2023 DSF appeal showcases impact of local Church

January 24, 2023

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo speaks with incarcerated men before celebrating a Confirmation Mass at a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility as part of Correctional Ministries. Correctional Ministries is part of several ministries supported by the Diocesan Services Fund. (Herald file photo)

HOUSTON — For 57 years, the Diocesan Services Fund (DSF) has provided the necessary resources for the ministries of the local Church to flourish.

When it was established by Bishop John Morkovsky in 1966, the DSF was more than just a call for support — it was a call to action and, more importantly, an invitation. To this day, DSF continues to invite Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to invest in the work of the Church that no one parish can do on its own.

Through DSF-supported ministries, hundreds of thousands are fed, clothed and cared for each year. The fund supports a Catholic school system that educates and forms over 17,000 children to become flourishing and successful individuals filled with faith. Each year, ministries funded by DSF defend the value of life from natural birth to natural death and work to make our families stronger, holier and healthier. DSF also allows ministries to care for the sick and the dying, visit the imprisoned, to prepare and accompany our clergy, and so much more.

“The gifts we bring to DSF are gifts for the whole Church,” said Daniel Cardinal DiNardo. “What we can’t do in one parish or in one human heart, the big human heart of the Archdiocese can do through the multiple programs made possible by DSF.”

He said DSF is a crucial part of the Archdiocese’s service to others as Catholic Christians.

“God, who is truly the strength of our hearts, calls us through His Son Jesus to love and serve joyfully,” he said. “Whether your gift is small or large, it’s your participation that counts. The faithful of the Archdiocese are what makes DSF and the works it funds possible. I invite everyone, whether it be through financial or spiritual support, to join me in supporting our local Church in this year’s DSF appeal.”

The fund, themed “God is the Strength of My Heart,” enables ministries to reach out to those in need, including assisting sailors in the Port of Galveston receive the Eucharist for the first time in months, having chaplains visit a sick person, helping and accompanying a man or woman discerning a religious vocation, helping a troubled youth and bringing them to prayer through Special Youth Services, and helping a formerly incarcerated woman transition back into society.

“We are blessed here in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston with the spirit of generosity,” said Michael Schillaci, director of development for the Archdiocese. “Year over year, we continue to see how individuals are moved to support DSF because the fruits are tangible: we are all better able to live out the Gospel of Christ because of the ministries made possible by DSF.”

Of each gift given to DSF, 100% goes directly to supporting the 64 ministries that are funded by DSF.

Additionally, Cardinal DiNardo approved a number of parish incentives. For every dollar that a parish goes over the goal, 75% is returned to the parish. The remaining 25% goes to support the Aid to Poor Parishes program, which helps provide emergency relief to parishes facing immediate and difficult challenges.

Additionally, 50% of a gift made by a first-time donor will be returned to the parish community.

“It is only because of our Catholic community’s belief in these great works that we are able to support Pro-Life activities; that we are able to care for our retired clergy; that we are able to maintain such robust formation processes and efforts surrounding our sacramental life and worship,” Schillaci said. “It is because of DSF and those who make it possible that we are all spiritually and communally richer.”

Registered parishioners throughout the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will hear about the impact DSF has on the community through letters, emails, videos and social media to learn about the great things accomplished collectively in their name.

To support the DSF, visit dsf.archgh.org, select a gift amount and attribute it to a parish. Making a gift online is the fastest, easiest and most secure way to support DSF. Another way parishioners can contribute is to fill out a pew envelope in a parish and drop it in the collection basket.

Above all else, the faithful of the Archdiocese are invited to pray for the success of the DSF appeal and for those engaged in the ministry of the local Church.