The annual Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal is currently under way. The ACA helps fund nearly 40 archdiocesan ministries ranging from protecting life within the womb to serving senior citizens. Father Randy Dollins, V.G., moderator of the curia, spoke to the Denver Catholic last week about the appeal and tithing, a biblical term that means “a tenth part” and refers to the portion of personal income voluntarily given to the Church and charities as an offering to God.
Q: Why is it important to tithe?
A: Everything we have is a gift from God. So we’re called to share what’s been given to us, especially when we know there are needs or situations that we can answer.
Q: There is an anonymous quote on tithing you like: “The purpose of tithing is to secure not the tithe but the tither, not the gift but the giver, not the possession but the possessor, not your money but you for God.” What about the quote resonates with you?
A: The general idea behind tithing is that we feel there’s a need we have to give to, but the reality is we actually have a need to give because that is the nature of love and generosity. Sometimes people put the focus of tithing on securing the money, but tithing is really about securing us in our relationship with God and with those we are giving to (our neighbor).
Q: How does the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal fit in with tithing?
A: Sometimes it’s hard for us when we give to one specific charity and then are appealed to by various other charities. We feel how can I give to so many different needs? The Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal addresses a multitude of crucial needs that exist in the archdiocese. You can help a whole bunch of them with one donation.
Q: “Disciples take risks for the kingdom” is this year’s ACA theme. How does one “risk for the kingdom” with tithing?
A: A lot of times we give out of our excess, which is safe. But tithing is really about making room in our budgets for a sacrificial gift. The ACA theme is urging people to ask is this coming out of my excess or am I going to have to sacrifice something to tithe at this level? It’s risky because we think, will I have enough money to pay for my bills and for my desires? Disciples are willing to take a risk in the way that they commit to charity (to love).
Q: What does the ACA mean to the life of the Church in northern Colorado?
A: It’s absolutely vital. When we say it helps fund nearly 40 ministries, really, without the ACA many of these ministries would not exist. It is the lifeblood of the ministerial work of the archdiocese.
Q: Who is helped by the appeal?
A: Archbishop Samuel Aquila’s ACA video focuses on the seminaries, Catholic schools, homeless shelters, Catholic Charities and Hispanic ministry, some of the bigger ministries the appeal helps support. But at the end of the day, it ends up affecting a person in need in thousands of instances. Maybe one dollar of your donation will go to a counseling session (someone benefits from), but as the body of Christ (through the ACA) we all pulled together to make that possible and we are all participating in the corporal works of mercy together.
>>> Donate to the 2015 Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal online: www.archden.org/donate, or mail to: Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal, P.O. Box 100316, Denver, CO 80250-0316
By the Numbers: ACA support
108 priests ordained since 2000 from the archdiocese’s 2 seminaries
1.1 million nights of shelter provided last year through Catholic Charities
600,000 meals served last year through Catholic Charities
30,000 people a year get social services or faith formation at Centro San Juan Diego
10,000 young people are being educated at 37 Catholic schools
5,300 people deepened their faith last year through Evangelization & Family Life Ministries
100-plus babies saved since 2013 by Lighthouse Women’s Center