2021 Catholic Faith Appeal
Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped. (Proverbs 11:25)
What is the Catholic Faith Appeal and for what are its proceeds used? The Catholic Faith Appeal (CFA) is a yearly invitation to come together as a Diocese and provide assistance to our needy brothers and sisters. It is one of the most effective ways to carry out the work of the Church, and it is a testament to how we live our Catholic Faith. Gifts to the CFA support a broad range of programs and services such as: Vocations and Seminarians, Religious Education, Parishes and Missions in financially challenged areas, Evangelization, Catholic Education, Peace and Social Justice, Catholic Charities and many more. On an annual basis, Parishes in the Diocese of Venice make a required contribution to financially support these efforts. The Catholic Faith Appeal is a means by which all parishioners can take part in helping their Parish to meet its contribution. A Parish Catholic Faith Appeal goal is determined by the income of the Parish and is not based on the number of registered families because our population grows in the winter months from northern visitors. This greatly adds to the success of the Appeal.DOWNLOAD THE BULLETIN
How does the CFA benefit my Parish and me? The Catholic Faith Appeal helps to sustain many diverse programs in our Parishes. Some examples are preparing couples for marriage, providing the curriculum to educate both children and adults in our Faith, forming future priests, educating children in Catholic schools, and supporting religious sisters who serve in various roles. The CFA over the past three years has provided $5 million to Parishes through donations raised above and beyond their goal. Parishes use the additional funds for a wide variety of purposes as agreed upon by Parish leadership and the Pastor. Some examples are capital improvements, building an endowment for maintenance, tuition assistance or emergency purposes, and expanding community outreach.
Why does Catholic Charities do additional fundraising? Approximately 15% of the Diocesan budget is given to Catholic Charities to help support its very worthwhile presence in our Diocese. However, this amount is only a percentage of the money needed to carry out its work. In addition to what the Diocese is able to provide, further fundraising is required.
Why are the administrative services included? The mission of the Church is to continue the work of Christ. To do so requires overseeing and supporting more than 1,000 employees in our schools, Parishes and agencies throughout the ten counties within the Diocese. These shared services help streamline operations and reduce the overall cost for everyone.
Why are there so many mailings? More than 3.5 million dollars of the appeal comes to the Diocese through the mailings. Once you have responded to a CFA mailing or made a gift through your Parish, mailings to you will stop with the exception of a thank you letter and yearly tax receipt. Tax receipts are sent to anyone who gives a gift of $250 or more, which is required by the IRS. It is always wise to keep receipts of your charitable giving for audit purposes.
How much should I give? In prayerful thanks for the many blessings from God, we as Stewards should reflect an attitude of gratitude by sharing those blessings with our brothers and sisters in need through contributions to our Parish or the CFA. Although we are not all able to make an equal gift, all are invited by Our Lord to make an equal sacrifice. Therefore, your gift is a personal decision between you and God, and should be made after prayerful consideration.
Should I make a pledge or a one-time gift? Making a pledge allows you to spread your gift throughout the year, which may make it easier for you to pay, and may also allow you to give a larger gift. Pledge statements are sent out monthly unless otherwise requested. These are simply reminders and not bills. You can pay your pledge anytime before the end of the year. If your situation changes, you may also adjust your pledge.
How can I make my gift? We try to make your giving as easy as possible! You can make a gift through checks, credit cards, stocks, direct debit, IRA transfer, on-line giving at www.dioceseofvenice.org, as well as approved gifts of real estate. Give us a call and we will happily answer your questions (941-486-4719).
Will any funds from the CFA be used to settle lawsuits or for legal expenses? No, the Catholic Faith Appeal funds are restricted for the funding of the ministries and programs outlined in promotional materials and are not used to settle claims or pay claim related expenses.
If I contribute to my Parish’s capital campaign, does the Diocese get a portion of my gift? Funds from approved Parish capital campaigns are not assessable. Therefore, the fully donated amount is available for use by the Parish for capital campaign purposes.
Thank you for your support!