The Annual Catholic Appeal
Part of our obligation as Catholics is to grow in prayer, and participate along with contributing to your parish. Another part of our duty to participate in the parish is to give back to the Lord financially. The Archdiocese of St. Louis has looked out for each other for many years through the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) by the help of their stewardship and generosity. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson also specifically states that “Taking stewardship seriously means giving thanks to God through prayer, participation and generosity. The ACA calls us to fulfill these obligations that were made recognized by Archbishop Carlson by giving back to the Church once a year since the Catholic Church has given so much for us after all. In just a short time period in the springtime, the ACA calls the Catholic church to fulfill their duties as Catholics with their generosity. For every dollar that is donated to the Annual Catholic appeal, only 9 cents is kept by the organization.
Through the generosity of the Catholic community, the ACA can accomplish incredible things in Catholic communities. Through the funds the ACA receives, students can create remarkable foundations for the rest of their lives in the Catholic Schools by which the ACA donates to Catholic Schools annually. Not only do the funds provided by the Archdiocese of St. Louis help provide excellent educations to the youth, the also go toward helpingretired priests, feeding the hungry, and giving shelter the homeless.
But these are just a few of the praiseworthy things that the ACA accomplishes, there are many unseen remarkable things that the ACA helps conquer such as sparing the life of an unborn baby! The Catholic Church teaches to love one another as the good Lord Jesus loves you, which is why Catholics, in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, should answer their call to stewardship by giving just a mere 15% of their annual income to the ACA. When one puts it in perspective, God sacrificed his son, Jesus, so that humanity could be freed from sin and be granted eternal life so is 15% of a person’s income to much to ask for?
Since Jesus gave his life, Catholics should willingly give back to their community so that the homeless can seek shelter, the priests can can live a good retirement, the hungry can find food, and children in Catholic schools can receive solid foundations to the rest of their lives. Given these ideas, I often wonder if I truly and willingly answer my call to stewardship? Do I help give back to the community since the community has given so much to me? Am I grateful for all the great things that God has given me? Do I give back to God?
God gave me life, and I cherish that gift by respecting it and being prayerful that I remain safe so that I can continue to live this awesome life that God gave me. I never abuse my life nor do I abuse the lives of others. I respect all of God’s creations and even attend my obligation to attend Sunday Mass regularly. But do I really show that I’m Catholic? It’s thoughts like this that, even when I do think I am living a life of stewardship, I wonder if I am even close to fulfilling my obligations as a Catholic. But, I can model my life after others that significantly answer their call to stewardship.
I can constantly remind myself of what Jesus would want me to do. I can think from my heart to help out others in any way that is recognizable by others. I can give thanks to God by being generous and conversing with God through prayer. I can also give back to the Church with generosity, just like the other members of the Catholic community. If the ACA can give generously, how come we are not as generous at times? The ACA counts on the community within the Archdiocese in order to fulfill its goal each year. With everyone’s generous contributions, the ACA always receives more than enough to fulfill their goals.
The ACA gave more than $30,000 to help immigrants and refugees, along with giving over $25,000 to food pantries within the Archdiocese parishes. They help criminal justice systems by giving over $20,000 and the ACA significantly helps out the area schools by giving substantial amounts to the Catholic schools. But, not only does the ACA give generously to all of these organizations, they give over $1,100,000 to tons of other Catholic charities! If the ACA is this generous, we should be just as generous by answering part of our call to stewardship and giving back to our community through the help of the ACA.