As stewards of a nearly $6.8 million operating budget, the Diocese of Lake Charles is just able to fund its ongoing missions and obligations. However, given that revenue the diocese receives is already earmarked each year, it is difficult for the diocese to invest in needed strategic priorities without an extraordinary effort.
The Bishop’s Services Appeal and parish assessments provide a base level of funding that allows the diocese ministries, offices and programs to do their good work from year to year. The Return to the Lord Capital Campaign will focus on long-term, strategic priorities that can only be addressed through an extraordinary effort. Together, the two efforts will strengthen our parishes and ministries this year and for years to come.
The goals of this campaign would take decades, if ever, to complete within the regular budget process. That is why extraordinary support is needed. The diocese is dedicated to making sure parishioners are confident that all funds the diocese receives, whether through the Bishop’s Services Appeal, Return to the Lord Capital Campaign or any other gifts, will be used prudently and effectively as the diocese has an independent party conduct annual audits.
Reverend Ruben Buller, Secretary for the Ministry of Administration of the diocese, said, “The one-time gifts and payments on pledges we receive for the capital campaign are going into a separate designated fund, not the general fund of the diocese. That way we can ensure transparency and accountability when it comes to things such as crediting parishes for all of their gifts or making sure a donor that designates their gift to go to only one or two of the campaign’s goals are respected. This isn’t an easy task for a small staff like ours, but it’s necessary to respect the will of the donors and ensure the goals are funded appropriately.”
The Return to the Lord Capital Campaign is a landmark effort to raise $16 million for priests, parishes and ministries. It will begin later this year. Each parish will take part in the campaign during one of three waves and has been provided information on their start date. If you want to know more about the campaign, please contact your parish or the diocesan Stewardship and Development Office at 337-439-7400.