The Bishop's Appeal, the annual fund- raising effort that aids Catholic services in the Oakland diocese, slightly exceeded its $2.5 million goal for 2013 — hitting $2.52 million.
The average donation was up 14 percent, to $189 from $166 in 2012.
Still, only about 10 percent of Oakland diocese households participate in the appeal, compared to more than 20 percent nationally, and dioceses similar to Oakland raise about double the amount in their appeals.
Contributions to the appeal have increased in each of the last three years.
The appeal goal for 2014 will remain $2.5 million and parish goals will remain the same as in 2013. The appeal runs through January 2015.
The 2012 appeal raised $2.3 million, with 50 of the 84 parishes exceeding their individual goals, up from 44 in 2011.
Each parish is given an individual goal. For parishes that exceed their goal, the excess money is returned to the parish.
For 2013, 48 parishes exceeded goal, with seven parishes at 90 percent or more of goal.
Kenneth J. Hokenson, diocesan executive director of office for mission advancement, noted that with the diocesan goal increased by 20 percent, most parish goals also increased.
"If the goals had not been increased, more parishes would have made their goal, probably exceeding 50, especially when you consider seven parishes were 90 percent or higher that did not make goal."
This issue of The Catholic Voice contains envelopes for those who want to pledge or contribute to the 2014 appeal.
The diocese will also begin its $60 million capital campaign this year.
"The Appeal partially funds seminarian education, priests' retirement benefits, CYO programs, evangelization and formation, youth and young adult ministry, operating subsidies to economically disadvantaged Catholic elementary schools, and parishes.
"The capital campaign is restricted for specific case components such as tuition assistance for students attending Catholic schools, Catholic Charities, tuition assistance for lay people to receive training for evangelization and formation, and to improve our financial base."
To avoid confusion, the Bishop's Appeal will take a hiatus in 2015 and return in 2016.
Better training and informational material has been developed for this year's appeal, Hokenson said.
"With the capital campaign being launched at some parishes in 2014, it will be a challenge to achieve the diocesan goal this year, but it was also a challenge to achieve a 20 percent increase for this year's appeal goal," Hokenson said.
"Finally, I want to thank all the pastors, parochial administrators and parish staff members for their hard work and generosity, and most importantly, our parishioners for their outstanding generosity."
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