What is the Idaho Catholic Appeal?
Each year since being established in 1964 by Bishop Sylvester Treinen, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise has conducted an annual giving campaign. The Idaho Catholic Appeal (formerly the Diocesan Development Program or DDP until 2004) starts each year on the second Sunday of Lent. This is the main funding source supporting the varied ministries of the Diocese, our Catholic Church of Idaho, and the diocese’s support of some ministries of the National Church and the Universal Church.
In the words of Bishop Treinen upon founding this annual appeal 50 years ago, “Our primary objective in contributing should be to make an acceptable offering to God for His goodness to us.”
The Diocese looks to all Idaho Catholics who belong to the 52 parishes, 28 pastoral stations, and 28 missions through their respective pastors and administrators for financial support of diocesan pastoral services and programs, which serve people throughout the Diocese. Bishop Michael Driscoll has established diocesan allocations for the appeal, which will help fund the programs listed in the Idaho Catholic Appeal (ICA) brochure. It funds only a portion of the funds needed to operate these ministries and the work of the Church in Idaho. For the eighth straight year, the goal for 2014 is $2.5 million.
How it Works
The Diocese, through the diocesan Development Office, provides informational materials to each parish and its parishioners. Parishes present the appeal to their parishioners to enlist the participation of as many people as possible. Each parish receives the gifts from parishioners and sends them to the diocese for processing. Parishioners may also mail gifts directly to the diocese. The Diocese acknowledges gifts, sends monthly reminders to donors who have made monthly pledges, processes payments, provides status reports and rebate checks to parishes during the year, and sends end-of-year tax letters to donors. Often when people make pledges rather than a one-time gift to the ICA, a larger financial gift is possible.
What does it fund?
The annual appeal funds approximately 70% of the annual operations of the Diocesan Pastoral Center and its related ministries, including: education and formation of all Idaho Catholics, both children and adults; assistance to those in need; care of our priests; and formation and education of future priests, religious , deacons, and lay ministers of the Diocese. Other sources of diocesan income include investments, parish assessments, and donations and grants from individuals, foundations, and other funders such as the Catholic Home Missions, Black and Indian Missions, and Catholic Church Extension Society.
The appeal, which helps fund the operations of the Diocesan and the Universal Church, is a way of helping out the local parish as well. Through the rebate program, amounts collected 110% above goal are returned to parishes so they can be used at the local level for parish projects.
When you contribute to the Idaho Catholic Appeal, your gift reaches out to aid Jesus with His work in Idaho, in the United States and throughout the world. Listed below are the many uses of the funds. Your gift gives life to the Body of Christ and also comes home to help you.
We are reminded of the call to respond to the needs of the broader church by the apostle St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians 9:10:
“…So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all,
but especially to those who belong to the family of faith.”
Nota: Las descripciones de ministerios en las siguientes páginas no están traducidas al español aquí, porque la mayoría ya han sido traducidos en un formato diferente y se incluyen en las inserciones de anuncios para los boletines de domingo.
Idaho Church and Ministries
Seminary and Vocations
Support of Active Seminarians: The Vocations Program trains and forms men for the priesthood, so that they are prepared to serve the faithful of the Diocese of Boise as well as grow in their own faith and commitment to the Lord. They gain the knowledge as well as liturgical, spiritual, and pastoral skills needed to lead the Catholic faithful in their journey with Christ. Seminarians receive assistance with education and housing costs while in the seminary, as well as college and graduate study programs in specialized schools outside of the Diocese. It costs about $37,000 each year to provide for the formation of one seminarian at a major seminary and takes 7-9 years to become a priest.
Deacon & Lay Ministries: The Deacon and Lay Ministries Formation Program provides intellectual, spiritual, human, and pastoral formation to those individuals who have been identified by their pastors and parish leadership as having the gifts and the call from God to serve the people of God in Idaho in public ministry. The Deacon and Lay Ministries Program forms and trains individuals and couples to serve as permanent deacons and lay ministers across our state. The program is offered in English and Spanish so that the needs of the total Church in Idaho may be met.
