By JOANNE FOX
Changes have taken place at almost all diocesan parishes due to Ministry 2025, pastoral planning for the Diocese of Sioux City, which was announced in February 2016.
Those adjustments have also been reflected in the 2017 Diocesan Annual Appeal, as it fell short of its $1.65 million goal.
Allison Liska, diocesan director of planned giving and annual gifts, acknowledged the decrease in DAA giving last year and the previous years. Teamworks, the consulting firm that worked with the diocese in its pastoral planning, had cautioned that donations might be less, as some parishes were closed and others realigned into new linkages.
However, Liska emphasized the faithful in Northwest Iowa have always been supportive of the campaign, which was initiated in 1975.
“Many changes have taken place in the past several years across the diocese that involved pastoral planning, with almost every parish experiencing some form of change,” she said. “Parishioners are still figuring out how to be a part of their new parish family.”
Liska hoped, “as we enter a new phase of Ministry 2025,” that parishes and their parishioners come together and work towards building up the church in the Diocese of Sioux City through DAA contributions.
“The money that is raised through DAA provides so much to all of our Catholic communities,” she said. “DAA serves all of our parishioners in one form or another.”
The DAA theme – The Church is Always in Need of Renewal (the pastoral letter of Bishop Walker Nickless) – was held over from the last few years, as it tied in with the diocesan focus on revitalization and renewal through pastoral planning. The 2017 goal had also remained the same as it has been for the last several years – $1.65 million.
“The goal for DAA is calculated using net ordinary parish income,” Liska explained.
“What is considered parish income?” she asked. “Parish income includes but is not limited to weekly envelope giving, investment earnings, rental income, special collections that remain in the parish and festival/bingo/bazaar revenue.”
Liska pointed out that supporting DAA helps the ongoing ministries of the church.
“The diocese is able to offer pastoral, educational, spiritual and human services that benefit thousands of families throughout the 24 counties that no one parish could offer on its own,” she said.
For example, DAA supports the work that Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Sioux City, along with other diocesan entities including the office of vocations, clergy education, pastoral services, family ministries, education ministries, pro-life ministries and the Bishop’s Education Fund, which provides tuition assistance.
An estimated 43 percent is returned to parishes if they exceed their designation for the diocesan financial support. When an individual parish meets its diocesan goal, 100 percent of the amount over the goal goes back to the parish.
Liska expressed thanks to individuals who contributed to previous years’ and last year’s campaign.
“DAA provides resources across 24 counties,” she said. “With the support of our parishioners, the diocese can continue to grow its ministry and provide even more support to our priests and parishioners.”