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Catholic Ministries Appeal

Providing a Path of Hope to those in Need...

2017 CMA Pledges Reach $4 Million!!!

The 2017 Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) recently crossed the $4 million mark in pledges! As of March 24, just over $4.1 million has been pledged from 22,300 households. This generous support provides the six CMA ministries with the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of thousands throughout our local communities. Thank you to all the families who have made a pledge to this very important appeal.

If you have yet to make your pledge this year, please consider doing so and help the CMA reach its $5 million goal. Make a one-time gift or a 10-month pledge.

CMA Ministry Spotlight: New Evangelization

New Evangelization

Today’s mission of evangelization remains nothing less than what the Church has always sought – to invigorate the Faith where it exists and to ignite the Faith where it doesn’t.

In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, two exciting services are under way to help our parishes and schools become more effective agents of evangelization: the Contagiously Catholic Parish Alliance and the School of Faith.

The Parish Alliance is a mentoring program designed to catalyze parish-based evangelization, arming parish leadership with inspiration and strategic skills. Its resources are offered free of cost to parishes, courtesy of funding by the annual Catholic Ministries Appeal.

The School of Faith, which likewise receives CMA funds, is an ambitious catechetical ministry providing formation for Catholic school staff, emphasizing virtue and prayer as the foundation of Catholic culture in our schools.

These two programs represent “a great expenditure of resources,” said Sean Ater, director of the archdiocesan Office for the New Evangelization, which oversees both ministries.

Mr. Ater’s office developed the Parish Alliance in association with the Evangelical Catholic. The service includes weeklong evangelization training camps and online training.

“The Parish Alliance is a process where we partner with a parish and invest a lot of time with the parish staff so they can implement New Evangelization process,” Mr. Ater said. “The process is equipping the laity to evangelize. We train people to lead small groups off the parish grounds, at home, at work, in coffee shops with their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. These are people who aren’t coming to our programs on the parish grounds, so we’re flipping the model. We’re meeting them where they are.

“This equips parishioners to become missionary disciples, to change lives through the outreach efforts.”

The commitment of time, funding, and energy requires that only a few parishes can benefit at a time. Current participants are the Coldwater Cluster north of Dayton, St. Maximilian Kolbe in Liberty Township, and Our Lady of Grace/Queen of Martyrs, Dayton.

The School of Faith, meanwhile, has been established at Purcell Marian High School and five elementaries: Our Lady of the Visitation (Cincinnati), St. Andrew-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Milford), St. Ignatius Loyola (Monfort Heights), St. James (White Oak), and St. Jude (Bridgetown). Three more will come aboard next year: La Salle High School and elementaries Immaculate Heart of Mary (Anderson Township) and St. Margaret of York (Twenty Mile Stand).

Mr. Ater calls the School of Faith “a discipleship process of the entire faculty.” It includes a monthly retreat on-site, as well as a Holy Land pilgrimage for a small group of teachers and administrators. “Everybody’s learning and praying together,” he said.

Both the School of Faith and Parish Alliance “will be integral to the Catechetical Institute as part of how schools and parishes fill some of the requirements for certification,” Mr. Ater said. The Institute is made possible by benefactors of One Faith, One Hope, One Love.

Early results from the evangelical ministries have been “really, really encouraging,” Mr. Ater said. “We’re already getting stories of lives changing.

CMA Ministry Spotlight: St. Rita School for the Deaf


Maria, a member of a Cincinnati parish, has a son with apraxia of speech. Nic could not communicate and by the time he was three years old, he couldn’t even say "mama" or "dada," Maria and her husband didn’t know what to do.

They heard about a program at St. Rita School for the Deaf and took a tour of the school. After the tour in the parking lot, Maria started to cry because the school was so wonderful, so perfect for Nic but they couldn’t afford the tuition. She called the school director right from the parking lot and said thanks but we can’t afford for Nic to come here. Maria was told that, yes, this was the place for Nic and help would be found.

Help was found, including from the support by the Catholic Ministries Appeal, and Nic started on a new path. He has learned how to sign and how to speak. He is happy and thriving and Nic and his entire family rejoices that he is in such a place. They sincerely and lovingly thank the donors of the CMA.

Through the CMA, you’re also helping thousands of people though local ministries: prison, hospital, and campus ministries as well as Catholic charities and social services. Because of you, CMA also supports evangelization programs, retired priests, and education of seminarians, deacons, and lay ministers – all local programs!

