Witness Talk I- Brief Overview


“Good morning.  My name is ___ and I am a parishioner here at ___.  Father (pastor) _____ has asked me to take a moment to speak today and I agreed — because I believe in the work of the Diocesan Annual Appeal and I’m here to ask you to join me in my support….

I invite all of you to invest some of the gifts that God has given you—your energy, your prayers, and your resources—in this work to which God has called us. I know that we all believe in God’s call to serve others.

Gifts to the Appeal support our Diocese ministries and services that feed the hungry, shelter the poor, counsel individuals and families and provide a place for a veterans to receive needed care and support.

We all want priests who have served us throughout their lives to have a welcoming place to live in their retirement, with their medical care provided.  We want to be sure the seminary is available to young men who will be future priests serving in our Diocese. We all believe in passing on our Catholic faith to our children in our parishes and in our schools.

Every time some good is done in our Diocese because of our support of the Annual Appeal, we become part this good work. As the Apostle St. Paul declares: ‘You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity.’



Sample Witness Talk 2


“Good morning.  My name is __________ and I am a parishioner here at

______________Parish.  I am also our Parish Representative for the Diocesan Annual Appeal. I am speaking to you today because I believe in the good work of the Annual Appeal.  I have made my pledge and I ask you to join me….

Why should we give to the Appeal? Here are a few reasons:

1) The Great Commandment – Love our neighbor as ourselves…We are disciples of Jesus. God calls us to share our blessings in gratitude for all He has given us – and he has given us everything!

2) Your gifts help people in our local parish communities – Donations to the Appeal have a direct impact on all of us because funds stay here in our region – to help the people who live in our parishes and neighborhoods, our family and friends, you and I, They help our own parish…AND they especially help our brothers and sisters in Christ in need.

3)  Appeal ministries do great work. They…

– Serve the poorest, weakest, and most vulnerable among us

– Help pass on the faith to our children in Catholic schools and parishes

– Care and educate our priests and seminarians

– Keep the faith alive and vibrant in our parishes

– Spread the Good News of the Gospel through Catholic Media

Here is a little more information about Appeal ministries and charities:

Catholic Social Services…

Promotes human dignity by also offering shelter, counseling, employment education and assistance for the needy AND provide places for our homeless to include many veterans and families who receive life-changing care and support.

Catholic Social Services

  • touches the lives of 300,000 people each year
  • offers emergency shelter & permanent housing to 300 people nightly,

100,000 annually and

–     provides emergency relief to 9,000 people annually.

Parish Social Justice Grants…

Parishes who want to offer programs to further help the poor and needy in their own neighborhoods can apply for “Social Justice Grants”   Funded by the Appeal, the cash awards can be used for a variety of programs  such as local food and clothing pantries, and emergency aid for the elderly and families.

(If you receive grants, mention them here)….At Our Parish, we use Social Justice Grants to …..

Parish Life…

Affects all aspects of our parish life community by assisting our pastors and parishioners with Liturgy & Worship, Service & Social Concerns, and Training for Parish Ministries free or charge. It also offers new programs to foster “The Young Church” and special programs – from Youth retreats to Pre-Cana Marriage Preparation, Men’s & Women’s Convocations to Adult formation – at a reduced cost to participants because the real cost is offset with funds from the Diocesan Annual Appeal

New this year: Parishes can apply for Faith Formation Grants.  This money can be used for Religious Education, RCIA programs, lay ministry development, and youth ministry.

Catholic Education In Our Schools and Parishes

Helps pass on the faith to our children and to future generations. Last year, 14,000 children received religious education in parish-based programs, nearly 5,000 students benefitted from programs in our Catholic Schools. Tuition only partially covers the cost of education to keep Catholic School open. Your gifts also help substantially.

Clergy Care and Education

We directly support the Celebration of Mass, the proclamation of the Gospel, and the Sacraments in our parishes. Clergy education includes priests, permanent deacons, and seminarians. Support includes medical care and housing for our ill and retired priests. Your gift to the Appeal also helps the Vocations Office to guide men considering the priesthood.

