Catholic Service Appeal launches 2015 with theme ‘called to serve’

Money from the Catholic Service Appeal (CSA), sometimes called the bishop’s collection, is used to fund specific ministries within the Diocese of Jackson including Catholic Charities, Campus Ministry, Seminarian Education, mission parishes and schools, the Office of Formational Minsitries, the Office of Family Ministry, retired clergy and religious, prison ministry and the Office of Evangelization, which includes the work done on Mississippi Catholic.
These ministries may get money from other sources, such as grants or donations, but they each look to CSA for some of their operating budget funds.
Schools, particularly in places where they are serving a poor or minority population, do not want to sacrifice quality of education, no matter how much the families are able to pay. CSA funds help them personalize their offerings to the community they are serving. For example, some schools may choose to invest in reading interventions while others may want to use money to improve their math or science offerings.
CSA allows schools to use their allocation of money for the programs they need. Each donation to CSA moves those missions forward.
The theme this year, called to serve, reflects on our mission as Christians to reach out to those in need. In the annual report, the Office of Stewardship and Development explained the purpose and aim of the appeal.
“We are Called to Serve the least among us—those who hunger and thirst in body, mind, and spirit. Through the annual Catholic Service Appeal, we serve so many throughout the Diocese with shared ministries and programs too great for any individual or parish to undertake,” reads the report.
The illustration for the appeal this year is taken from a statue of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. Every year clergy re-enact this scene on Holy Thursday, from the pope to the bishops, right down to the parish priests. This very moving symbol is meant to remind all Christians of the call to be servant-leaders.
In the coming weeks the paper will highlight the work of some of these ministries to show how CSA is affecting the lives of our neighbors right here in Mississippi.
The collection for CSA is set for February 7-8, but those who wish to make a longer-lasting impact can arrange to make payments on a pledge. These pledges can be made through the mail, by phone, in person, or online. The Office of Stewardship and Development has streamlined its online giving options. Visit the website at for details.