Bishop's Annual Appeal 2015

Peace and all Good Things!

While celebrating Mass at St. Anne Parish in Richmond Hill last year, I met a sixth grade student named Jon Swann. Jon contributes a dollar a week from his allowance to the construction fund at the church. Jon decided, on his own, to pledge a total of $156 over a three year period so his parish can stop holding Mass in its multi-purpose hall and begin worshipping in their new church. “I want to be part of the church,” he explained to me. Jon’s commitment to his faith is no accident. He received his moral compass and his faith from his parents and parish community.

As I travel the 38,000 square miles of our diocese, I come across many generous people like Jon who have a vision for the future of our Catholic faith. It is for the sake of this vision of a growing diocese that I hope you will join me in the 2015 Bishop’s Annual Appeal.

At Confirmation Masses, I witness the acceptance of our Catholic faith by the next generation. We cannot take the knowledge of their faith and the love of Jesus for granted. They need our direction, love, and assistance in faith formation and catechesis in order to grow into mature Catholic adults of tomorrow. This means we need to see to it that adult catechists are well trained and educated in the faith. It means we need to continue to invite and train young men for the priesthood including our seminarians currently in formation.

I have also become familiar with the dozens of social outreach ministries that our Church provides. Despite being less than 3% of the population of South Georgia, the Catholic Church fed over 180,000 people and helped thousands more in all our charitable ministries last year.

I write to you today to ask you to join me in pledging to this year’s Bishop’s Annual Appeal and support our faith formation, seminarian education and social outreach ministries.

Consider what you can do to help us continue to form our seminarians. Please pray for them, pass on the faith to our young people and bring Christ’s love to the poor through our many charitable ministries.

Like young Jon Swann, please give with a joyful heart!

I am, 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:
Social Services Ministries:
  • Deanery and Parish Social Services - Local outreach centers provide food, clothing, and emergency assistance to those in need.
  • Vocations - The BAA provides substantial funding for the education of 13 seminarians presently studying for the priesthood.It also helps fund the Diaconate program.
  • Family Life Ministries - including Marriage Prep., Natural Family Planning, Singles Ministry, Divorce Ministry, Bereavement.
Education Ministries:
  • Faith Formation - Provides leadership in research, development and coordination of religious programs. These include children's catechesis, catechist formation, lay ministry formation, RCIA and adult education.
  • Youth and Young Adults - Provides consultation, training, resources and networking for the development and support of organizations and programs which reach out to youth and young adults.
  • Campus Ministry - Programming and leadership offering weekly activities to foster growth in faith and fellowship, counseling, opportunities for service and a student centered Sunday Mass in Statesboro and Valdosta, as well as student outreach in the Savannah area.
  • Catholic Schools - Responsible for the overall leadership, administration, organization and instructional services and support for the Catholic schools in the diocese.
  • Multicultural Programs - Programs for Hispanic, Migrant and African American groups are supported by funds from the BAA.
  • 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.

Again this year, the Diocese has committed 5% 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:

  1. 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.  **

  2. Make a gift or pledge online: DONATE NOW

Bishop's Annual Appeal Video Messages

2015 English Video:
2015 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 , read the brochure, 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.
Progress Report 2/19/2016

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