The impact of the pastoral ministries of the Diocese of Nashville stretches across Middle Tennessee, reaching out to the poor, bringing the good news of the Gospel to all, providing a Catholic education that sharpens the mind and deepens the faith of students.
All of those ministries and others depend on the financial support provided by the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Ministries.
In his letter in support of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Ministries, Nashville Bishop David Choby notes that Pope Francis wrote in his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” that “the joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.”
Bishop Choby also points to the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus says, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least ones, you did for me.”
“Together, we are given the opportunity to experience the joy of the Gospel by serving those less fortunate and those in need,” Bishop Choby writes. “Your generous and faithful response to God’s gifts in your life will help support those who are in need, those who seek God’s presence in their lives, and the youth in Middle Tennessee.”
The goal for the 2014 Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Ministries is $1.9 million in pledges. Each parish exceeding its goal will have every dollar received above the goal returned to the parish for its use.
The campaign will be launched at Masses the weekend of Feb. 15 and 16 with Appeal Sunday, when parishes will announce this year’s goal and talk about the thousands who benefit from the services the Bishop’s Annual Appeal of Ministries helps to fund.
Pledge Sunday will be the weekend of Feb. 22 and 23, when parishioners will be asked to fill out their pledge cards to support the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Ministries. A message from Bishop Choby will be read at all the Masses.
Catholics throughout the Diocese of Nashville will be asked to participate at a level comfortable to them; the goal is 100 percent participation.
There will be a Follow-up Sunday the weekend of March 1 and 2 for those who need more time to consider their pledges.
The Diocese of Nashville Office of Stewardship and Development will mail monthly envelopes and a statement of account directly to donors to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Ministries, whether they are pledgers or monthly or occasional donors. Those who choose a quarterly contribution option will receive their mailing of a statement and contribution envelope in March, June, September and December.
Also, envelopes for contributions will be included in the monthly envelope packets. Those parishes that use box sets will be provided envelopes to make available to their parishioners.
The diocese engages in more than 50 programs to help, educate and assist people, according to William Whalen, chief financial officer of the diocese.
“Pope Francis has raised everyone’s awareness and sensitivity to service to others. There is an excitement around his message,” Whalen says. “Contributing to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Ministries is one way to live out the gospel message.” It is also a very efficient method since 100 percent of the donations are used to support ministries in the diocese, he adds.
For more information about the 2014 Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Ministries and a video message from Bishop Choby, click on this link to the Bishop's Annual Appeal for Ministries