Following is a letter from Father Brad Pelzel on the Catholic Charities' Christmas Collection 2023 and additional instructions for pastors and parishes.
Dear Brothers in Christ,
This is a friendly reminder regarding the coming annual Christmas Collection for Catholic Charities.
The many forms of assistance Catholic Charities provides is evermore paramount. You are well aware of the growing mental health crisis. Children and teens are especially vulnerable right now. Funds from this collection are vital to ensure those who need help receive it, even those struggling financially with nowhere else to turn.
A mailer will be sent to homes of past Diocesan donors. People can respond by mailing their gift directly to Catholic Charities. However, many will choose to put this envelope in the collection basket, use the offering envelope from their packets, or another envelope marked Catholic Charities.
The physical taking of second collections at Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass are critical to raising the resources needed. Your personal endorsement is paramount. Please remind your parishioners of the collection and invite their generosity.
Catholic Charities has prepared resources to help you promote the collection and they are being shared via general mail and will be sent by email to your office staff.
**New this Year**
We know many people do not carry cash for collections. To allow everyone the opportunity to give, parishioners will need easy access to Venmo and online giving. This year, they have created flyers for pews and posters for church doors as well as the bulletin/flocknote graphic and social posts. It is important to give easy access to these codes – and reference them - at the time of the collection.
Amy Jones will be in touch with you by phone about these additional resources to ask how you prefer to promote the collection in your parish. She will then deliver or mail the supplies before Christmas.
Your promotional efforts improve the results so parishioners can continue to look to Catholic Charities for help. Thank you kindly!
Fr. Brad Pelzel