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Breaking records and building faith: 2023 annual Catholic appeal tops $5 million in Diocese of Wilmington

Bishop Koenig greets members of the Catholic appeal "Circle of Honor" after a prayer service at St. Ann's in Wilmington in February 2023. Dialog photo/Don Blake

Office of Development

The 2023 Faith and Charity Catholic Appeal illuminated hearts with the “Shining the Light of Christ” theme and shattered records, casting a radiant glow on the incredible success that unfolded.

In the spirit of gratitude and celebration, we are thrilled to share that, once again, the Faith and Charity Catholic Appeal has surpassed the fundraising goal of $5 million. This achievement is a testament to parishioners’ generosity and commitment and pastors’ leadership, echoing the support that defines our community.

The 2023 Shining the Light of Christ campaign raised $5,695,169 from 13,157 donors. This fundraising success resulted in more than $613,300 returned in rebates to fulfill needs of local parishes. This year, participation rose by 604 donors and contributions increased by $218,385.

The appeal’s success enables the diocese to assist parishes and focus diocesanwide on our priorities. Catholic Charities and Catholic education are among the significant areas our Faith and Charity Catholic Appeal drives.

Faith formation through the ministries of Catholic education promote programming for youth and young adults. By engaging our young people in the faith, we are strengthening their faith, and providing opportunities for them to be a part of the community through lifelong faith formation programming.

In addition, we are supporting and broadening the reach of the vital work of Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities assisted more than 83,000 people through their food bank, homeless initiatives, support of unwed mothers and young families, behavioral health assistance, utility assistance programs and so much more. This is what our donations trigger. And as needs continue to grow, we can step up and serve because of the appeal’s success and parish participation.

We extend our deepest thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the 2023 appeal. Your generosity has exceeded our expectations and reaffirmed the spirit of unity and compassion that thrives within our diocese.

Fundraising as a ministry: Nurturing our spiritual connection

Fundraising, often viewed as a means to an end, is truly a ministry of our church, a sacred undertaking that aligns with our shared mission. Through fundraising, we create opportunities to deepen our spiritual connection and manifest the teachings of stewardship.

Stewardship is a call to recognize our gifts, share them generously, and actively participate in the flourishing of our community. This year, we have seen a commendable increase in participation, indicating that more members of our diocese are embracing the call to stewardship. This growth is not merely numerical; it signifies a collective commitment to our shared faith.

As we revel in the success of the 2023 appeal, let’s keep the momentum alive. The invitation to participate is an ongoing call, an opportunity to intricately weave our faith and charity into the very essence of our community.

Looking forward: A diocese united in Faith and Charity

The 2023 appeal has proven we can achieve extraordinary feats by Shining the Light of Christ. Let this success be a source of inspiration as we continue together, guided by the principles of stewardship, participation and a shared commitment to the ministry of fundraising.

We extend our heartfelt thanks in the spirit of gratitude and with enthusiasm for the future. May our collective efforts in the ministry of fundraising strengthen the faith that binds us and propels us forward.