Catholics in the Diocese of Gaylord are increasingly voicing concerns about the annual Catholic Services Appeal.  This is the yearly diocesan fundraiser which pays for activities of the Diocese and a variety of other organizations or causes.  A closer look at the annual budget of the Gaylord Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) validates their concerns.

This Appeal funds a number of organizations.  Some may be familiar with the United Way annual fundraising in their communities.  The CSA functions in a similar way.  This makes it at times difficult to follow the money trail as numerous names of organizations start popping up. Therefore, we will try to minimize the confusion by highlighting two major concerns of the Appeal and then discuss some other troubling aspects of the CSA.

CSA funding includes over $49,000 to fund Catholic Relief Services.  Catholic Relief Services is an organization that has been noted to fund anti-Catholic population control policies and political action through its support of another organization called InterAction.

Another troubling example of how CSA dollars support anti-Catholic organizations is through the CSA support of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). The CCHD is an organization within the United States Council of Catholic Bishops.  The Gaylord CSA budgets over $23,000 to the United States Council of Catholic Bishops which then gives a portion of this money to the CCHD.

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has a long track record of supporting political and anti-Catholic organizations.  One of these organizations is the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) which has been reported to support a variety of anti-Catholic and anti-police activities (www.lepantoin.com).  This is despite numerous warnings from concerned Catholics to the CCHD and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

On another note, when looking at the CSA budget, many items are extremely vague in their descriptions.  For examples, a few line items are listed below with their amounts budgeted.  They go into almost no detail as to where the money is going.  When more specific delineation of these budget items was requested in the past, no further information was given:

JUSTICE & PEACE – Supports social justice education and advocacy $97,734

THE NATIONAL BLACK & INDIAN MISSION – Supports the Church’s ministry to minorities in the US $ 21,852

HISPANIC & NATIVE AMERICAN APOSTOLATES & ECUMENICAL MINISTRY – Offers a focused effort of evangelization for the marginalized populations of Hispanic and Native American people as well as outreach to other faith communities $75,829

What are concerned Catholics doing with their stewardship dollars?  Various faithful have shared with Gaylord Diocesan Watch where they are donating their Church tithes instead of to the CSA.  (Gaylord Diocesan Watch does not promote giving to any specific religious cause or institution.  We are providing this for educational purposes.)

  • Some are donating to specific causes in our Diocese such as giving their collection money to recently suspended Father Matthew Cowan.
  • Other Catholics donate their money to specific projects in their local parish, such as maintenance or repair needs in their church building or vestments for their priest and altar servers.
  • Others have donated to organizations such as Gaylord Diocesan Watch or specific religious orders such as the Carmelites in Traverse City.