For The Dialog
Bishop Malooly notes generosity of those who have supported ministries in past years
Bishop Malooly has set a goal of $4,681,500 for the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal, which helps support more than 35 offices and ministries that provide aid to those in need, education, and emotional and spiritual support to people in Delaware and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
The target represents a 3.5 percent increase from the goal of the 2017 campaign. The Annual Catholic Appeal is one of two primary funding sources for the diocese; the other is an assessment of Offertory collections.
“Disciples of Christ, Witnesses of Faith,” is the Appeal theme.
“This year’s theme comes from the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus,” Bishop Malooly said. “The Gospel for the Appeal weekend — the third Sunday of Easter — is Luke 24:35-48. When the two disciples returned to Jerusalem, we hear that they ‘recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.’ They were ‘Disciples of Christ’ and became ‘Witnesses of Faith’.”
“Our celebration of the Eucharist helps us to be better disciples and witnesses.”
He noted the generosity of Catholics who have consistently exceeded the Annual Catholic Appeal’s goals over the years. “Your generosity helps so many of our ministries make Christ present, especially to those in need. It also helps us to educate our youth in the faith to prepare them to be disciples and witnesses.”
Funds raised by the Annual Catholic Appeal help diocesan offices and ministries put the corporal and spiritual works of mercy into action. The money helps support parishes in their spiritual ministry, such as training of lectors and Eucharistic ministers for Mass; Catholic schools and parish-based religious education programs; initial and continuing spiritual formation of deacons, and ministry to youth and young adults. It also supports pro-life ministry; ministry to Hispanic and to Black Catholics, and Catholic Charities programs that provide food and clothing to those in need and help people through unexpected hardships and day-to-day challenges.
While the goal is higher than last year’s, it is 7 percent less than the record $5,037,231 collected on pledges of $5,173,756 last year.
“This year’s goal is noticeably less that what was raised last year, but it reflects the base amount the diocese needs to support our offices and ministries,” said Deborah Fols, director of development. Her office oversees the annual campaign.
She noted that 52 of the 56 parishes exceeded their goals last year and received rebates totaling $421,675 – 80 percent of the $529,248 collected. The money returned to parishes can help offset the cost of capital needs as well as support parish ministry and sacramental life.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the diocese’s founding. “Giving to the Appeal is one way to thank God for those who preceded today’s Catholics as ‘Disciples of Christ, Witnesses of Faith’ on the Delmarva Peninsula,” Fols said.
Additional information about the Annual Catholic Appeal and the ministries supported can be found on the diocesan website at www.cdow.org/annualcatholicappeal