Joy Featured In 2024 Diocesan Appeal
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 25, 2024
DIOCESE—The annual appeal to support the diocesan Church will be announced at parishes the weekend of April 27-28. The collection weekend is May 4-5.
“Be Joyful Disciples” is this year’s theme, inviting parishioners throughout the Diocese of Rockford to “Share your joy and make a difference!”
That quality of joyful giving celebrates a God who is beyond comprehending, whose power and might, kindness and mercy bring hope to the faithful even in the midst of life’s many challenges. To give with joy goes hand in hand with recognizing our value in God’s eyes, and our ability to impact the ministries of our Church.
Those ministries are many, embodied at both the diocesan level and in the 105 parishes of the Rockford Diocese, which stretches from the Mississippi River to the Fox Valley and the Wisconsin border south through Whiteside, Lee, DeKalb and Kane counties.
One diocesan employee, Julieta Jacobo, notes in the appeal brochure that “Our joy comes from living a life in service of others.” And indeed, 23% of appeal funds are used to serve and assist those who are poor and vulnerable. Offices and ministries that provide direct service include the many ministries of Catholic Charities and St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center.
Others are served directly through the diocese as well, including those who benefit from the 42% of funds geared for proclaiming the Gospel and passing on the faith. They include those served by the Deaf Apostolate, youth ministry, college campus ministry, marriage support and preparation services, tribunal services and those for retired priests. Diocesan support and oversight of Catholic schools, religious education programs and adult lay ministry formation programs touch many lives as well.
And to perhaps state the obvious: formation of seminarians and deacon candidates, along with support and ongoing education for those who are ordained, are also part of this appeal. All parishes and parishioners benefit from these disciples of the Church and the sacraments they provide for the faithful.
One of the newer diocesan priests, Father James Linkenheld who serves at St. Thomas Parish in Crystal
Lake and the diocesan Tribunal, is quoted in this year’s brochure about the appeal. “The joy I found encountering Christ spilled over to become the shape of my life,” he says. “Now, as a priest, I propose this same joy to others: Christ’s face turned toward us in love.”
The annual appeal also supports the administration of the Rockford Diocese, including employees and
offices that provide services to all the ministries mentioned above plus those that administer accounting and insurance services, that work on research and planning for the diocese, that assist particular Catholic groups such as people of Hispanic, Filipino and Vietnamese heritage, and still others who serve the cause of life in an increasingly anti-life society.
And let us not forget the Bishop’s Office and Bishop David Malloy’s work on behalf of the diocese and the Church as a whole. Confirmations and his public schedule are just the “tip of the iceberg” as the saying goes. 
“Joy is the result of God’s love for us,” Bishop Malloy says in his appeal letter, “and joy is how we can best share our Christian life with others.”
Generous support of this annual appeal is a clear way to love the Church that Jesus established and to
show oneself as being a Joyful Disciple.
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