CMA Ministry Spotlight: Catholic Social Services


Carolyn was in her 60s, had lost her job, was hungry, and was suffering from depression. Her phone and utilities had been turned off. Carolyn had no energy and being malnourished was making her confused. She was in a bad state.

One of her neighbors said there were people who could help her – and those people were the Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley, one of the ministries supported by the Catholic Ministries Appeal.

The neighbor drove Carolyn to the Catholic Social Services food pantry and a worker there said to Carolyn, "Let’s get you food first. When you’re hungry, you’re not even thinking straight." How true!

Catholic Social Services also helped Carolyn get her utilities turned back on and helped her get a job.

Carolyn says the help from Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley put her on a new path. She says, "Coming to Catholic Social Services literally changed my life. It gave me back hope."

Your support of the CMA helps thousands of people through Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley and Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio … and other ministries in prisons, on campuses, in hospitals. You support evangelization programs, St. Rita School for the Deaf, retired priests, and education of seminarians, deacons, and lay ministers – all local programs! – when you give to the CMA.

CMA Ministry Spotlight: Prison Ministry


Derrick was incarcerated at the Lebanon Correctional Institute. He was a gang member and spent a lot of time in solitary confinement during his five-year sentence.

One day, Derrick was walking by the prison chapel and was shocked to see a fellow gang member carrying the crucifix at the beginning of Mass. Later, Derrick asked him about it and the inmate said Derrick should check out the Catholic classes – they really had something to offer.

Derrick started going to Catholic instruction, one of the ministries supported by the Catholic Ministries Appeal and he found a new community. He learned about Jesus, about forgiveness, and Catholic beliefs. Derrick was baptized in prison last Easter ... and his incarceration ended last summer.

Derrick said finding the Catholic Church in prison put him on a new path and was the best thing that ever happened to him. He says it changed his life, and gave him a new way of living.

Your support of the CMA helps thousands of people through three prison ministries in this area as well as hospital and campus ministries. You’re supporting Catholic charities and social services, evangelization programs, St. Rita School for the Deaf, retired priests, and education of seminarians, deacons, and lay ministers – all local programs! – when you give to the CMA.

CMA Ministry Spotlight: Vocations

Father Brian Phelps

Father Brian Phelps, now an associate pastor at Incarnation Church in Centerville, recognizes what the Catholic Ministry Appeal did for him.

Father Brian grew up in Cincinnati, went to LaSalle High School and the University of Cincinnati and was teaching and coaching at a high school. But he knew there was something missing in his life. He asked God what to do, what path God wanted him to take - and soon heard a calling to become a priest.

Young Brian decided to become a diocesan priest, to serve right here in the archdiocese and felt pulled to Mount St. Mart Seminary, part of the Athenaeum located in Cincinnati. He spent seven years in the seminary, which is supported by the Catholic Ministry Appeal. Father Brian eagerly will tell you how during those seven years he concentrated on studying and growing his faith and spirituality and not having to worry about expenses - thanks to your support.

Today we have over 50 seminarians in formation for the priesthood for our archdiocese! The CMA supports the education of priests, deacons, and lay ministers as well as hospital, prison, and campus ministries. Through the CMA you're also supporting Catholic charities and social services, evangelization programs, retired priests, and St. Rita School for the Deaf - all local programs!

What is the difference between the One Faith, One Hope, One Love (FHL) campaign and the Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA)?

The Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) is an annual effort that provides funding to six local Catholic ministries. These ministries are:

These ministries depend on the CMA every year to help fund operating needs and continue their great work. The FHL is an extraordinary campaign to address long term needs. The CMA is a yearly appeal for everyday operating expenses of diocesan ministries.The FHL was an extraordinary campaign to address long term needs. The CMA is a yearly appeal for everyday operating expenses of diocesan ministries.

The One Faith, One Hope, One Love (FHL) campaign was an extraordinary effort to ensure the future viability of the diocese and also raise funds for individual parishes. The last time a campaign of this nature was conducted in the archdiocese was back in the 1950's. Of the funds raised through the FHL campaign, 70% will benefit ministries that are not related to the CMA (i.e. Catholic Education and Local Parish Priorities). The remaining 30% will benefit ministries that do overlap with the CMA (i.e. Catholic Charities, Vocations, and Retired Diocesan Priests). However, the FHL campaign will provide these ministries with the opportunity to invest in their vision for the future, and generate significant funding that will have a lasting impact for generations to come.

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