By Tim Bishop
WHEELING—Through the generosity of the faithful, the 2014 Catholic Sharing Appeal (CSA) has surpassed its goal with another record-breaking year, raising more than $1.59 million.
Funding received will support Catholic education, Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa), diocesan ministries and more.
Krissie Benson, director of Stewardship and Development for the diocese, said that there were also a record numbers of donors to the campaign at more than 4,880. “Every year,” she said, “we think we have hit the maximum amount we can raise, then all of the sudden we see the generosity of West Virginia Catholics continue to grow. It is exciting to know that the same donors continue to support the appeal, but we also have a large percentage of new donors.”
Benson said that there are many people who continually make the CSA a success each year. “The pastors and their staff deserve a lot of thanks. They are the ones who see their parishioners every Sunday and they are the ones that talk about it. Because they benefit from it so greatly, it’s more than just a diocesan appeal. And of course we thank the
thousands of Catholic faithful for their continued support.”
“Our parishioners,” said Father John R. Gallagher, pastor of St. Michael Parish in Vienna, “have been good about giving to the things that we support. And we promote the CSA for what it does for CCWVa, for the diocese and what it does for our parish.” Father Gallagher said plans for the parish’s share from the appeal will be used to make much-needed improvements to the church. The parish plans to replace its air-conditioning unit as well as update its computer system. CSA funding has also helped the parish replace the kitchen in its parish hall.
Benson said that CSA monies have already supported a number of projects throughout the diocese including the implementation of the “Think Through Math” program, school-based health programs and tuition assistance as well as the purchase of equipment at Camp Bosco in Huttonsville.