BRISBANE archdiocese’s Annual Catholic Campaign has had multiple benefits apart from raising more than $1 million, according to co-chair James McKay and others involved in the campaign.
“It was also an excellent way of highlighting the many amazing things the Catholic Church does in so many different areas,” Mr McKay, who co-chaired the campaign with his wife Patrice, said.
“The campaign drew attention to areas such as social services, education, hospital and clergy education and support.
“This was so important as the Catholic Church is not very good at getting this message out and cops such a lot of flak for so many things.
“Yet the Church’s good work makes a huge difference in society.”
Campaign organiser archdiocesan resource development director Peter de Keratry and vicar general Monsignor Peter Meneely also reported a range of benefits.
“The ACC is a new initiative that was needed because what we were doing was not working as well as it had in the past,” Msgr Meneely said.
“We were very concerned about responding to the priests’ request for fewer appeals during Mass.
“The consolidation of four previous in-Mass appeal programs for Centacare, the Priests Foundation, and Holy Spirit Seminary has been somewhat counter-intuitive for many of us who have run many appeals in the past.
“In fact, the ACC raised more than $1 million, much more than the normal appeal process.
“Also importantly several hundred families are now giving monthly to support the ministry of the Church as a result of the campaign.”
Mr de Keratry said 416 people so far had signed up to provide ongoing monthly support of $18,265.
“By signing up as monthly donors, these individuals have joined the Living Faith Society,” he said.
“The Living Faith Society is the archdiocesan program to recognise and engage individuals who provide ongoing monthly gifts in support of ministry.”
Msgr Meneely said the commitment weekend for the ACC would be the second in September each year so as not to clash with other fundraising events such as the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Winter Appeal.
“As before, there will be mail appeals throughout the year for individual ministries, meaning those interested in supporting a specific ministry or program can still give a designated gift,” he said.
Msgr Meneely said the feedback of priests and parishioners on ways to make the ACC process more effective in individual parishes was welcome.
The inaugural ACC, themed “You Make A Difference to Me” was launched at the archdiocese’s Francis Rush Centre on May 17.
As part of the campaign, a letter from Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, was sent to all 48,000 families in archdiocesan schools inviting support for ministries of the Church.
More than 200 parishioners, archdiocesan staff, clergy and religious attended the Brisbane launch.
It was one of four launches.
Others were held in Surfers Paradise, Ipswich and Sippy Downs.
To read Archbishop Mark Coleridge’s letter to the people of the Archdiocese of Brisbane about the success of the Annual Catholic Campaign, click here.