By Colleen Rowan WEST VIRGINIA—The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s Catholic Sharing Appeal has surpassed its $1.8 million goal—months earlier than in past years, said Krissie Benson, director of Development for the diocese. Benson credited the success of the CSA to the support of the faithful and the promotion of the appeal by priests in their parishes.
“The Catholic Sharing Appeal has been so well received this year by parishioners throughout the state,” she said. “Because of their generous support, over $1.8 million has been raised to fund so many vital ministries within the diocese. Our pastors deserve a thank you as well. Without them talking to their parishioners about how the CSA helps the diocese, as well as their parish, it would not be nearly as successful.” The appeal helps to fund more than 20 programs and ministries in the diocese, which provide outreach, formation, evangelization, education and advocacy for thousands of families and individuals throughout the state. Vocations, Formation and Mission, Youth and Young Adult Ministry and Communications and Marketing are just a sampling of the various ministries that receive funding through the CSA. “Giving to the CSA is a true win-win for the diocese and the parishes,” Benson said. “With the generosity of the over 4,000 donors so far, parishioners’ donations will help not only their parish with local needs, but also helps the diocese to fund programs for our catholic schools, CCWVa programs and other ministries.” In the appeal, the first 50 percent of the parish goal funds various diocesan ministries. All funds raised over the first 50 percent are returned to parishes, including every dollar over goal. This is the parish share. Many parishes, Benson said, use the CSA to help fund projects on the parish level.
“They see the appeal as the vehicle to use to help fund some of their most pressing needs,” she said. “For some, it may be to purchase a new sign for the front of the parish, or to restore stained glass windows, for others it may be to pave the parking lot, or to reduce the debt at their parish.” St. Mary Parish in Star City raised the most funds in the appeal and surpassed its CSA goal by 361 percent. “I’m very grateful for their generosity,” Father John V. Di Bacco, Jr., pastor of St. Mary’s, said of his parishioners. St. Mary’s used its parish share to help fund a renovation project which includes a new narthex and renovation of the church’s interior. St. Patrick Parish in Weston, which surpassed its goal by the highest percentage in the CSA—surpassing it by 433 percent—is using its parish share to help fund a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system for the gymnasium at St. Patrick Parish School. “I am beyond grateful at the outpouring of generosity from our parishioners,” said Father James R. DeViese, Jr., administrator of the parish. “Their devotion to God and their love for the children of our parish and school—as well as for the wider community—is truly evidenced by how successful our appeal has been.”
The top 10 parishes/missions that raised the most funds were: St. Mary Parish, Star City, St. Joseph Parish, Huntington; St. Francis de Sales Parish, Morgantown; St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Wheeling; St. Patrick Parish, Weston; St. James the Greater Parish, Charles Town; Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Charleston; Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Huntington; Cathedral of St. Joseph, Wheeling; and St. Michael Parish, Vienna.
The top 10 parishes/missions to surpass their goal by percentage were: St. Patrick Parish, Weston; St. Mary Parish, Star City; St. Joseph Parish, Proctor; St. Peter Parish, Welch; St. John Neumann Parish, Marlinton; St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Wheeling; Cathedral of St. Joseph, Wheeling; St. Joseph Parish, Huntington; St. Monica Parish, Lubeck; and Sacred Heart Mission, Pickens. A full listing of this year’s CSA results is on Pages 10-12 of Oct. 20 issue.
There is still time to contribute to the CSA. Donors can make a pledge or donate directly by using a credit card, personal check or by using direct debit. Donors may also make a gift of appreciated securities. Gifts can be broken down into eight monthly payments to make it easier for supporters to give. Gifts may be sent to: Catholic Sharing Appeal, PO Box 230, Wheeling, WV 26003. For more information about the appeal, visit www.dwc.org/CSA.