Continuing the Mission: 2019 Annual Diocesan Stewardship Appeal

by John Mark Willcox

One might ask these days, “Since our diocese is without a bishop, will we be conducting the Annual Diocesan Stewardship Appeal?” The answer to that question is a resounding YES! Even though the Diocese of Shreveport is without a chief shepherd, the needs of our Catholic faithful have not dissipated, in fact they remain constant, and some of these needs have even grown larger.

As with our Appeal each year, major funds are allocated to providing for our retired and infirm clergy while subsidizing the education of our seminarians who will become our future priests. Our list of retired priests includes nine holy men who have given a life of service to the people of our diocese and they are certainly worthy of Appeal assistance. Replacing these men with newly ordained priests remains an urgent priority and your Appeal donations support the cost of room and board for educating our seminarians. Our diocese is fortunate to have a strong contingent of seven men in seminary training and we were blessed to ordain Fr. Duane Trombetta to the priesthood in 2018 and look forward to Kevin Mues’ ordination in May of this year!

The charitable endeavors of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities of North Louisiana, Campus Ministry still depend on Appeal generosity to actively pursue their missions to make a real difference in thousands of lives within our regional boundaries. Appeal funding this year will help fund efforts to increase the leadership capacity of our diverse and growing Hispanic population. It also sponsors outreach to our youth and young adults through programs like “Theology on Tap,” which serves and supports members among our faithful in their young years of adulthood.

Appeal dollars also support our Office of Catholic Schools, catechesis for our youth in local parishes, and consistent, high quality liturgies through our Office of Worship. Our wonderful Slattery Library is now staffed each weekday and our Appeal supported Safe Environment Program continues to assist our parishes and schools in providing the very best in enriching environments for youth and young adults. Every issue of our monthly diocesan news magazine, The Catholic Connection is also completely funded by your generosity to our Appeal.

“Continuing the Mission” is our Appeal theme for this year and that is exactly what we intend to do,” comments our Diocesan Administrator, Very Rev. Peter B. Mangum. “So much of our outreach and ministry as a committed family of Catholic Christians is impacted by our Annual Appeal and that is why we plan to work diligently to keep the success of our Appeal a priority. I ask that every capable member of our united Catholic family choose to support our Appeal this year so that working together, we can see to the many needs of our worship community.”

Appeal Sunday this year falls on February 17th; please take some time until then to consider your 10-month pledge to support our array of Appeal ministries. A pledge card can be found on page 31, and you may use this to facilitate your annual gift to our Appeal. Please take time to join me in prayer for the success of our Annual Diocesan Stewardship Appeal.

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