Bishop Malooly has announced a goal of $4,775,500 for the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal. Contributions to the appeal from Catholics throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland will help 37 ministries of the Diocese of Wilmington that include food assistance, basic needs, Catholic schools and high schools, addiction recovery and pro-life activities.
This year’s appeal theme is taken from the Gospel of St. John, “As I have done for you, you should also do,” which is the command of Jesus to his Apostles after he washed their feet on the night before he died.
“It is through this role of servant that Jesus gives us the model to follow,” Bishop Malooly said. While following Christ is not an easy task, “the Annual Catholic Appeal offers us the opportunity to reach out to our community to people in need of help.”
Thanks to the support of donors to the appeal, the bishop added, the Diocese of Wilmington “provides thousands of meals each year to the hungry; shelter to the homeless; care to the aged, the handicapped, the addicted, and the emotionally afflicted. It sponsors wholesome activities for our youth, prepares couples for marriage, welcomes the newly arrived on our shores, promotes protection of the unborn and human rights and enables ordained deacons to assist the priest in their service to God’s people.”
Last year, with help from the appeal, Catholic Charities assisted 33 moms, babies and toddlers at Bayard House. In behavioral health, addiction recovery and domestic violence programs 511 clients were helped. Catholic Charities also aided 16,500 people through its basic needs program, while Casa San Francisco in Milton operated the largest food assistance program in 12 area sites throughout Sussex County.
Seton Center, another ministry helped by the appeal assisted more than 1,280 people in Princess Anne County, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Programs supported by the appeal are concentrated in five areas: Catholic education, high schools, pastoral services, Catholic Charities, administration and communications. Every year more than 100,000 people benefit from Diocese of Wilmington programs helped by the Annual Catholic Appeal.
Commitment Weekend for the appeal will be at Masses on April 6-7. In-pew solicitations will be conducted at each parish on those days at which time, parishioners will be invited to support the campaign by pledging a reasonable financial commitment conducive to their household budget.
Deborah Fols, director of the diocesan Development Office that oversees the appeal campaign, said the average gift in 2018 was $350.06, up from the previous year’s $333.79 average. Also, more than 6,000 of 15,217 contributors budgeted their gifts over several months allowing many to increase their gift amounts.
Circle of Honor leadership gifts, of $500 or more, represented 68.4 percent of the dollars pledged to the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal, Fols added. “Although leadership gifts are important, every gift, regardless of size, is critical to the success of this campaign.”
Contributions to the appeal can be in the form of a one-time donation or a pledge payable over a period of months. Payments can be provided by check, credit card, PayPal, online electronic bill pay, or with gifts of securities that can be donated at full market value as a tax-deductible gift; as well as through corporate matching gift programs.
Additional information about the Annual Catholic Appeal and the ministries supported can be found on the diocesan website at www.cdow.org/annualcatholicappeal.