Feb 14, 2009

Special Church Collections and Envelopes

It took Mother over 80 years to determine that she couldn't keep putting $1 (or more) bills in every solicitation letter she received from Catholic 0rganizations. She had contributed regularly to close to a dozen different organizations over many years. and as you might expect, her small but very consistent generosities were now recognized by many, many others.

Finally, she complained to me that she couldn't keep responding to two or three 'mooching' letters that arrived almost daily. I finally persuaded her to select those charities that she felt were the best and to give all her money (outside of what she gives to support her parish) to the selected few. Now she was able to throw the other envelopes in the trash without feeling like she was committing a sin.

The number of potential donation recipients in the Catholic church seems to have increased, even as the Catholic church attendance and practice has decreased. Diocesan collections (for Catholic Charities and other endeavors) in the Kansas City area include:
1. Archbishop's Call to Share (Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas)
2. Special Collection to Benefit Seminary (Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph)
3. Retired Religious Collection (Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph)
See the comprehensive list at St. Charles parish website for examples of special second collections at a local parish level.

In addition to necessary collections for selected good Catholic organizations, the parish, and the diocese, additional church collections mandated in 2009 by the USCCB include:
1. Church in Latin America
2. Church in Central and Eastern Europe
3. Black and Indian Missions
4. The Catholic Relief Services Collection
5. Holy Land
6. Catholic Home Missions Appeal
7. Catholic Communication Campaign
8. Peter’s Pence
9. Catholic University of America
10. World Mission Sunday
11. Catholic Campaign for Human Development
12. Retirement Fund for Religious
My fellow Kansas City Catholic blogger, Curmudgeon, has posted two articles on the almost two dozen 'special' envelopes that traditional Catholics receive each year requesting donations to the above list.
But here's a quandry. We really can't just not give anything outside our parish...ever. We do have an obligation to support the wider Church...not just our own community. Many of us do just that...by supporting faithful religious orders, for instance. But is that enough? Canon 1262 provides that "The faithful are to give support to the Church by responding to appeals and according to the norms issued by the conference of bishops."

Now let's acknowledge that checkbooks can be wielded as effective weapons. Wealthy leftist individuals and wealthy leftist foundations often use the checkbook as their weapon of choice. While we can't perhaps write such big checks and wield such big weapons as these guys (they've got .45s; we've got .22s), we can make ourselves heard using our checkbooks.
Curmudgeon identifies a good procedure and alternate donation scenarios that respond to USCCB-mandated Church collections where your money may not be directed to the best places and activities. For more information, see Curmudgeon's two posts, here and here. Highly recommended!


Alison said...

What does Lincoln, NB do? They only take up one collection for the USCCB and then I don't know what they do when they send it off or how they designate it. It has me curious. Of course, the USCCB is always upset at Bishop Bruskewitz but they can't do anything as no group of Bishops has power over another one. I wish more Bishops would stand up the USCCB not just in this area but others.

Curmudgeon said...

Really? Lincoln doesn't mess with the USCCB collections? That's fantastic.

THanks for the plug, Dusty! We need to get some other folks on board.

Anonymous said...

This is just the way to make everyone at the local chancery office hate traditional Catholics even more. And they will undoubtedly take it out on our priests.