Frequently Asked Questions
More Information About the Bishop's Appeal
These most commonly asked questions concerning the Bishop's Appeal will be updated on a regular basis. If you have a question, but do not find it below, please call us at 510-496-7254, or email your question to the Bishop's Appeal Office.
- What if my parish goes over goal? Where does the excess go?
- What happens if my parish does not meet its established goal?
- Will any of these funds be used for items other than the defined case elements?
- How much am I expected to give?
- When does the 2013 Appeal end?
- How do I make payments on my pledge?
The Bishop’s Appeal is a direct appeal to the people of the Diocese, to ask them to make a pledge or a gift to supplement the ministry budget. Without the financial support of our diocesan family through the Bishop’s Appeal, thousands throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties, and beyond, could not be served. The Bishop’s Appeal is an opportunity for each and every Catholic household to help further the mission of the Church. It is a chance for all parishes and missions of our Diocese to join together in support of the following vital ministries:
Pastoral Ministries & Services
Diocesan pastoral ministries and services focus on strengthening our faith, our families, and building up our parish communities by engaging our people in the daily life of the Church as they strive to live as faithful disciples of Christ.
- Pastoral Life & Planning
- Respect Life & Justice Programs
- Safe Environment Programs
- Vietnamese, Filipino & Latino Ministries
- Ethnic Pastoral Centers
- Marriage & Family Life
- Marriage Preparation Programs
- Youth Retreat Center
- Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Operations
- Catholic Scouting
- Youth & Young Adult Ministries
Religious Ed & Formation
Gifts to the appeal help support religious education and formation programs for thousands of youth and adults annually.
- Faith Formation Programs
- Evangelization and Outreach Efforts
- Religious Educations Teachers’ Training
- Serra Catechetical Institute
Clergy Formation & Support
From initial formation into retirement, the Diocese provides support for our priests. Additionally, continued updating and renewal for priests and deacons who faithfully serve our people is supported by your gift to the Bishop’s Appeal.
- Permanent Diaconate Program
- Office of Vocations
- Seminarian Education & Formation
- Priest Retirement & Long-term Care
- Continuing Education Programs
Support for Catholic Schools & Parishes in Need
Each year, the Diocese provides subsidies and grants to assist with operating expenses at our inner-city Catholic schools, and for parishes and their faith communities who are facing extraordinary and immediate financial challenges.
- Operating Subsidies
- Capital Expenditure Grants
- Emergency Funding Support
Assisting Local Parishes
Every parish has its own needs and plans for growth and new ministries to better serve their parishioners and the local community. The Bishop’s Appeal will again return 100% of all monies collected over each individual parish’s goal for use at the parish level. Parishes also have the option of sharing a portion of their rebate to further assist one of the diocesan ministries or a parish or school in need.
For the past six years, the appeal has had a goal of $2.1 million. In 2011 and 2012, the overall goal for the appeal was achieved and surpassed. Based on the levels of achievement in the 2012 Appeal and the ever pressing needs of the Diocese in meeting the ministerial demands in serving the faithful, Archbishop Brunett, in consultation with his staff decided to slightly raise the goal for 2013 to $2.5 million, or $200,000 more than the $2.3 million raised in the 2012 Appeal. Parish goals have been established using a calculation on 2011 total net unrestricted plate collections and donations for each parish as reported to the finance office. Each parish’s goal is proportionate.
For example, Parish X has a total offertory income of $1 million. The total offertory income of all parishes in the Diocese is $45 million. Parish X’s ratio to the total offertory income of the Diocese is 2.2%. This will also be their ratio in comparison to the Bishop’s Appeal total goal of $2.5 million. Therefore, their goal for the Appeal is $55,000.
Yes, the growth from year to year in the Appeal has been good, but the average amount raised nationally in diocesan annual appeals is within 10-15% of the total of all parish incomes. Based on this metric, the Diocese of Oakland has the potential to raise between $4 to 5 million through the Bishop’s Appeal, and through strong education and support from all parishes, we can better supplement the funds brought in from the Cathedraticum to support Diocesan ministries and services in future years, lessening the need for second collections and/or alternative funding.
100% of all funds collected over a parish’s goal will be returned directly to the parish for their own special needs in the form of rebate checks paid in the fall and then late winter.
These goals are simply that – goals, not assessments, however, under the “Good Faith Effort” policy, if it is determined that parish leadership did not make that effort to succeed, the goal amount could be assessed to that parish.
Absolutely NOT. The funds raised through the Bishop’s Appeal will be used exclusively for the listed elements. The Diocese has both a legal and moral obligation to restrict these funds for the stated case items.
We understand that each family’s situation is different. We are asking every family in the Diocese to make an equal sacrifice to the appeal. The amount of sacrifice will be different for each family. Some families will be able to give more than others, but we ask that the sacrifice be the same. What we ask is that all prayerfully consider a sacrificial gift to the appeal in the spirit of true Christian Stewardship. All gifts of all sizes are greatly appreciated and accepted, for no gift is too large and no gift is too small. Everyone should keep in mind that all gifts should be separate and in addition to normal weekly offertory giving to your parish.
The Bishop's Appeal is an annual drive to raise supplemental income for the operating costs of diocesan-wide outreach, ministries, programs, services and parish needs.
The current Appeal ends on December 31st and donors should plan to complete pledges and/or make a gift by year-end.
Donors opting for a pledge versus a one-time gift will receive a reminder statement monthly from the Diocese UNLESS they have selected an automatic electronic payment method (credit card or direct debit). The mailed monthly reminder statement will include a return envelop pre-addressed to the Bishop's Appeal Office. The statement and payment should be returned via mail. If you are not receiving a pledge reminder statement, please email the Bishop's Appeal Office or call 510-496-7254.
10. What if I have paid more toward my pledge than my reminder statement shows? What if I am not receiving my reminder statements?
If you feel you have paid more toward your pledge than your reminder statement shows, or if you are not receiving your statement, please email the Bishop's Appeal Office or call 510-496-7254