaps one percent would be available to support the larger Church community – bringing your total tithe to 10 percent. Your past record of support should be a useful guide. The annual appeal provides an opportunity for you to evaluate your charitable giving. It is expected that everyone will make a commitment to the Archbishop’s Call to Share. For those who are unable to participate due to financial hardship, then return the pledge card for a request for prayer in order for your parish to have complete participation.
Who authorizes spending the funds?
The funds are expended with the approval of the Archbishop upon careful review by the Archbishop’s Call to Share Allocation Review Committee that is composed of clergy and lay members chaired by the Vicar General. During the course of the fiscal year, July 1 to June 30, the Archdiocesan Finance Council and the Chief Financial Officer of the Archdiocese oversee all financial matters with the approval of the Archbishop.
How does the ACTS impact my parish?
The content of educational ministries at your parish is often the result of services provided by ministerial programs provided by the Archdiocese, such as RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) or marriage preparation. Many of the social services provided by your parish are a direct result of the network of Catholic Charities programs. Support for scholarships at your parish school may be a result of the work of the Catholic Education Foundation. The deacon serving your parish may have been educated through the permanent diaconate program of the archdiocese. The person signing at Mass for the deaf and hard of hearing of your parish may be a member of the archdiocesan staff. There are numerous ways that your parish is impacted by ACTS; many of these activities would not exist without your generous gifts. The efforts of volunteers giving of their time and talent are essential to planning and presenting quality programs. They can focus on their ministry without the added requirement of raising funds for their work.
How does ACTS affect fundraising for other purposes?
There may be a time when your parish must raise money for special purposes, such as repair costs of a steeple, roof or boiler that were not part of the annual operating budget. An emergency fund has been established by ACTS with oversight by the Clergy Advisory Committee who makes recommendations for grants to the Archbishop. Prudent financial planning suggests that your parish set aside money for future needs through a permanent fund or endowment. Special campaigns for capital improvements such as renovations or new construction are separately managed by your parish leadership. Your gifts to your parish in these extraordinary circumstances are opportunities to “pay it forward” and are extremely important to the vitality of your parish community. Special collections for Catholic Charities, various international missions and United Conference of Catholic Bishops appeals are opportunities that the Archbishop recommends we learn about at Mass for our stewardship of our larger Church.
What recognition is given to ACTS supporters?
Catholics who contribute one percent of their annual income or gifts of $1,000 or greater within a given year are included as members of the Archbishop’s Crosier Society. These members are invited to an annual Mass and brunch. All contributors will receive a prayer card and the gratitude of the Archbishop, as well as the satisfaction of contributing to their Church.