CSA 2.0

Rethink how you support the church.

The annual Catholic Services Appeal is upon us.  We are hoping to build on the success of the 2018 campaign.  Last year, with your incredible support, we were able to realize success with this campaign, success that will have many long term benefits.

Thanks to your amazing generosity, last year, we not only smashed our CSA goal for the first time in 20 years, we have over $78,000 coming back to the parish! Since these contributions came through CSA rather than offertory collections, you have saved us roughly $16,000 that would have gone to the Archdiocese of Detroit as an assessment or tax. Thank you!

As expected, our CSA goal has increased this year. This may come as a surprise because we explained that that giving to CSA instead of offertory would lower our CSA goal in future years. This is due to the increased offertory trend that we have experienced as a parish over the last couple of years; CSA is calculated using a three-year rolling average of Offertory plus Christmas.  This increase further drives home the importance of moving support to CSA.  We believe we will have a small increase in 2020 as well, but that continual effort to shift support to CSA will reverse this trend as soon as 2021.

If the entire parish adds $50 to their contribution we would realize gains that would allow us to drastically increase the amount of money we put aside to care for the replacement of our major capital assets (HVAC equipment, Roof, and parking lot to name a few). Given this realization, we are asking everyone to increase their pledge to CSA by $50.

If you’ve never supported CSA before, please consider a $50 commitment. Remember, even if you can’t offer $50 in additional support, we ask that you choose to simply move $50 from your support of the offertory or Christmas, to the CSA so that we would receive the benefit of avoiding the tax. Please know that whatever you contribute, assists our parish and our mission. Please accept my sincere appreciation for the financial sacrifice that you are choosing to offer in support of this campaign. Enclosed with this letter is a CSA envelope. Please return it to the office anytime, or during the collection at Mass at some point in the month of May.


1. What is CSA?

Answer: The Catholic Services Appeal is an annual appeal to the parishes of the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Catholic Services Appeal benefits parishes and people in the AOD and beyond through the more than 100 ministries that it funds. No CSA dollars have ever been-or ever will be-used to settle claims of any nature against the Archdiocese, or to support projects outside of the Archdiocese, other than six specific national collections of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The archdiocesan lay Finance Council oversees the distribution of CSA funds to ensure all reach the ministries, programs, and services for which they are intended.

2. How is the CSA target for an individual parish calculated?

Answer: Over the last two years, this calculation has been simplified greatly by the AOD. The CSA target is now quite simple to calculate. The CSA target is calculated by taking a parish’s Offertory and Christmas calculation and applying a multiplier. Because St. Isidore is such a large parish, our multiplier is 14.5%.

3. How is the AOD’s operational budget determined?

Answer: Over the last two years, this calculation has been changed as well. The AOD now forms a budget using the historic data that drives the parish target. Using the tiered system based on parish size, the AOD’s operational budget is determined by adding up each parish’s offertory and Christmas collection and multiplying that figure by the respective parish tier. As stated in question #2 above, St. Isidore’s multiplier is 14.5%.

4. Does withholding a contribution from C.S.A. money send a signal of dissatisfaction to the Archdiocese?

Answer: No, not in the least. Because the CSA target is actually a true assessment, or tax, the Archdiocese is unaffected on an individual withholding support for the campaign. The real result of withholding support for CSA is an increased operating liability at the parish level. If you want to show displeasure with the diocese, or to the bishop, the best way is through a thoughtful, direct letter to Archbishop Vigneron, detailing what your concerns are.

5. What is the consequence if a parish doesn’t reach our CSA target?

Answer: A parish must use operating income or savings to pay for any shortfall to the CSA target. This has significant financial consequences for the parish. Money used to pay the shortfall is money that has already been received as part of offertory or the Christmas collection, and has thus, already been taxed. If a CSA goal is hit directly, all extra money is returned to the parish without an assessment. Furthermore, the success of CSA has no implication in future CSA targets, as the calculation does not include the success of previous campaigns as part of the future calculation.

6. Do parishes hit their CSA targets?

Answer: Yes, the majority of parishes hit their goal without using operational income. Because the CSA is essentially a tax, the AOD always receives the determined CSA target. This target serves as an operational budget for the Archdiocese.

7. What benefits does St. Isidore realize through CSA?

Answer: The most obvious answer is administrative support for priests, lay leaders, and volunteers of the parish. A physical breakdown of the almost $18,000,000 CSA budget from 2017 shows that 38.5% of the funds were used to support Sacred Heart Major Seminary, as well as parishes and schools throughout the diocese. 14.8% was used to fund Clergy Life, Priestly Vocations and Seminarian Education. An additional 14% was used to support Christian Service and Parish Life. 13.5% was used to fund Catholic Schools, Evangelization, and Youth and Minority Ministries. The CSA budget also funds the communications department, Stewardship and Development Programs, as well as the Metropolitan Tribunal. The Archdiocese is a critical structure in support of the parishes.