First-ever ‘Giving Day’ to show Catholics impact of their CSA dollars at work

Viewers invited to participate in livestream broadcast Sept. 24 to learn about, pledge support for local Church’s vital ministries

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DETROIT — The Catholic Services Appeal supports the mission and work of the Catholic Church in southeast Michigan — that much is clear.

But how? Where does the money go? What ministries benefit?

On Sept. 24, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit are invited to find out during the first-ever “Giving Day,” a celebration of the work, ministries and mission that make Detroit’s Church a “band of joyful, missionary disciples,” as Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron’s pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel, says.

“Giving Day is an exciting new way to learn about and celebrate some of the incredible work done by key ministries in the Archdiocese of Detroit,” Jim Thomas, director of mission advancement for the archdiocese, told Detroit Catholic. “We’ve never done this before.”

Viewers are invited to tune in to a livestream broadcast on Thursday, Sept. 24, starting at 6:30 p.m., where they’ll learn about the impact of seven key ministries: vocations, Catholic schools, Christian service, Black Catholic ministries, Hispanic ministries, youth and family, and communications.

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron confirms a young man in 2018 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. (Detroit Catholic file photos)

Representatives from each ministry “will be sharing some of the amazing work they did to carry out their ministry even during the pandemic, and what they’re building with their work this year,” Thomas said.

“One of the reasons we are excited about doing this for the first time, is that this format provides the space to dive into more impactful storytelling so people can get a sense of the true impact of these ministries,” Thomas said. “Donors can hear directly from both people who lead this mission work in the archdiocese, as well as the people who benefit from their service.

“If you’ve ever wondered, ‘What does the CSA actually do?’ then I invite you to tune in on Sept. 24 to learn more about the real impact,” Thomas added.

Thomas said the goal is to inspire viewers to pledge their support — which they can do at — directly to the ministry that inspires them most.

“One unique opportunity that comes with Giving Day is that people who make a gift are invited to tell us what outreach they are most interested in,” Thomas said. “We want to hear from people what they are inspired by and how they want to help make an impact in the archdiocese when they choose to support the mission through a gift to the CSA.”

Volunteers clean up neighborhood lots surrounding Sacred Heart Major Seminary as part of Life Remodeled, an initiative to improve living conditions for city residents. 

The evening will by hosted by Fr. Mario Amore, pastor of St. Aloysius Parish and administrator of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Detroit, and Mary Wilkerson, co-host of “Eyes on Jesus,” a monthly podcast with Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron.

Archbishop Vigneron himself will kick off the evening with a blessing and introduction.

Punctuating the interviews and content will be entertainment segments featuring, among others, a “virtual concert” by the St. Augustine and St. Monica Parish Gospel Choir, a tour of the newly named Basilica of Ste. Anne, and a live mini-episode of the archdiocese’s award-winning podcast, “Open Door Policy.”

Thomas said the pandemic has changed the way parishes, schools and ministries serve, and Giving Day is an opportunity to highlight how the Church has responded to unprecedented challenges.

“In the midst of all these challenges, Archbishop Vigneron has reminded us that our mission must continue,” Thomas said. “This is why we exist, to share the light of Christ to others. To bring a hope that does not disappoint to individuals and families.

Jeanine Kenny, principal of Our Lady of the Lakes School in Waterford, wears her mask as teachers and students arrive for orientation on Aug. 25. Schools across the Archdiocese of Detroit are welcoming students back to the classroom after months of preparation and safety planning.

“I’m so inspired to see how our parishes, schools and ministries have responded to these changes with creativity and urgency,” Thomas added. “We’ve talked for some years about being mission-oriented. The pandemic has given us an opportunity to be that: to be on mission in a very real way serving the needs of our communities. We, the Church, are here to feed, to cloth, to care, to love and serve.”

In order to do that, Thomas said, the Church relies on the prayers and support of parishioners through outreaches like the CSA.

“We as the Church in Detroit are called to bring Christ to every man and woman, every soul in southeast Michigan: those attending Masses on Sundays and those who are not. That’s a lot of people, approximately 3.1 million people. We can only do this by all of us coming together,” Thomas said. “That’s what the CSA is about. It’s about joining forces and answering God’s call to love all and serve all.

“More than 160 ministries and programs are funded through the CSA. That’s a lot of good work — God’s work — happening through your generous support. One parish alone could not do this,” he added.

In addition to supporting archdiocesan ministries, the CSA also bolsters the work of parishes and schools through ministerial training, mission grants and tuition aid, among other ways.

“So it’s both. It goes where our parishes can’t go and also helps our parishes do the good work they are doing on a daily basis,” Thomas said.

Viewers can tune in to watch the Giving Day livestream starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, on the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Facebook and YouTube channels, or online at Pledges can be made through