Catholic Media and Communication

…We give everyone the opportunity to read, see and hear the Good News” in print,

Online and on television.  This includes The Catholic Light, Catholic Television (CTV), and the Diocesan website. Donations make it possible to broadcast the daily Mass for homebound and nursing home patients.


Every time some good is done in our Diocese because of your Appeal gift, YOU become part of this good work. – “Please say ‘Yes’ to a homeless veteran who has nowhere to turn, to a poor young family who needs shelter, to our ill and elderly priests needing medical care.

When you come to Mass the weekend of October 5 & 6 (or the date of your parish Commitment Weekend), you will be asked to make a pledge to the Appeal.  Pledge your support if you have not done so already.

Gifts of any amount are welcomed and appreciated.

Gifts to the Appeal are solely used to support the five Diocesan Ministries I just mentioned.

You can designate your gift to go to the ministries most important to you when you make your donation.

AND when we exceed our Parish Appeal Goal, 75% of the monies come back to our parish in rebates. 

St. Paul tells us:
 “You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity.”

Thank you for your kind attention and support.



Sample Witness Talk 3


Good morning.  I am __________________________.  It is a pleasure to be with you. Father, thank you for the invitation to join you today.

You saw some wonderful examples in the Appeal video of the good work that is made possible through your support.  As Dan Grogan, the veteran featured at the end of the video said – people that are struggling just want a chance.

By giving to the Appeal, you provide that chance – a chance for a better life that can – and does – make a difference.

Catholic Social Services

Catholic Social Services is at the heart of the mission of our local church.  More than 300,000 people are served each year in our kitchens, food and clothing pantries, shelters and through housing programs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and all types of counseling services for individuals and families.

You may know someone who has been helped by Catholic Social Services or perhaps you yourself or a family member were blessed to receive help.

The Diocesan Annual Appeal is the primary source of funding for Catholic Social Services.

Parish Life

Gifts to the Appeal also support a variety of programs offered to parishes by our Office of Parish Life staff – training for religious education teachers, RCIA volunteers, Eucharistic ministers, and parishioners involved in all types of ministries.

Direct Parish Support

Appeal gifts also provide direct support to parishes through Parish Social Justice Grants – 44 parishes received grants this year.  And new this year, the Appeal will fund grants for Parish Faith Formation programs.  Both grants are available to any parish in the Diocese and can be used for programs in your parish that care for those in need and for parish ministries such as religious education, RCIA or youth ministry, for example.

 Seminarian Education

Appeal gifts provide for tuition and expenses for our seminarians to insure that our parishes will continue to have wonderful priests serving us now and in the future. The three seminarians who were ordained transitional deacons in May that you saw in the video will become priests in the Spring.  What a wonderful blessing.

Care of Retired and Ill Priests

Our retired priests have also been a blessing to so many and I am pleased to say that Appeal gifts provide for their care and the care of our ill priests, all who have served with great passion and commitment.

Catholic Education

Our Catholic Schools also receive funding from the Appeal.  I’m sure many here went to Catholic school.  (Ask how many attended Catholic school.)

I am proud to say that my entire education has been Catholic, from kindergarten to grad school, so it gives me great joy to be part of our efforts to continue to provide a quality faith-centered Catholic education to thousands of children in our 20 Catholic schools in the Diocese.

This would not be possible without your support of the Appeal.

A few final thoughts

All gifts to the Appeal are used solely to support the ministries I mentioned.  No gifts are used for legal fees or the Survivors Compensation fund.

If you wish, you may designate your gift to a specific ministry that is important to you. Appeal Commitment Weekend will be held in your parish in October.

Gifts of any amount are welcomed and appreciated.

If you have any questions, I would be happy to visit with you after Mass.

Thank you for your past support of the Annual Appeal and thank you for considering a gift to this year’s Appeal.

May we continue to live our lives in gratitude and glory to God.