Vocations to the Religious Life: The Diocese promotes vocations through the diocesan vocations office. When Jesus calls a person to religious life, the Diocese wishes to aid that person in discernment of life as a deacon, priest, brother or sister.
Idaho Clergy and Special Needs
Continuing Education for Priests: The Diocese encourages priests to continue their education so parishioners may benefit from their education. Therefore, assistance is provided to help them with related expenses.
Clergy Special Needs: Funds from the Idaho Catholic Appeal help cover a portion of the insurance, medical claims, and care of our infirmed and ill priests. Sometimes a priest may have special circumstances, such as extraordinary medical expenses or long-term care. The costs for medication and hospitalization can be extreme. The ICA helps provide funding to meet these needs, so that our priests can live without worrying about their medical needs.
Support for Retired Priests: When a priest retires, his expenses do not end. In many cases, they increase. The Diocese has a moral obligation to reach out to those who have given their lives in service to Jesus in Idaho. Support may include retirement pay, health care expenses and housing – all the usual things that one would encounter when retired.
Catholic Charities of Idaho
Established by Bishop Driscoll in 2000 as an independent charitable entity, Catholic Charities of Idaho (CCI) strives to witness to the Gospel and build community through practicing works of charity, service and justice. In responding compassionately to human needs and to relieve suffering, CCI works to strengthen family life, support human dignity, and promote strong communities through services that meet the social needs of individuals, families and groups. With offices in five statewide locations, the agency serves any and all who need services and continues to grow to meet the service demands of a growing Idaho population. Bishop Driscoll has directed that 10% of the funds collected each year by the Idaho Catholic Appeal go to fund the ongoing operations of Catholic Charities as it grows to provide services in all regions of the state.
Catechesis Office: The Diocese reaches out to adult Catholics with a number of services. One of these is helping with an adult education series that is being offered through Idaho with speakers and topics being shared by many parishes. Each parish is being encouraged to participate in Adult education so that our Catholic faithful can learn more and live better the Faith of Jesus Christ. Also, the Catechesis Office provides the annual Diocesan Fall Conference and Idaho Catholic Youth Convention in the spring.
Children and Family Catechesis: Each parish is asked to have a religious education program for our young Catholics and countless volunteers work with many parish programs. The Diocese offers training and leadership certification to assist parishes. By offering workshops and in-parish training, the Diocese strengthens educational efforts.
Resource Center: The center has a collection of educational materials that are available to anyone in the Diocese. It serves as a community library specializing in Catholic material. One may order books or media for use in a local parish without the parish having to purchase the materials. Each user is asked only to pay return postage when returning the materials. The Resource Library and Media Center serves all Catholics in Idaho.
Office of Liturgy and Worship: While all of us are familiar with walking into our local church and joining in the celebration of the Mass or other sacraments, many of us wouldn’t think very deeply about the coordination and training that is necessary for us to have prayerful, enriching services. This office helps with education and training of those planning and assisting with our liturgies.
Retreat Ministries: The care and upkeep of the diocesan retreat center, Nazareth, ensures a place for prayer and reflection so that one may have an atmosphere for quiet contemplation. The center hosts many meetings and small conferences, as well as provides for group and private retreats throughout the year. It invites us, as Jesus did, to “come away for a while.”
Catholic Schools: The Diocese, through the Office of the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, oversees 14 schools and helps to coordinate their efforts, represents the schools to the State of Idaho and the Department of Education, helps with certification issues and assists staff development. The Diocese of Boise assists the Catholic schools with Idaho Standard Achievement Testing as a portion of the federal program, “No Child Left Behind.”
Cultural Ministries: The purpose of this office is to ensure all cultures may feel at home in the Church. Staff members assist with the translation of Church material for culture, liturgy and education, in order to assist all people participating in the life of the Church. Nearly all of the growth of the Church in Idaho has come from an increasing Hispanic Catholic population.
Campus Ministries: The Diocese of Boise operates Catholic student centers at Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho. The main mission of the centers is to train future leadership while keeping a Catholic presence near our Idaho universities.
Prison Ministry: Jesus asked us to visit the imprisoned. The Diocese reaches out to our brothers and sisters who are imprisoned to nourish their faith and assist them in their rehabilitative process. Currently, more than 100 volunteers work within the prison system to offer Mass, hear confessions, share the scriptures and pray the rosary and visit inmates in federal and state prisons and county jails. Sacramental preparation and religious materials are also offered. This ministry is credited with reducing the recidivism rate of prisoners who attend religious services.
Bishop’s Office (Chancery): The Chancery serves the Catholic people of God in Idaho by providing administration oversight to those departments and personnel who assist the Bishop in the governance of the diocese. They ensure that all the human temporal resources of the Diocesan Pastoral Center are utilized efficiently, effectively and responsibly.
Chancery staff support parishes and our Bishop, so that he can do the many tasks that the Idaho, national and Universal Church ask of him.
Office of Canonical Affairs: The Office of Canonical Affairs acts on behalf of the Diocesan Bishop, the Most Reverend Michael P. Driscoll, MSW, DD, in all Church Law (Canon Law) related matters for the Diocese and its various offices. Canon Law touches all aspects of the Church's life - from how the sacraments are validly administered; marriage, liturgy, rights and obligations of the Christian Faithful, schools and universities, parishes, offices of Bishop and Pastor, religious law and penal matters to name a few. The canonists working in the Office of Canonical Affairs act as advisors to the Bishop and provide assistance and general information to the clergy of the Diocese as well as to the lay Christian faithful.
The diocesan Finance Office is charged with handling the financial matters of the diocese as a whole, as well as providing support and services to parishes, schools and diocesan agencies relating to the business aspects of their operations. These services include property and health insurance, banking, parish savings, payroll and assistance with parish capital campaigns. In addition to managing and monitoring the day-to-day financial affairs of the diocese, the department provides: an annual financial statement that is audited in compliance with the standards set by the Financial Accounting Boards; training and consultation for parish bookkeepers/business managers; assistance and guidance to parishes and diocesan agencies faced with the monumental task of building and/or purchasing new facilities, and all steps involved in the process; compliance with federal, state and local laws pertaining to employment, property ownership and environmental regulations; and gift processing to the Idaho Catholic Appeal.
The National Church in the United States
Catholic University of America: Each year the Diocese is asked to gift toward our national Catholic university in Washington, D.C. Every Diocese in the country helps with funding to keep the university in operation.
Retired Religious: Each year our Diocese assists with the retirement expenses of the many religious orders who have served our Catholic people across the United States. Many of these people, after a life of service to the Church, have no funds to take care of themselves in their senior years. As a matter of justice and thanksgiving, we help those in need.
Catholic Communications Campaign (CCC): Each Diocese is asked to help fund a national, Catholic information service. Our Diocese contributes each year. In the past, the funds have been used to operate a national Catholic TV broadcasting system, which provided programming on many topics and aided in educating Catholic adults.
Catholic Home Missions (CHM): The Catholic Home Missions appeal primarily supports home mission dioceses, that is, those unable to offer their people the basic pastoral ministries of word, worship and service without outside help. It may also give grants to other dioceses for particular projects, and to organizations and religious communities engaged in missionary work. The Idaho Catholic Appeal provides an annual diocesan contribution of approximately $6,000, but we received $85,000 last year to help fund four diocesan ministries.
The Universal Church
Holy Father: Each year our Diocese gives to “Peter’s Pence,” the Pope’s request for funding to help with the expenses of operating the Universal Church. Our funds help Pope Francis in his many works to strengthen our Church and maintain her presence throughout the world.
The Commissary of the Holy Land: The Universal Church reaches out to the shrines and churches of the Holy Land. If you were to visit the Holy Land, you would pray at many churches that mark the sites where Jesus was born, where He lived, where He ministered to the people, where He taught and where He suffered, died and was buried. With the ongoing unrest in the Middle East, many Catholics have fled from the Holy Land. The local Catholic population does not have the resources to maintain the many churches and shrines, or to care for the thousands of pilgrims who visit the Holy Land each year.