When Bishop Higi began his episcopate, his ministry and all of the pastoral offices and services of this Local Church were funded just as they still are in most dioceses across the U.S. -- by means of an assessment (a “cathedraticum” or “cathedral tax”) -- on parish income. In 1983, a task force established by the late Bishop Fulcher had begun to search for alternative funding which would not be so draining on parish finances. Shortly after Bishop Higi’s installation in 1984, the task force recommended, and the Presbyteral Council approved, the institution of a biennial campaign to be called “Fruitful Harvest.”
The first Fruitful Harvest Campaign was launched in the fall of 1984, and its success led, as promised, to the abolition of diocesan assessments on parish revenues. Since 1986, a major share of diocesan revenue has been raised through Fruitful Harvest -- this direct campaign to the people of the Local Church -- with the balance made up primarily of investment income and miscellaneous fees. Each campaign seeks both to educate about the roles and functions of the Local Church and to solicit the revenue necessary to fund its operation. All of the previous campaigns have gone over goal and have raised over $68.4 million to support diocesan ministries and services.
Fruitful Harvest and Stewardship
The Fruitful Harvest campaign is our diocesan stewardship fundraiser. It runs every other year. As your new bishop, I ask your generous support and enthusiastic participation.
Beginning in the 1980’s, bishops around the United States began such appeals to Catholic people. As you know, from past years’ publicity, the bishops’ offices historically assessed parishes to support their work. (By the way, the Latin-language word for office translates as “duty” regarding a bishop’s work.) Today’s direct appeals throw light on aspects of diocesan-wide ministry. Experience shows that increased understanding of the diocesan mission facilitates a unifying response among us. When someone asks us ‘what is your church doing about” an issue or need, remember that the question includes more than one’s parish.
Facts about the Fruitful Harvest 2014 Campaign are becoming available at regional gatherings, in this newspaper, and online at www.dol-in.org. Click Stewardship & Development, Fruitful Harvest. Fruitful Harvest updates will be posted on this website as they occur throughout the campaign.
When a parish reaches its goal in paid pledges, a 10% rebate is issued on the first day of the next month. In addition, all parishes receive 50% overage once they reach 100% of their goal paid. If a parish has a school they receive an additional 42% to be placed in their school trust. Parishes that have been granted “dovetail” status by the bishop receive 100% overage back once they meet their goal in paid pledges. The final payment of any additional overage is paid at the conclusion of the current campaign.
Thank you for uniting in this vital matter. While your bishop remains the formal chairperson of Fruitful Harvest, I willingly acknowledge the indispensable labors of clergy, staffs, volunteers – and donors -- who are the backbone of a successful campaign.
All successful fund raising rests on this fundamental principle: “People give most generously to people, not to causes.” This simple phrase sums up both the best case for fund raising -- supporting the Church extends people’s reach and allows them to touch the lives of other people, even those beyond their parish boundaries -- and the best means -- one person asking another.
Personal visitation is far and away the most effective means of fund raising. Almost every day we see numerous examples of other methods -- a mailbox stuffed with direct mail campaigns, a telephone solicitor calling at dinnertime, a neighbor’s child at the door selling candy bars or magazine subscriptions. And all of these efforts raise money for worthy causes. But the single most effective fund raising technique remains a personal visit, whenever possible.
This resource manual will outline the campaign plan for Fruitful Harvest 2014 and provide job descriptions, timetables, and tools with which to conduct the campaign. It is a beginning, not a finished product. It is certain that questions we have not anticipated will arise. The Pastoral Office for Stewardship and Development is committed to supporting you in your efforts to make the Fruitful Harvest campaign as successful as possible in your parish. Help is available by calling 800-617-7466 or 765-742-7000. Call us with any questions. Fund raising is never an easy task, but we are convinced that, together, in we will have a successful fruitful harvest for this Local Church.
