The Joy of Love—The Annual Catholic Appeal

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,  Our recent diocesan synod on marriage and family life, which brought together priests and lay representatives from every parish in San Diego and Imperial Counties, pointed once again to the vibrancy and depth of the Catholic community in the diocese of San Diego.  In tandem with our diocesan task forces on young adults, priestly vocation and Catholic schools, the Synod provided a set of new initiatives for our diocese designed to deepen the life of the Gospel in our midst and make Christ more present to family life, our children growing in faith, millennials and the elderly.

None of these initiatives could take form without the assistance of the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA).  Through your generous support, the diocese is able to carry out its work of training new priests, preparing couples for marriage, ministering to the poor, the marginalized and the imprisoned, training parish leaders to bring faith to children in our parish schools and religious formation programs, forming permanent deacons, and caring for the retired priests who have given the whole of their lives in service to the Church.

I invite you to prayerfully consider making a sacrificial gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal this year.  It constitutes a tangible pathway to answer the call for discipleship in the Church today by supporting the life of the diocese which in turn supports in so many critical ways both the life of the parishes and the work of the universal Church.   –  Most Reverend Robert McElroy, Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego.

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AND TUITION ASSISTANCE:  With support from the Annual Catholic Appeal, we strive to make Catholic Education both affordable and accessible to every child and family who desires it, regardless of their background, neighborhood, family income or culture.  Tuition Assistance is provided to families who would otherwise not be able to afford sending their children to a Catholic School.

FORMATION IN THE FAITH:  The ACA provides funding for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministries, the Diocesan Institute and Youth Ministries.  These diocesan ministries coordinate training for Directors of Catechetical ministries, Youth Ministry Coordinators, catechists and religious education teachers as well as theological formation for adults.

CATHOLIC CHARITIES:  Following the example of Jesus who “came not to be served but to serve”, Catholic Charities is supported by the ACA in its effort to promote the dignity of the human person and its commitment to the Judeo-Christian version of justice and charity.  The agency assists almost 300,000 people each year through its expansive network of programs and services.

PRISON MINISTRY:  Chaplaincies at 27 different facilities impact the lives of over 25,000 inmates.  These include eight sheriff’s jails, five juvenile detention centers, three state prisons and four federal detention facilities.  Ministry supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal responds to the hunger that many of these inmates have to deepen their relationship with God.

YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY:  Young Adult Ministry reaches out and invites this age group to responsible participation in the full life and mission of the Church.  Faith-filled peer ministries and various social, service and spiritual opportunities strive to connect young adults to Christ and His Church.

RETIRED PRIESTS:  Fifty five retired priests of this diocese receive financial support so they can live in dignity, free of anxiety about their means of subsistence.  This support includes providing heath and auto insurance, and nursing care when required as well as supplementing their retirement and pension income when necessary.  Retired priest are also invited to the annual convocation of priests at no charge.

SEMINARIAN SUPPORT:  Our Diocese supports over 16 seminarians who are discerning a call to the priestly life and service in the Church.  Tuition and living expenses average around $45,000 per seminarian.  Three new priests were ordained for our diocese this past year.