Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Annual Catholic Appeal 2008: Why we give

by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the Feb. 7, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

• Marv Entel, a long-time member of Clarkston’s Holy Family Parish, has been supporting the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) since “at least 1967,” he said, back when it was known as the Diocesan Development Fund. “I remember when we went house-to-house, to each family, (encouraging them to give),” he said.

This year, Entel will be speaking at all the parish Masses to encourage and inspire his fellow parishioners to support the 2008 Annual Catholic Appeal.

“I have been a member of Holy Family Parish for years,” he said, and has been active in many other church-related fund-raising efforts. “I want to give the parishioners an idea of the importance of the Annual Catholic Appeal. I told Father Tom (Connolly, pastor) that I want to mention the importance of every family being a participant. Catholics are notorious for not giving anything, and then giving a very few dollars. One time we were in Phoenix, and the priest said, ‘You know, instead of all these Lincolns I’d like to see some Jeffersons in our collection basket,’ which got a good laugh” from the assembly.

“I want to encourage people to help with the diocesan ministries. I think these are worth supporting. It’s important for the Catholic community to understand that we do a lot for people. Many of the churches don’t have the organization that we have to bring support directly to the people, and these things are really important.”

• Rich and Trish Campbell have been members of Spokane’s Sacred Heart Parish since they moved to Spokane from Hawaii in the early 1990s. They have three elementary school-age children.

Contributors to the Annual Catholic Appeal ever since their arrival, Rich Campbell said that the ACA “does a lot of good; this is one way that we can perform our social outreach ministry as laypersons. This is one of the things I think we’re called to do as Catholics, and this is an easy way to do it. I think it’s a great program.”

• “I have supported the Annual Catholic Appeal for many years,” said Grace Doneen, who lived in Tekoa and was a member for Sacred Heart Parish there for many years. Now living at Broadway Court Estates, a retirement community in Spokane Valley, she continues to give generously to the ACA.

“I became a Catholic in ’43, and we’ve been giving at least since then,” she said. “It’s important to me to support the Annual Catholic Appeal because I’m in empathy with it and with the things the money is used for. I want to support the various ministries of the bishop. And we’ve taken the Inland Register ever since we got married. I’m glad I’m able to assist. I feel we should support the church in spite of what has happened (i.e. the clergy sex abuse scandal), which was very upsetting. That’s just how I feel about it.”

• Carol and Ernest Fullmer have been members of Spokane’s Assumption Parish since the early 1970s, and they have been supporters of the ACA ever since then. “Supporting the ACA,” Carol said, “is one way of doing Christ’s work in the community, the fact that it helps a lot of people and makes good use of our funds. There has always been fidelity in how (the ACA) uses its funds and it helps the most people possible with the funds that are received.”

The Fullmers are members of one of the parishes most affected by the clergy sex abuse scandal of recent years, but Carol says that this doesn’t stop her and her husband from supporting the ACA. “Assumption was one of the ‘ground zeros’ for what happened, and we recognize that we can’t minimize the damage that the sex abuse crisis has caused. But what better church to deal with it? It’s been handled the best that we could do. It’s not perfect, but the fact is that we’re still church, and the church is made up of the people in the pews, and we need to support what’s important, and that’s ministering Christ in us to Christ in the people in need.”

Carol has many years of experience in social work and, she says, “My work is primarily with the elders, and the ACA helps our retired priests. But the ACA supports programs for kids, too. Our funds can go lots of different directions. I’m a big fan of the Inland Register, I love the Inland Register, which the ACA helps support, too. The ACA is doing Christ’s work, and we need to not let issues that look so large overshadow this.”

“We have to share our resources,” said George Czerwonka, of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Cheney. “We need to support the bishop’s ministries, and we need to help whoever we can. It’s part of giving back, and that’s what we try to do.”

Since the early 1960s, Marilyn Hanses and her late husband supported the Annual Catholic Appeal, and she continues to do so today.

A member of St. Patrick Parish in Pasco for many years, she believes that it takes money to do just about anything. “Having been farmers, we know what it takes to do anything,” she said. “You’ve got to have finances. In a way, the diocese is like a business, and you’ve got to support it in order for them to do what they need to do.”

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