Directory of Offices - Office of Catholic Services Appeal
The Catholic Services Appeal Office is located at the Pastoral Center.
Since it began in 1987, the Catholic Services Appeal has raised more than $56,526,541 to help fund many ministries and services in our diocese as well as the universal Church. In spite of a struggling economy in Northwest Indiana, the CSA continues to be successful through the generosity of the faithful.
The CSA was established to help meet the needs of our diocese and the universal Church that cannot be met by an individual person or a single parish. Among the ministries and services that benefit from your contribution to the CSA are:
- The Office for Vocations – men preparing for priesthood and the permanent diaconate receive the academic and spiritual formation necessary to serve the people of the diocese.
- Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation – those called to the vocation of serving the Church in leadership roles in our parishes, our diocese, and other institutions receive academic, pastoral and spiritual formation.
- Catholic Schools – the tuition assistance program funded in part by the CSA gives students who could not otherwise attend Catholic elementary and high schools the opportunity to benefit from a Catholic education.
- Youth and Young Adults – such activities as TAPT and CYX give our youth opportunities to grow in their faith when they gather with their peers from throughout the diocese. Additionally, CYO and Camp Lawrence give our children the opportunity to come together for rest and relaxation in a Christ-centered atmosphere.
- Religious Education – catechists and Directors of Religious Education are given opportunities to grow in their own faith as they learn new ways of teaching our children who do not attend Catholic schools.
- Catholic Charities and Catholic Family Services – through offices located across the diocese, people are able to receive financial, emotional and spiritual help.
- National and international collections – a gift to the CSA is also a gift to the eight collections that are taken up separately in other dioceses. They are: Holy Father’s Support, Catholic Communications, Black and Indian Missions, Home Missions, Religious Retirement, The Catholic University of America, the Pastoral Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa and Holy Land Support.
Every dollar raised by a parish in excess of its assigned goal is returned to the parish in rebates. Parishes have used these rebates to fund necessary renovations and additions and to offer new programs and ministries. To date, parishes have received more than $2,484,000 in rebates.
In 1993, Bishop Melczek established the Bishop’s Guild for those who make a gift of $1,000 or more to the Catholic Services Appeal.
About The Catholic Services Appeal Office
The Catholic Services Appeal Office is staffed by the coordinator, who reports to Bishop Melczek. Joyce Illyes, the current coordinator, has been with the Diocese of Gary since 1997.
The responsibilities of the CSA Coordinator include selection and development of the theme for each year’s campaign in consultation with the bishop. The theme is chosen in July or August for the next year’s campaign, which begins on the Third Sunday of Easter. After the theme has been chosen, the Coordinator works with the printer to design the poster and brochure. The Coordinator also prepares and designs all materials used by the parishes to promote the campaign and ensure that the collecting and processing of pledge data is handled smoothly.
The Coordinator also collaborates with the Office for Priestly Life to coordinate the annual CSA clergy day, at which the pastors receive all their materials. Additionally, the Coordinator works with the printer and mail house to ensure that the letters and brochures are printed and ready to be mailed on time.
Each year, the bishop hosts a dinner for members of the Bishop’s Guild. The CSA Coordinator oversees all aspects of the dinner, including site and menu selection, tracking of responses, and greeting the guests as they arrive.
The Coordinator is available to all parishes and parishioners to assist them with any concerns they may have regarding pledges and payments. Additionally, the Coordinator provides assistance to parish secretaries regarding procedures whenever necessary. The Coordinator works with the computer consultant to upgrade and maintain the CSA database.
When Bishop Melczek established the Bishop’s Guild in 1993, 226 individuals and couples became Charter members. That year, Guild gifts totaled $323,791, which represented 16% of total gifts to the Catholic Services Appeal. For the 2012 campaign, membership in the Bishop's Guild reached an all-time high of 575, with gifts totaling $890,802, 32% of total CSA gifts. Since its beginning, members of the Bishop's Guild have given a total of $10,888,802.
The clergy of the Diocese of Gary are wonderful examples of stewardship to their parishioners. There were forty-two Clergy Charter members. In 2012, fifty-one clergy gave a total of $77,231 in Guild gifts.
In the first Bishop’s Guild Newsletter, Bishop Melczek stated that he “felt this new group of leaders in our diocese could enrich stewardship for all parishioners. For me, the Bishop’s Guild is not about money. It’s not about sharing a meal together. The Bishop’s Guild is about Building the Father’s Kingdom as expressed in our logo.”
Each year, a member of the clergy and a layperson or persons are chosen as the chairs for the upcoming campaign. The chairpersons past and present are:
1993: † Msgr. William Martin, Holy Name, Cedar Lake
1994: † Rev. George M. Vrabely, St. Peter, LaPorte
1995: Msgr. (now Bishop) Carl F. Mengeling, St. Thomas More, Munster
1996: Rev. Alfred J. Dettmer, Queen of All Saints, Michigan City
1997 Msgr. Joseph F. Semancik, Sacred Heart, East Chicago
1998 Msgr. Richard Zollinger, St. Thomas Aquinas, Knox
1999 Rev. Joseph M. Pawlowski, St. Paul, Valparaiso
2000 Rev. Robert B. Evers, St. Francis Xavier, Lake Station
2001 Rev. Thomas Mischler, St. Mary of the Lake, Gary
Mr. Arthur Malasto, St. Paul, Valparaiso
2002 Msgr. John J. Siekierski, St. Stanislaus, East Chicago
Mrs. Patricia Kish, St. Thomas More, Munster
2003 Rev. Joseph E. Vamos, Our Lady of Consolation, Merrillville
Mr. James Hutton, St. Paul, Valparaiso
2004 Rev. David H. Gosnell, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Valparaiso
Mr. Dean Schilling, St. John the Evangelist, St. John
2005 Rev. Roy Beeching, St. Joseph, Hammond
Mr. John Walsh, St. Paul, Valparaiso
2006 Rev. Joseph V. Murphy, Holy Spirit, Winfield
Mr. Tim Fortier, St. Joan of Arc, Merrillville
2007 Rev. John Kalicky, C.PP.S., St. John the Baptist, Whiting
Mr. and Mrs. Gary Hartman, Sacred Heart, Wanatah
2008 Rev. Theodore J. Mens, St. Mary, Griffith
Mr. Darryl Pomranke, Queen of All Saints, Michigan City
2009 Rev. William O'Toole, St. Casimir, Hammond
Mr. Thomas Jessen, St. Paul, Valparaiso
2010 Rev. Gerald H. Schweitzer -- Sacred Heart, Wanatah; St. Mary, Otis; and St. Martin of Tours, LaCrosse
Dr. Michael L. Walsh – Our Lady of Grace, Highland
2011 Rev. Kevin R. Huber – Queen of All Saints, Michigan City
Mr. F. Marc Ruiz, St. Paul, Valparaiso
2012 Rev. Martin J. Dobrzynski – St. Michael the Archangel, Schererville
Mr. Larry A. Mlynarcik – Our Lady of Consolation, Merrillville
2013 Rev. David W. Kime – St. Francis Xavier, Lake Station
Dr. Alan Smith.
† Indicates deceased
Catholic Services Appeal Resources:
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