Each year the Annual Catholic Appeal Leadership Dinner Meeting brings together priests, secretaries and ACA Chairpeople from throughout the diocese who help to roll out the ACA in each parish. Our ACA leaders are critical to the success of our ACA weekends.
They ensure that posters are put up, pledge envelopes and brochures on display, the ACA video shown and that the collection is returned to ACA Office in a timely manner. They will also provide testimony about the good works of the ACA supported ministries as well as assist with follow up contact with donors. All in all, our ACA leaders are our partners in the parish and we are very appreciative of their help.
This year’s meeting, held on March 3, at the Holiday Inn, Norwich, began with Bishop Cote expressing his gratitude, “I cannot tell you how much I have appreciated all of the work each of you has done this year to support our ACA. The fact that we have surpassed our 2021 goal for the first time in many years, is a true testament to your efforts and leadership.”
The meeting continued with Mary Ellen Mahoney, Annual Catholic Appeal, Executive Director, also thanking the entire leadership group for their hard work, noting that the 2021 ACA finished at 114% of goal, with 39 parishes finishing at the 90% or better of goal and 25 parishes meeting or exceeding goal.
She emphasized that pledging is the best way for people to donate as they are able to give more by spreading their gifts over time. She also spoke about the incredible impact that our ACA supported ministries had last year, providing more than 7,400 people with help with basic needs, housing support, financial assistance, and parenting aid, over 8,000 health care visits, 8,330 vaccinations and over 7,100 laboratory tests in Haiti, more than 1,100,000 meals or meal equivalents within the diocese and 9,000 plus students with education in faith. In addition, she noted that we also have seven seminarians on their way to priesthood.
After the presentation, Mary Ellen was able to speak individually with ACA leaders, one of whom was Pat Jackowski of St. Pius X Church, Middletown. Pat’s family has been involved since the beginning of the ACA, when it was named the Annual Bishop Appeal. Her family’s commitment as the leaders at St. Pius runs deep. Pat shared,
“In our home, the Leadership of the ACA is a generational legacy. My parents, Ed and Genie Dypa, have been part of the ACA, first called the ABA-Annual Bishop’s Appeal) since its inception. As children, we were always taught that we should care for our neighbors and those in need. Service to our St. Pius X Parish was always a part of our lives continuing to our greater community as we grew. As my parents aged, my husband Charlie and I began to co-chair the ACA for St. Pius X. We consider it a Legacy of Love to continue the commitment to the ACA and help care for our diocesan family.”
Pat’s husband, Charlie and her dad, Ed Dypa, also accompanied her to the Leadership Meeting. When asked why he is such a big supporter of the ACA and continues to be involved in the ACA leadership, Ed responded,
“I have been committed to the ACA since it began as the ABA. I think it is the one way we can actively participate in the important diocesan ministries that are working to help people in ways beyond what our parish is able to do. When we contribute to our parish, we are primarily supporting the parish infrastructure. When we give to the ACA, it goes to support the soup kitchens, education of our seminarians, priest retirement, prison ministry for example, things that our parish can’t do on its own. “
In speaking with leaders after dinner, Mary Ellen was able to answer a variety questions including one about the diocesan bankruptcy. When asked if the ACA donations could be used to pay the costs of the bankruptcy she answered that the diocesan bankruptcy does not affect the ACA; the ACA is a separate legal entity and not involved in the bankruptcy. Donors can be assured that their donations stay within the ACA and are used to support the ministries and programs that receive funding from the ACA.
This year’s Annual Catholic Appeal is fully underway, having launched in parishes on the weekend of March 19/20. It’s not too late to make your pledge.
If you would like to donate online or would like to view the 2022 ACA video, please go to www.NorwichDioceseDevelopment.org. For more information, please call our office at (860) 886-1928 or email Heather Harris, Campaign Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support.