About the new Cathedraticum, Catholic Ministry Appeal and the retirement of APA

+ What are the changes being made?

We are changing the way the Diocese funds ministries and shared expenses. Starting in 2022, diocesan leadership provided through the Office of the Bishop, Chancellor and Vicar General necessary for shepherding our local church will be funded through a Cathedraticum tax equal to 2% of parish offertory and donations less school support. Diocesan ministries will be funded through a new, voluntary “Catholic Ministry Appeal,” and the former “Annual Pastoral Appeal” (APA) will no longer take place. Administrative functions that serve our parishes, schools and ministries such as Human Resources, Accounting and IT will be supported through earnings from a trust.

This formula – a reduced Cathedraticum tax to fund leadership combined with a fundraising appeal focused entirely on ministries and services – is already successfully utilized by more than 100 dioceses across the country.

+ Why are we making these changes?

Bishop Parkes, diocesan leadership and a task force of experienced pastors studied the Annual Pastoral Appeal (APA) and the process by which we fund our shared expenses. They listened to feedback from pastors, parish staff and lay leaders from across the Diocese.

After much consultation and review, the task force voted unanimously to implement this new financial structure for our parishes, donors and the Diocese. It lessens the financial burden on parishes, allows 100% of donor contributions to go toward ministries instead of administration costs, increases accountability and reduces confusion. We will continue to provide full transparency.

+ You say 100% of funds will directly support ministries with the new appeal… how is that different from APA?

The goal for the APA was set to fund the entire net budget of the Pastoral Center. As such, it funded the organization and implementation of diocesan ministries, programs, and services, along with the leadership, administrative and business functions needed to offer them such as accounting, finance, tech support, human resources and the Office of the Bishop. While these are important functions and provide much needed services, we received feedback from pastors, parish staff and donors over the years that they preferred the annual appeal to support only ministry, program, and outreach services.

Based on this feedback, and extensive research, planning and prayer, Bishop Parkes and the Appeal Task Force proposed a new plan. Under the new plan, administrative and business functions listed above will not be funded through the Catholic Ministry Appeal. Therefore, with the new Catholic Ministry Appeal, 100% of donations will go directly to ministry, programs, and outreach affecting people, communities, parishes, and schools. This includes pastoral outreach and service, formation, worship, discipleship and vocations. Additionally, donors will now be able to direct their donation to a specific ministry they may wish to support.

+ So is this new appeal in addition to APA, or instead of APA?

APA will end after this year. Starting in 2022, funds for diocesan ministries, programs, and services will come directly from the Catholic Ministry Appeal. Our goal for our first year will be $7.1 million total. If we exceed our goal our ministries can grow and expand to further support our community. However, the goal is not a tax if not reached, which is a significant change from APA. If an individual parish does not reach their goal, they will not be assessed the balance. Therefore, ministries supported by the Catholic Ministry Appeal will live within the funds raised each year.

+ What is the goal for the new appeal?

The goal for the new Catholic Ministry Appeal is $7.1 million to support the outlined ministries below.

+ What will be funded through the new Catholic Ministry Appeal?

The new appeal will fund shared Catholic ministries and services that no single parish could accomplish on its own. Below is a full list of the ministries, programs and outreach included in the new Catholic Ministry Appeal included in 3 news groups: those that facilitate and offer others a chance to encounter our Lord and nurture the spiritual life of the people of our diocese; those that demonstrate an enthusiastic “YES!” in response to God’s call to serve others; and those that support those who play such a vital role in forming missionary disciples throughout our diocese.

It is through sharing the faith and reaching out to others we encounter the face of God. These ministries of the Diocese of St. Petersburg assist parishes and offer all who seek God an opportunity to encounter Him and enrich our spiritual lives, fostering our response to God’s call to serve.

To embrace God’s call to serve means to hear His call and actively carry out His mission and ministry with love, gratitude and concern for others. Action, like a sacrament, is the visible form of the Holy Spirit. These ministries of our diocese encourage all to act, expressing God’s saving love within us as we help give shape to the world.

It is vital that we accompany those who are instrumental in the formation of the faithful as “Missionary Disciples,” serving as living witnesses to Christ’s message and love and serving those most in need. These ministries of the Diocese of St. Petersburg serve our priests, deacons, and lay leaders in their pastoral journey so they may continue offering our people the formation and foundation needed to bring God’s message, mission, and ministry to our faith communities and world.

+ What happens if the overall appeal doesn’t reach its goal?

All diocesan ministries and services will live within the budget of what is contributed each year to the Catholic Ministry Appeal. The more successful the appeal, the more ministries and services we can provide to our Catholic families and those most in need in our diocese. If the new Catholic Ministry Appeal falls short of its goal, there will be less funds to provide ministries and services. We don’t believe this will happen – with a parish best effort and strong, informative communication provided to our donors showing the impact of their gifts, we believe the new Catholic Ministry Appeal will be successful.

+ What happens if we exceed the $7.1M goal?

Our goal for the 2022 Catholic Ministry Appeal is based on what we have budgeted for our current ministry. We do amazing work thanks to those who generously support our efforts. However, the Pastoral Center is contacted daily with requests for additional ministry and services. Click here to see how the $7.1 million goal is broken up into our three new categories.

The more successful the appeal, the more ministries and services we can provide to our Catholic families and those most in need in our diocese. This may mean expanding current ministries, or initiating brand new ones to meet the needs of our larger community.

+ How will this impact my parish?

After this year, there will be no more Annual Pastoral Appeal. Instead, there will be a small tax on parish offertory used to fund diocesan leadership expenses, and a new Catholic Ministry Appeal that will fund ministries across the Diocese.

Parishes will participate in the Catholic Ministry Appeal by following the timeline, promoting the appeal to parishioners and conducting a robust in-pew appeal at the appropriate time. If a parish does those things, there will be no assessment for ministry if the parish does not achieve its goal for the Catholic Ministry Appeal.

The Cathedraticum tax will be calculated and submitted by the parish each month based on their financial statements. This means taxes will be based on current income, not past income. This process will not start until the new fiscal year in July 2022.

+ Will APA still be called APA?

The name “Annual Pastoral Appeal” or “APA” will be retired on December 31, 2021. In January 2022, we will roll-out a new appeal called the “Catholic Ministry Appeal” with a more focused case for support that does not include administrative expenses.

+ When will the new appeal start?

The new appeal will start in January of 2022, though we will communicate often with historical donors to the Annual pastoral Appeal, pastors, staff, lay leaders and donors throughout the second half of 2021 to prepare them for the transition and introduce them to the new Catholic Ministry Appeal.

+ When will the new Cathedraticum tax start?

This will start July 2022.

+ How will the new Cathedraticum tax be implemented?

The Cathedraticum tax will be calculated and submitted by the parish each month based on their reported offertory and donations less school support of up to $100,000 annually. This means taxes will be based on current income, not past income. This process will begin with the new fiscal year in July 2022.

+ What happens if my parish doesn’t reach its goal for the appeal?

Every parish will put forth a“best effort” toward achieving their goal for the new Catholic Ministry Appeal. This includes following the timeline provided by the diocesan Stewardship and Development Office, promoting the appeal to parishioners and conducting a well-organized and robust in-pew appeal at the appropriate times. If a parish does those things but does not achieve its goal for the appeal, it will not be responsible for paying for the shortfall.

Bishop Parkes has the utmost confidence that our priests and parish staff will put forth their best efforts to promote the new appeal to parishioners and invite them to help support our shared Catholic ministries and services. He also has faith in the people of our diocese and their willingness to support our larger shared ministries.