The Bishop’s Junk Mail

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The Bishop's Junk Mail

More junk mail…this time, a let­ter from our Bishop ask­ing for money in the annual Bishop’s Appeal.

Dur­ing this last appeal, my high level of annoy­ance sur­prised me. I cer­tainly don’t mind donat­ing money to the church, and I’m old enough to under­stand that the Catholic Church needs money to keep the lights on and run over­seas mis­sions. But every year when the Bishop does his annual appeal, it just bugs me.

This week I finally real­ized why. It’s Cub Scout pop­corn time, and my son and I were walk­ing around so he could sell pop­corn to the neigh­bors. We’re in a large neigh­bor­hood, so we don’t know every­one. At one home, the lady asked my son where he lived, and when he said that he lives up the street, she bright­ened up. “I love sup­port­ing my neigh­bors,” I heard her say.

And then a thought struck me: I couldn’t pick my Bishop out from a lineup of peo­ple (appar­ently it’s this guy). With the excep­tion of the video we have to watch in church and Con­fir­ma­tion, I never see the Bishop. To me, he’s just some guy work­ing at the cathe­dral. When my priest asks for money, I know him, but the Bishop, not so much.

I’m guess­ing the Dio­cese is strug­gling to gather money, because I get plenty of follow-​up let­ters ask­ing for more. I don’t think this is going to be effec­tive long term, cer­tainly not with the younger gen­er­a­tion. The Dio­cese needs to under­stand that future gen­er­a­tions are grow­ing up donat­ing to peo­ple. Web­sites like GoFundMe derive suc­cess from telling a good story that com­pels peo­ple to open their hearts and wal­lets. In stark con­trast, the Bishop’s annual appeal lacks a good story, dis­rupts a Mass, comes once a year and from a per­son you don’t really know. Not a for­mula for success.


This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, Catholic Church, or any other organization.

Check out my blog and be sure to donate to Da Tech Guy, because he has a way bet­ter story than I do!

More junk mail…this time, a letter from our Bishop asking for money in the annual Bishop’s Appeal.

During this last appeal, my high level of annoyance surprised me. I certainly don’t mind donating money to the church, and I’m old enough to understand that the Catholic Church needs money to keep the lights on and run overseas missions. But every year when the Bishop does his annual appeal, it just bugs me.

This week I finally realized why. It’s Cub Scout popcorn time, and my son and I were walking around so he could sell popcorn to the neighbors. We’re in a large neighborhood, so we don’t know everyone. At one home, the lady asked my son where he lived, and when he said that he lives up the street, she brightened up. “I love supporting my neighbors,” I heard her say.

And then a thought struck me: I couldn’t pick my Bishop out from a lineup of people (apparently it’s this guy). With the exception of the video we have to watch in church and Confirmation, I never see the Bishop. To me, he’s just some guy working at the cathedral. When my priest asks for money, I know him, but the Bishop, not so much.

I’m guessing the Diocese is struggling to gather money, because I get plenty of follow-up letters asking for more. I don’t think this is going to be effective long term, certainly not with the younger generation. The Diocese needs to understand that future generations are growing up donating to people. Websites like GoFundMe derive success from telling a good story that compels people to open their hearts and wallets. In stark contrast, the Bishop’s annual appeal lacks a good story, disrupts a Mass, comes once a year and from a person you don’t really know. Not a formula for success.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, Catholic Church, or any other organization.

Check out my blog and be sure to donate to Da Tech Guy, because he has a way better story than I do!