Charity and Development Appeal is ‘Love that Gives Hope’ to thousands of Arizona’s struggling, disenfranchised

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Overwhelmed by pregnancy, Laura had decided on abortion when someone offered her hope and suggested help from Life Choices Women’s Clinic, which receives CDA funding. She received a free ultrasound and, upon hearing her baby’s heartbeat, was filled with love for her child. The clinic helped her though her pregnancy and with resources to finish a nursing degree. Today, Laura is a joyful mother, a caring nurse and an advocate who helps other young moms navigate difficult circumstances. (Billy Hardiman/CATHOLIC SUN)

In a world wounded by sin where thousands are struggling to make ends meet or even survive, the love of Christ offers hope. In the Diocese of Phoenix, Christ’s love and faithfulness is made manifest in the generosity shown by Catholics who support the annual Charity and Development Appeal.

The prayer, financial sacrifices and people power that fuel the CDA drive the more than 70 area charitable organizations, ministries and diocesan programs which benefit from the appeal.

It’s a tall order for a Catholic community that stretches almost 44,000 square miles, encompasses 117 parishes and missions, and celebrates Mass in at least 14 distinct ethnic communities.

“We all become the face of Jesus in this tapestry,” said Lisa Wentz, director of the CDA. “When you give to the CDA, you create a more strong and vibrant image of Jesus that we can all be together.”

Charity and Development Appeal (CDA)

The Charity and Development Appeal (CDA) supports more than 70 educational, charitable and spiritual organizations which counsel, feed clothe, house, educate and comfort those in need throughout the four counties in the Diocese of Phoenix.

The CDA is ‘Love that Gives Hope’ to thousands of Arizona’s struggling, disenfranchised.

Annual charitable appeal gets underway Feb. 9-10

Learn more. Give hope.

Last year’s appeal netted more than $9.9 million in support from Catholics. The Charity and Development Appeal supports faith-based charities that feed and clothe the hungry, as well as support the elderly, plus diocesan ministries that educate future priests, and support churches and Catholic schools, to name a few of the 70 organizations who depend on the annual appeal.

Full list of grants and allocations

The coming weeks are prime time to discern how individuals and families will support this year’s effort. The 2019 Charity and Development Appeal kicks off at parishes Feb. 9-10.

That’s when churchgoers will learn about the CDA from the pew, see the short CDA video highlighting its impact, and be able to fill out a pledge card. A guest speaker might briefly share about the CDA’s importance the following weekend alongside additional time to complete a pledge card. The speaker might be someone who has benefited from CDA funds or someone who passionately believes in its mission.

Seversons model stewardship

“GPS” — give, pray, and serve — is the mnemonic the Severson family uses to remember the important elements of their faith. As the co-chairs of the Charity and Development Appeal, the couple is able to take their effective method outside their family and into the parishes.

“The lives that you touch with the CDA — the disenfranchised, the needy, the elderly, as well as students and religious — they need to know there are people out there who care about them,” Adelaida said.

“Now we know what to expect,” she added about their two-year leadership position.

Barry and Adelaida Severson co-founded Bushtex in Gilbert, and have three sons, Lars, Brock and Swen. Adelaida said her sons also give to the CDA and help bring its message to parishes throughout the diocese.

“They are generous, kind people who have others’ well-being at heart no matter where they are,” Wentz said of the family. “In their role as volunteers, they make an effort to go out and meet the ministries to see where the CDA money is used and they work with the parishes and help deliver the message.”

Adelaida Severson is originally from Hawai’i, and when a parish met its goal last year, they sent them a tin of Honolulu Cookie Company cookies welcoming them to the CDA ‘ohana, or family. She said they sent out quite a few more parish packages than they expected.

“We sent out 70 cookie tins,” Severson said.

Also in her second year with the CDA, Wentz has been working hard to visit the charities and ministries that receive funding from the CDA.

“That is my favorite part of what I do — seeing the impact,” Wentz said. “I call that my compass. Every day it gives me inspiration.”