By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Through services offered by the various departments in the Diocese of Davenport, parishes can spread the Good News of the Catholic Church and be a place that welcomes others and fosters belonging.
Parishioners’ support of the Annual Diocesan Appeal (ADA), which kicks off this weekend, will buttress the diocesan synodal emphasis on Welcoming and Belonging this year. The ADA provides the financial lifeblood for a broad range of ministries supported by the daily operations of the diocese, as campaign materials point out.
This year’s ADA goal is $3.05 million, with the funds raised going toward programs and resources to train and assist lay leaders, parish and school staff members, liturgical resources and support for parish efforts to promote vocations, stewardship and evangelization.
The diocesan synodal summit this past June is an example of how the Davenport Diocese utilizes its resources to serve the faithful and build up the Church. More than 200 Catholics from throughout the diocese participated in the summit at St. Ambrose University in Davenport. Parish and school representatives listened to presentations from people throughout the diocese addressing the core elements of Pope Francis’ Synod of Bishops, which opens Oct. 4: synodality, communion, participation and mission.
Diocesan leaders have followed up with summit representatives via Zoom meetings to share ideas about what parishes, schools and other entities are undertaking and implementing to help people feel welcomed and to foster belonging.
One of the summit speakers was Colleen Burke of the St. Patrick cluster that represents five parishes in Clinton County. She spoke about how the cluster has worked to build relationships with each other’s parishes, even though they are spread as far as 50 miles apart.
She is a strong supporter of the ADA and the broad scope of resources that it funds. “Each of us is called to share his or her gifts in support of the Church. Supporting the ADA is a very meaningful way of expressing our gratitude to God for his many blessings and to return to him a portion of what he has given to us.”
“By giving, we have the power to make a difference, reaching beyond our parish to help with needs, like funding the University of Iowa hospital chaplains, caring for our retired priests, assisting immigrants and refugees, and educating seminarians and deacon candidates.”
This year’s ADA campaign also strives to “align with the diocese’s Laudato Si’ Action Plan to be responsible stewards of the earth’s resources,” Stewardship Director Jennifer Praet said in a message to pastors and ADA coordinators. Thus, more of the ADA offerings and resources will be available digitally on the diocesan website within the Stewardship pages. Sept. 30-Oct. 1 will be the digital launch, giving parishioners the option to forgo receiving paper mailers. Praet said reducing paper usage is good for the environment, provides cost savings and assists in improving the diocesan and parish databases for more accurate mailings.
Materials provided to parishes will include a QR code that people may scan to “opt in” to digital correspondence. ADA contributions from the faithful go to four areas: chancery operations and parish services, charity and service, evangelization and faith formation, and ministry formation and clergy support.
For more information about the ADA, contact your parish or Praet at firstname.lastname@example.org