Peace and all good things!
The writer of Psalm 116 asks the question: “What shall I return to the Lord for all that He has given to me?” This is the theme I have chosen for this year’s Bishop’s Annual Appeal. I find myself asking this same question all the time in my prayers.
As I travel throughout the diocese and visit our parishes and missions, I am always inspired to be more generous because I witness your dedication and commitment to prayer, the sacraments, and service. I feel your prayers as I strive to shepherd the priests, deacons, consecrated religious, seminarians and the lay faithful in our diocese. God has truly blessed us.
The greatest joy that I experience as your bishop is to celebrate the sacraments with you, especially the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This is how we can best return to the Lord for what He has given to us. Through the Sunday Mass, we gather as a community and we offer the greatest thanksgiving prayer of the Church, the Eucharist.
Some people in our community are lost, feel excluded, and are in pain and need our assistance. Through our prayerful service to them, we will become more dedicated Disciples of Christ. We are called to serve one another, to wash each other’s feet.
I need your help in giving back to God for what He has given to us. Please support this year’s Bishop’s Annual Appeal with a sacrificial gift to help me, in your name, to provide education and formation of our seminarians, to assist in charity to the poor and to educate our children and grandchildren in the faith.
Please know of my love and concern for each of you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv.
Bishop of Savannah
About Bishop's Annual Appeal
Ministries and Agencies funded by the BAA:
The money raised through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal helps make possible the following ministries, programs and offices:
SOCIAL SERVICE MINISTRIES
Deanery Social Services
Family Advancement Ministries (Macon)
Young and Young Adult
The Bishop’s Annual Appeal provides substantial funding for the education of seminarians presently studying for the priesthood. It also helps fund the Diaconate program.
Programs for Hispanic, Migrant and African American groups are supported by funds from the BAA. The migrant population in South Georgia reaches as many as 75,000 people in peak seasons. Much of the expenses are Priest salary subsidies.
COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY
The Communications Office handles communications between the Diocese and both the Catholic and secular communities in South Georgia and throughout the world. It provides a link between diocesan offices and parishes and the diocesan newspaper, The Southern Cross.
Other ministries such as the Councils of Priests and Religious, the Stewardship Office, the Tribunal, Spiritual Renewal and Ecumenism also receive funding from the BAA.
The Diocese has committed 3% of the monies raised by the BAA to be considered a diocesan "tithe.” In keeping with his commitment to Stewardship, the Bishop has designated that these funds to be used outside of our immediate needs for the good of the larger church and its people.
Ways to Give
Thank you for prayerfully considering a gift to the Bishop's Annual Appeal. All gifts are important, large or small.
Gifts can be made in the following ways:
Fill out the pledge card you received in church or via the mail and send your check, made payable to the 'Diocese of Savannah' to:
Bishop's Annual Appeal
Catholic Diocese of Savannah
P.O. Box 116633
Atlanta, GA 30368-6633
** Please write the name of your parish on the memo line of the check. **
- Make a gift or pledge online: DONATE NOW
- Stock Transfer - How to Give
Bishop's Annual Appeal Video Messages
2017 English Video:
2017 Video en Español:
How can your parish reach the BAA goal?
Basics for a Successful BAA
In addition to having a solid plan for your parish appeal, it is equally important to implement activity that continues to educate yet gain the attention of new donors. Here are some helpful tips to assist in a successful parish Bishop’s Annual Appeal.
The power of prayer creates a unified strength that should always be encouraged and never underestimated.
► Review, Evaluate, Plan
Review your parish BAA results from last year, evaluate all approaches that were taken, determine ways to improve results and create a plan that will achieve your parish goal. Share that plan with your parishioners.
► Offer EVERYONE the Opportunity to Participate
Do not decide what your parishioners will or will not financially support. Give them a chance to make their own decision. The best way to do this is through a strong, in-pew education and ask.
► Ask – Ask – Ask
If you don’t ask, donors will not give. Everyone likes to be asked. A donor does not know what you want, need or what is expected until they are asked.
► Include Youth, Parish Ministries & Parish Staff
Being part of the BAA for your parish draws these important ambassadors into the participation in the life, mission and work of our Catholic Faith Community.
► Know the Facts
Be sure that everyone sharing the good news of the physical, educational and spiritual programs of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal is speaking with factual information. There is plenty of it, and it’s all good. Review the manual and watch the video (English / Spanish), then share the information.
► Target a Specific Amount
Don’t generalize gift giving. Mention pledge options to maximize your offer. Everyone appreciates knowing what is expected of them. Research the average gift for your parish last year, and challenge those below that level to meet it. Challenge those who give above it to raise their sites higher. Keep your sights high, and don’t seek the lowest gift option first.
► Make Your Pledge First
As a faithful parish leader make your own gift/pledge first, leading others to support the Appeal by your own example.
► Keep a Positive Attitude
This is a parish appeal and a positive approach to its objective and overall importance to your parish should remain sincere and upbeat.
► Informative Parish Announcements
Bulletin and pulpit announcements each week regarding the Appeal are essential. Be short, informative and grateful.
► Thank Everyone!
There is no substitute for genuine gratitude and affirmed progress.
Bishop's Annual Appeal Resources
Parish Progress Report
We Thank You For Your Generous Support of the Bishop's Annual Appeal.
Final 2016 BAA Progress Report 2/10/2017