“The theme of this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal, Seeing Christ in the Faces of Others, emphasizes our Christian mission to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves”, Bishop Malooly said.
“Pope Francis,” the Bishop added, “reminds us of the Gospel call when he states, ‘the poor save us because they enable us to encounter the face of Christ.’”
Catholics in Delaware and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland who contribute to the appeal will help more than 30 ministries of the Diocese that include food aid, basic needs help, Catholic schools, addiction recovery and pro-life activities to name a few.
This year’s appeal goal “is 2 percent higher than last year’s target of $4,775,000,” said Deborah Fols, director of the diocesan development office. The 2019 campaign, she noted, generated pledges of $5,125,809, with $5,009,463 collected.
On Feb. 4, diocesan deans met to set individual parish goals for the 2020 appeal. The amounts were determined by consideration of each parish’s appeal performance over the last several years, along with information that might impact a parish’s ability to contribute this year.
Also, Bishop Malooly began hosting regional meetings with Circle of Honor members, people who contributed $500 or more to the previous appeal. Last year, 2,691 Circle of Honor members, nearly 17 percent of the 14,305 appeal participants contributed 60.2 percent of the campaign’s pledges.
On “Commitment Weekend,” April 25-26, parishioners in the pews will be asked to pledge to the 2020 campaign.
Priests, in addition to parishioners, also support the campaign. Last year 49 clergymen donated $75,103.
In his 2020 appeal message, Bishop Malooly praised the unstinting support of Catholics to the annual campaign, noting that their donations have surpassed $5 million in recent consecutive years. That history of generosity to the appeal, the Bishop said, helps “sustain our vision of seeing Christ in the faces of the blessed poor and also helps them see the Lord’s face and discover God’s kingdom in your generous kindness.”
In addition to providing thousands of meals for the hungry and shelter services for the homeless, gifts to the Annual Catholic Appeal enable the diocese to offer care for the elderly and infirmed, mental health counseling for the emotionally vulnerable, religious instruction for children and adults, activities for youth, addiction counseling, services for migrants and immigrants, marriage preparation, chaplains for hospitals, deacons’ ministry in parishes, pro-life activities and aid for expectant mothers.
Contributions to the appeal can be made in the form of a pledge payable over a period of months or a one-time donation. Payment can be provided by check, credit card, PayPal, electronic bill pay, gifts of securities, IRA’s as well as through corporate matching programs.
Additional information about the Annual Catholic Appeal and the ministries supported can be found on the diocesan website at www.cdow.org/annualcatholicappeal.