Annual appeal raises record amount - Catholic Courier

Annual appeal raises record amount

The Diocese of Rochester’s 2007-08 Catholic Ministries Appeal was a resounding success, raising a record amount for diocesan ministries, officials announced in mid-June.

Parishioners pledged $5.2 million to the annual appeal, and approximately $5.1 million had been collected by the official close of the campaign on May 31, according to Dave Kelly, CMA coordinator and associate director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Communications. Although the 2007-08 appeal didn’t meet its goal of $5.3 million, it exceeded the amount raised during the 2006-07 appeal by more than $300,000 and broke the $5 million mark for the first time in the campaign’s 27-year history, Kelly said.

“We are thrilled that so many generous people chose to support this year’s Catholic Ministries Appeal,” he said. “Their gifts will help the diocese and hundreds of parishes minister to people in need across our 12 counties.”

Forty-two of the 132 parishes participating in the appeal met or exceeded their assigned goals, and another 20 parishes successfully brought in more than 90 percent of their goals. Parishes that do not meet their individual campaign goals make up the difference from parish funds.

This is the fourth year in a row that the campaign has raised a significantly higher amount than in the previous year, Kelly added. Individual donation ranged from $5 to $20,000 during both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns, but the average donation size for the 2007-08 appeal was $140, up from $132 in the 2006-07 appeal, Kelly said.

“This represents a wonderful outpouring of generosity from the people of our diocese,” Bishop Matthew H. Clark said in a statement. “Their gifts help us to respond to the needs of our local church, and allow the church to reach out and help in many, many ways. With economic pressures affecting so many, especially the poor, the generosity is meeting real needs for ministry and outreach.”

CMA funds about half of the diocese’s $10.7 million annual operating budget, according to information provided by the Office of Stewardship and Communications. Proceeds are used to fund a wide variety of diocesan ministries, programs and support services offered to parishes and faith communities in the diocese’s 12-county area.

Among the funded ministries are:

* Faith formation, including sacramental-preparation programs, adult education, campus ministry, Catholic Youth Organization sports, and youth and young-adult ministry programs.

* Support for Catholic schools.

* Support for the various Catholic Charities agencies operating within the diocese.

* Parish-support programs, including urban, rural, liturgical, multicultural and jail-ministry programs.

* Human resources staff and programming.

* Support for St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Pittsford.

* Bishop’s ministries.

* The Office of Pastoral Planning.

* Diocesanwide administrative and support services in the areas of finance, stewardship, information technology and hospital chaplaincy.

* Pastoral Center operations and services

“I want to offer my sincere thanks to all of those volunteers and pastoral leaders who worked so hard on this year’s campaign. Your efforts have resulted in a record-breaking year for the CMA and will be felt in every corner of our diocese. I am very grateful to all,” Bishop Clark said.

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