“For if you give, you will get. Your gifts will return to you in full and overflowing measure pressed down shaken together to make room for more and running over. Whatever measure you use to give—large or small will be used to measure what is given back to you.” Luke 6:38
Education – to raise awareness of the role and responsibilities of the Local Church
Economics – to raise $8.5 million in pledges to support its work
Participation - Primary to meeting both of these objectives is yet another objective ---participation by every household in every parish. Some parishes may find it difficult to meet their financial goal, but if by one means or another every household in the Local Church is contacted about Fruitful Harvest, then the educational goal will be met.
The goal for Fruitful Harvest 2014 is $8.5 million. Each parish has been assigned a share of that goal based on a formula, which takes into account both the parish population and offertory income. Fruitful Harvest 2014 Parish Goals
As soon as a parish reaches its assigned goal in paid pledges, a 10% rebate is paid. In addition most parishes receive 50% of all funds received in excess of their goal. Parishes with responsibilities for schools receive an additional 42% for their school trusts, receiving a total of 92% of all overage.
The Case for Fruitful Harvest
In 1984 Bishop Higi began Fruitful Harvest in this Local Church. This was done in an effort to end parish assessments on offertory income—the standard way in which most dioceses in the country finance their participation in the bishop’s ministry. Since its inception in 1984, Fruitful Harvest has provided the major share of diocesan revenue, with other portfolio investments and alternate fees making up the difference. Each previous campaign has been a major success. Over $16 million in rebates and overage sharing has been returned to parishes of the Local Church.
It is important for each of us to recall that as Catholic, we do not simply belong to a given parish. Each has membership in a diocese and, ultimately, in the Universal Church by virtue of our baptism into the Body of Christ. No one parish stands alone. As members of Christ’s Body we are responsible for one another. Together we enable each parish community to reach its full potential as a vibrant community and to meet the needs and challenges that life brings to us. Saint Paul expressed this so well for us in the letter to the Corinthian church which teaches us that just as any one part of the physical body cannot function on its own, so are we interdependent on the shared gifts of each other to attain the fullness of Life in God’s Spirit.
An examination of our diocesan logo also indicates what we are about as a community of faith. The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, Who imparts to each of us encircled in God’s life, the gifts of His creation. From the fields of our lived experience the Cross of Faith is our guidepost and reminder of the constant presence of God in our midst.
The theme for Fruitful Harvest 2014 is "HELP US BUILD HOPE."
Helping others to understand the importance of our diocesan mission and to share in the necessary funds that fulfill that mission is the heart of Fruitful Harvest. As the Local Church of Northcentral Indiana, the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana comprises twenty-four counties in nearly 10,000 square miles. There are 62 faith communities (parishes) that provide ministry to over 100,000 Catholics. Our parishes range from one with only 24 families to one that is over 3500 families. They are found in rural areas and suburban communities. Members are both young and old, single and married, skilled laborers and folksy individuals, fervent attendees and infrequent participants, native Hoosiers and persons from far away lands. But we form one family whom hand in hand and heart to heart bring among us our one faith in Jesus Christ.
Bishop Timothy L. Doherty who is assisted by his Vicar General, the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consultors, the five Deans, and the Administrative Cabinet leads us. The work of the central diocesan office is defined by our mission statement, directed by a strategic plan for the Local Church, and carried out primarily by the Bishop’s Office, the Tribunal, and seven pastoral offices: Administration, Planning and Communications, Stewardship and Development, Education and Youth Catechesis, Family Life, and Adult Formation and Catechesis. A number of other individuals and groups -- the Vocations Director, Office of the Permanent Diaconate, the Religious Women’s Committee, the Priestly Ministry and Personnel Board, Finance Council, Planned Giving Advisory Council, Building Commission, Planning Commission, Liturgical Commission and Evangelization Commission, for example -- are also actively engaged in the work of the Church at the diocesan level. The following pages are to help you understand who we are as Church and how we can enable you to assist in the Lord’s call to be good stewards of the gifts we have received.
For additional information please contact
Associate Director - Pastoral Office for Stewardship and Development
Director - Fruitful Harvest Campaign
765-742-7000 ext. 608