BSA surpasses $1.4 million

CHARLESTON — The 2005 Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal has gotten off to a great start according to James Myers, director of the Office of Stewardship and Mission Advancement for the Diocese of Charleston.

Myers said that initial reports from parish returns show that the diocese has received $1,112,771 in one-time donations with an additional $302,675 in pledges, for a total to $1,415,446.

“The parishes have obviously been putting forth a concerted effort for this year’s appeal,” Myers said. “The message of what the diocese does and the many services we provide is hopefully reaching a broader base of families this year.”

Though the stewardship director is pleased with the results so far, he said that the diocese needs more support in order to reach the final $2,000,000 goal.

“We need to continue this momentum for a few more months,” Myers said.

The latest figures provided by the Office of Stewardship and Development show that the diocese is approximately $339,034 ahead of where it was last year at this same time. The Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal is one of the main sources of funding for the ministries and programs in the diocese. Catholic Charities, seminarian education, priests retirement, Catholic education, and Christian formation are just a few of the state-wide ministries that the BSA funds.

Msgr. Joseph Roth, vicar general, said the results of the annual stewardship drive were good.

“Parishioners are responding wonderfully,” he said. “We thank God for the added interest and many benefits that will accrue from this generosity.”

Myers said that some parishes have seen an increase not only in the amount of money that their parishioners have contributed, but also in the number of families that contribute.

Myers said that the Office of Stewardship and Development will put out a comprehensive report on the 2005 BSA in June.

Guidance In Giving, Inc. has been directing the annual appeal for the last three months. It is a national Catholic fund-raising firm that works exclusively with Catholic parishes, dioceses and high schools on annual appeals, capital campaigns and stewardship efforts. Some recent clients include dioceses in Peoria, Ill., Youngtown, Ohio; Savannah, Ga.; St. Augustine and St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Houston and Amarillo, Texas.