DSF allows faithful to be ‘heard’ through 60 ministries in local Church in 2011

February 22, 2011

HOUSTON — As a way of recognizing Church membership beyond parish boundaries, contributing to the Diocesan Services Fund allows local faithful to support and express their intimate relationship with the larger Church.

Through DSF, parishioners gain a better understanding of not only the needs of their immediate community, but also the needs of people all over the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Contributions afford a sense of belonging and ownership, which is vital to the Church as DSF brings the needed financial resources to support the more than 60 pastoral and educational ministries present in the Archdiocese.

The 2011 DSF Commitment Weekend is Feb. 26 to 27. The theme of the campaign is “He who hears you, hears Me” (Luke 10:16). The response of discipleship to follow Christ’s call involves stewardship of the many gifts we are called to share — in time, talent and resources. Answering the call of discipleship through DSF is the most concrete and effective way to benefit the common good of the entire Archdiocese.

“I look upon DSF as a way for the Catholic community to come together and make His words and deeds vivid and active among us,” said Daniel Cardinal DiNardo in a letter to parishioners throughout the Archdiocese. “When we demonstrate love, kindness and compassion, we allow others to experience the teachings of Christ … to hear His voice.”

Each year, DSF operates in the Archdiocese to help the Church carry out the ministries of teaching and sanctifying. Last year witnessed a strong response by Archdiocesan faithful demonstrating their commitment to stewardship through the DSF annual appeal, said Roz Hill, Development Director for the Archdiocese, in a letter to pastors.

“The number of people facing the challenges of today’s economics and the struggles they present throughout the Archdiocese is ever increasing,” she said. “We are sincerely grateful for this remarkable response during such difficult times.”

By supporting the programs facilitated by DSF, Cardinal DiNardo said the Archdiocese has an opportunity to “mean what we say,” in reference to the 2011 DSF theme.

In his letter to parishes, the cardinal highlighted only some of the Archdiocese’s many ministries supported via generous contributions to DSF.

“Through the Continuing Christian Education, we gain a deeper understanding of Christ,” he said. “Through the initiatives of the Office of Vocations, we help foster new shepherds for our Church. Through the Office of Aging, we encourage seniors in their parish ministries. Through the Catholic Schools Office, we maintain standards of excellence in our Catholic schools.”

From helping thousands of teenagers throughout the Archdiocese to experience a renewal of their faith at the annual youth conference to assisting a child in finding a love-filled home through Catholic Charities adoption services, DSF addresses needs that are not limited to individual parishes.

“Even if you do not have time to be involved in ministry work, through the DSF, you can be a good steward to thousands of people in the Archdiocese,” he said. “Your love and generosity will be ‘heard’ and felt by others through the more than 60 programs that comprise the Diocesan Services Fund.”

All funds raised by the DSF are spent within Archdiocesan boundaries, with the exception of support for the Church’s missions in Guatemala. No funds are spent on general administrative expenses of the Chancery offices. †


For more information about DSF, call the Office of Development at 713.659.5461.


Why is the Diocesan Services Fund necessary?
The Diocesan Services Fund helps all of us fulfill Christ’s mission here on earth by supporting those programs and services that cannot be accomplished alone by one parish.

Which program areas are supported by the DSF?
More than 60 programs receive all or part of their funding from the DSF. The broad areas include: Catholic education of children and adults; pastoral ministries for the sick, the poor and the incarcerated; the formation and education of Church leadership; and social service programs such as San José Clinic, St. Dominic Village and Catholic Charities. These ministries are listed in detail elsewhere in this document.

Are all of the funds raised by the DSF spent locally?
Yes, all funds are spent within Archdiocesan boundaries with the exception of support for missions in Guatemala.

Are any of the funds spent on administration of the Chancery?
No funds are spent on general administrative expenses of the Chancery. Only 4.78 percent of the funds are spent on the DSF campaign expenses. This percentage does not cover staff compensation expenses or office supplies which are covered under general administrative expenses of the Chancery.

How does the DSF benefit my parish?
The DSF benefits your parish in many ways, from training and supporting Archdiocesan priests and deacons, to training pastoral councils and catechists, to supporting the parish school system. If your parish exceeds goal in payments, 50 percent of those funds over your goal are returned to your parish and 50 percent goes to aid poor parishes.

How can I confirm that my parish is getting credit for my donation?

Check with your parish. Parishes are able to download reports from the Archdiocesan website every week. Contact the Development Department if your donation is not credited.

Does the DSF qualify for matching gift programs?
Yes, DSF qualifies for many corporate matching gift programs. Contact your employer for more information on their matching gift program.

May I have my payments deducted from my checking account?
Yes, you may set up a direct debit on your checking account on your pledge card. Just follow the directions on the card. You also may pay by “e-check” online at www.archgh.org/dsf.

May I charge my DSF payments to a credit card?
Yes, you may charge your donations to a credit card either using your pledge card or going online. MasterCard, VISA, Discover and American Express are each accepted.

May I designate my donation to a particular ministry?
Because DSF funds are distributed based on the various ministries’ defined needs individual gifts cannot be designated to specific ministries. This assures all ministries will benefit from your gift.

May I make a donation of stock, IRA’s, Mutual Funds or securities to the DSF?
Yes, the Development Department can help arrange the transaction. Information is also available on the Archdiocesan website, www.archgh.org. Or call Michael Schillaci at 713.652.4418.

How do I receive the Texas Catholic Herald?
With your gift to the DSF you will receive a free subscription to the Texas Catholic Herald to help you keep up with the activities and ministries of the Archdiocese and the Church worldwide.

How may I get a letter for my income tax?
Acknowledgment letters are sent at the time a pledge is made. All gifts equaling $250 or more are sent a tax letter at the end of January following the tax year the donation was given. If you do not receive a tax letter call 713.652.4417 and request a letter.