2023 Annual Diocesan Appeal opens, seeks support ‘to bring the love of Jesus’

“Ready to Bring the Love of Jesus” is more than the theme for the 2023 Annual Diocesan Appeal. It is a promise to the people of the Diocese of Peoria, according to Bishop Louis Tylka.

“The ADA is the means by which we continue the work of the diocese as we take up for our time the mission entrusted to us by the Lord,” he said in his video message for this year’s campaign. (See below.) “We are ready to bring the love of Jesus. We need your help to do so.”

The goal for the Annual Diocesan Appeal, launched in parishes the weekend of Sept. 9-10, is $6,550,000 – about $250,000 more than in 2022.

A hybrid approach to pledges is being used this year, with ADA materials available in the pews again and a mailing to supporters planned. In addition, those who wish to make a pledge online may do so by using a QR code on campaign materials that will take donors to an online giving portal or by visiting the diocesan website.

“The ADA is the means by which we continue the work of the diocese as we take up for our time the mission entrusted to us by the Lord.” — Bishop Tylka

In the video, Bishop Tylka quotes Pope Francis, who said, “Mission is at once a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people.”

“In so many ways, across the 26 counties of our diocese, we see this passion for Jesus and his people alive and transforming lives,” the bishop said.

Among them are the parishes, “which create places for people to encounter Jesus, especially through the celebration of the Eucharist,” and diocesan schools that form the hearts and minds of young people for Jesus, he said.

Social service agencies bring the love of Jesus by providing for the needs of people of all ages, from babies to seniors and everyone in between.

“In many ways, behind the scenes, through the diocesan offices, we support all these efforts by providing human resources, financial services, property management and legal advice,” Bishop Tylka said. “These are necessary supportive works which empower our mission.”


The ADA video focuses on two young people who have benefited from campus ministry and education supported by the Diocese of Peoria. One is Kathryn Stangel, who has found a “home away from home” at the St. John Paul II Newman Center at Illinois State University, and the other is Father Patrick Wille, who was ordained in May.

Stangel describes herself as an avid daily Mass-goer and Bible study enthusiast.

Father Patrick Wille distributes Communion at his ordination Mass on May 27. In the video promoting the Annual Diocesan Appeal, Father Wille said the education he received would not have been possible without the help of donors to the ADA. (Screen grab/Fiat Films)

“Without Newman I definitely would not be close to Christ,” she says. “It has been a long journey to where I am right now and the Newman Center has helped me every step of the way.”

Having this “critical” ministry helps students escape the temptations of a public university and dedicate their lives to something “way higher and more meaningful,” Stangel explained.

A junior studying English education this year, she said the Newman Center is a place where her generation is becoming “the Catholics the world needs right now.”

Father Wille grew up in St. Philomena Parish, where he was baptized, confirmed and received his First Communion, and attended school. In the video he also talked about the importance of his education at Peoria Notre Dame High School and his experience at St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois, as well as his seminary formation.

“It would have been impossible to have this education without all you have done for me,” Father Wille said in the video. “Catholic grade schools, high schools, Newman Centers and how to lead souls to heaven.”


The ADA brochure notes that 17 percent of the $6.55 million goal is earmarked for the eucharistic revival, 18 percent will be used to support vocations, and 32 percent will go toward the work of evangelization, such as Catholic schools, respect life ministry, Catholic Charities, and communications.

The largest amount, 33 percent, is earmarked for discipleship efforts, such as Newman Centers, Sacré-Coeur Retreat Center, Hispanic ministry, and the Marriage Tribunal.

Each area includes support for “diocesan operations,” such as the Bishop’s Office and Chancery.

Dan Onderko, the new director of development for the Diocese of Peoria, encouraged people to see the Annual Diocesan Appeal in another way.

“I’m excited that in our diocese the emphasis is not on paying the bills, but on being out, doing the work of Christ in trying to grow and expand how we reach the community and members of our diocese,” he told The Catholic Post. “It’s really and truly doing the work of Christ.”

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