Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Allow me to make a sales pitch of sorts in my letter this week. I received an email on Monday from the Diocesan Office of Development both informing me and inviting me to push for supporting the Annual Catholic Appeal.

The informing part was to tell me that there will be a third letter sent to parishioners asking for a donation. If you’ve already given, you should not receive one, though sometimes mistakes do occur. The inviting part was to ask that I make a personal push throughout the parish with this. To date, our parish has raised $62,045 of our $80,000 goal. This, in many ways, is incredible. I am extremely grateful for the generosity of support you’ve shown so far. St. Charles has not historically made our goal and in certain years, haven’t been anywhere near it. To be over 75% towards our stated goal is already a success. If you’ve given thus far: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

But I must admit, it’s unusual for the Diocese to be reaching out and asking for this kind of push. Yes, they always send a third ask letter. But they don’t typically invite pastors to make a pulpit ask this late in the year. In 2021, something’s different.
It helps to know how the Diocese of Trenton gets its income for its annual operating budget. There are two primary ways: parish assessments and the Annual Catholic Appeal. Parish assessments are essentially a tithe that each parish gives so that the Diocese can have and pay for broader programs and essential support for
ministry. 10% of our collections are assessed to be given to the Diocese. For further income, there’s also the Annual Catholic Appeal.

Here’s the rub. Parish collections are substantially down throughout every parish within the Diocese of Trenton (and beyond.) The Diocese has not increased the percentage of the assessment, so as to not burden parishes with bigger bills to pay. Yet there is still the need to provide essential services for the all the parishes and
ministries here in the Trenton Diocese. Less money to provide for the same amount of needs is something many of us have encountered in the pandemic and it’s the same case for Catholic Church as well.

That’s why a concerted effort to meet our goal for Annual Catholic Appeal is critical, this year especially. The assessments won’t be changing until the next fiscal year and the financial needs of the Diocese still remain. The best and perhaps only means to supplement is a successful ACA throughout every parish in the area.
I trust in the goodness of St. Charles Borromeo. I kindly ask that you consider giving to the ACA if you haven’t yet and are able to do so.

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan