What does the ICA Fund?
What does the Idaho Catholic Appeal 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 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
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 $40,000 each year to provide for the formation of one seminarian at a major seminary and takes 7-9 years to become a priest.
Permanent Diaconate: The Permanent Diaconate 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 Permanent Diaconte Program forms and trains men to serve as permanent deacons 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 Michael 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 and programs in various locations across the state, the agency serves any and all who need services and continues to grow to meet the service demands of a growing Idaho population.
Religious Education & Catechetical Office: The mission of the Office of Religious Education and Catechetical Leadership is to support, assist, and guide parishes and schools in an integrated approach to the religious formation of children, teens, adults, and lay leaders throughout the diocese. The office works to facilitate an encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ by providing religious education, curricula, materials, training and resources for Catholic Schools and parishes.
Youth & Young Adult Evangelization: The Office of Youth and Young Adult Evangelization supports the mission of the Diocese of Boise by assisting the bishop and working collaboratively with clergy, catechetical personnel, and other diocesan staff to develop, strengthen, and promote authentic and effective faith formation experiences for young adults, youth and our campus ministries throughout the diocese. Specifically, the Office of Youth and Young Adult Evangelization provides consultation, support, leadership formation, and resources to those engaged in youth, young adult ministry and campus ministry.
Marriage & Family Life: The mission of the Marriage and Family Life Office is to serve as a resource center for our parishes to address marriage and family life ministry. The role includes listening and advocating for marriage and family needs, training, equipping and raising awareness; receiving and directing enquiries, providing information, advice and resources; and organizing events.
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 15 elementary and two high 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.”
Hispanic Ministry: The Office of Hispanic Ministry strives to guide the Catholic community in a joyful celebration of our cultural diversity by creating an awareness and respect for all. In particular, the Office supports the development of the many thriving and fully participating Catholic Hispanic communities within our Diocese.
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.
Respect Life: The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred from conception to natural death and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our Catholic social teaching. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person. To respect life means to honor life as sacred from the moment of conception until natural death - whether a human person's body consists of only two cells, whether it is sick and suffering in old age, or if the person sits on death row awaiting state sanctioned execution. Respect Life programs within the Diocese of Boise carry this message forward with love and compassion.
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 Peter F. Christensen, 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.
Parish Services: 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.
Communications and Idaho Catholic Register: The mission of the Idaho Catholic Register, official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise, is to unify the far-flung Catholic Church of Idaho; inform Idaho Catholics about what is going on in the church locally, nationally and worldwide; educate Idaho Catholics about the teachings of the church and provide information that will help them make decisions in accordance with Gospel teachings; and inspire Idaho Catholics in their faith.
Information Technology: The IT department provides information technology support for the Diocese of Boise’s pastoral center staff, various schools, parishes and others across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise.
Human Resources: The Human Resources team provides consultation and advice to the diocese, parishes and schools, with respect to employment policies and practices, employment contracts, development of employee programs, recruiting, hiring, retention, performance management, conflict resolution and equal employment and diversity issues. In addition, the HR team acts as a resource for compliance information and ensures that the diocese is in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws regarding employment issues.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Idaho Catholic Appeal
Why is our Diocese conducting the Idaho Catholic Appeal?
Each year, the Bishop asks each and every one of the more than 200,000 Catholics living in Idaho to participate in the Appeal. He asks us to generously support the on-going ministries of the Church that provide educational, pastoral, and charitable outreach to those living in the Diocese. The Idaho Catholic Appeal provides about 70 percent of the support needed to fund the diocesan ministries each year. The other funding comes from parish assessments, fees for services, investment income and grants, and other donations.
Why do we need the ministries and services provided by the diocese?
Many very important programs, ministries and services are beyond the resources of any single parish. It would be impossible for an individual parish to duplicate the scope of ministries and services provided by the Diocese. By having the Diocese coordinate programs such as religious education, seminarian education and vocations, deacon and lay ministry formation, college campus ministries, prison ministries, etc. we eliminate the duplication of services and save both time and money. The Idaho Catholic Appeal funds over 20 separate diocesan ministries and programs and helps support five ministries of the Universal Church.
Is it important to give to the Idaho Catholic Appeal even though I am already giving to my parish?
The programs of local parishes are very important because much of the work of the Church and the Diocese takes place at the local level. But, there are certain specialized services such as education, vocations, clergy special needs and priest retirement, diocesan conferences and trainings, and the Nazareth Retreat Center for which the Diocese takes the major responsibility. These are services no one parish can provide and must be shared by all of us.
What should I give to the Idaho Catholic Appeal?
God has given each one of us gifts, graces, talents and abilities which are to be shared responsibly and wisely with others. Faithful stewardship is more than occasional acts of charity and service. It is a way of life, a commitment to the giving of our time, talent, and treasure in gratitude for all the blessings we have received. We are continuously challenged to make our financial gifts from substance, not abundance, in proportion to the blessings we have received. As a guide, some give one tenth or 10% of their income. Often they break it down to 5% to their parish, 1% to the Idaho Catholic Appeal, and the remaining 4% to other favorite charities. For some families 10% is right, for other families 10% may be too high or low. Your decision on how much to give needs to be personal and prayerful.
How is each parish goal set?
The parish appeal goal is based on an average of the parish’s offertory (called “ordinary income”) for the past three years divided by the 3-year total offertory income average of the diocese. The resulting figure is then multiplied by the overall appeal goal to determine the individual parish goal. The Bishop asks each parish to do its best to make or surpass its goal. There is a rebate given back to the parish when it surpasses its goal.
Why does the parish have to pay an annual “assessment” as well as run a campaign for the Idaho Catholic Appeal?
Many people mistakenly think the Catholic Church in Rome supports dioceses financially. Dioceses support their own work with the financial help of parishes. Each parish assessment is set at 6% of the parish’s offertory income (5% if the parish is on “cash management” with the diocese). The assessment pays for more of the operational overhead of the diocese while the Idaho Catholic Appeal funds the various ministries of the diocese. Also, the Idaho Catholic Appeal seeks donations of “new money,” helping to keep the assessment at one of the lowest rates across the country and enabling parishes
to use its regular income for local programs and services.