With $4.77 million already committed, the 2006-07 Catholic Ministries Appeal has brought in 90 percent of its $5.3 million goal.
Dave Kelly, appeal coordinator, said the CMA is running approximately $400,000, or 8 percent, ahead of results at this point in last year’s campaign, and already has surpassed the final 2005-06 total of just less than $4.5 million. Kelly noted that the average CMA gift in 2006-07 has been $130, compared to $120 last year and $108 in 2004-05.
“Parishes have been working really hard to get the information, and the message about what the CMA does, out to their parishioners,” he said.
Kelly observed that donors are one year further removed from the Partners in Faith capital campaign conducted in 2003-04. Most pledges to that campaign, which raised more than $55 million, were to be fulfilled over three- to five-year terms. As donors pay off their commitments to that campaign, “they’re beginning to support the CMA at a higher level than if they were still paying a Partners in Faith pledge,” he said.
The current CMA campaign runs through May 31. Despite its success thus far, “we’re hopeful that those who have not yet contributed will find it in their hearts to give,” Kelly said. He added that officials are still striving to secure commitments from past donors who have not yet contributed for 2006-07.
“We’re doing great things. This is going to be one of best annual appeals ever in terms of results, (but) for us, the bottom line is that we’re not at our goal yet,” he remarked.
Formerly known as the Thanks Giving Appeal, the CMA raises funds for parishes, schools and numerous ministries throughout the 12-county Diocese of Rochester. Established by Bishop Matthew H. Clark, the appeal is now in its 26th year. This year’s campaign theme is “A Time to Share, For Generations to Come.”
“It never ceases to amaze me how generous Catholics in our diocese are, whether it is responding to emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina or the tsunami tragedy or helping the church, through the annual appeal, sustain crucial ministries that bring the light of Christ to people of all walks of life,” said Doug Mandelaro, director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship, Development and Communications.
CMA funds numerous departments, programs, services and ministries for nearly 200 parishes and faith communities in the diocese’s 12 counties.
“It really supplies about half of our operational budget,” Bishop Clark noted last fall during the campaign’s kickoff.
According to CMA officials, last year’s appeal proceeds were used for the benefit of 31,556 children in parish religious-education programs; 6,767 students at diocesan Catholic schools; 250,000 needy people aided by Catholic Charities offices; 1,419 people in marriage-preparation programs; 1,725 youths attending retreats, rallies, workshops and conventions; six men ordained to the permanent and transitional diaconates; 815 high-school seniors receiving Hands of Christ service awards; 486 couples celebrating 25-plus years of marriage at the annual jubilee Mass; and 557 people from 89 parishes who were welcomed into the church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
To donate to the Catholic Ministries Appeal, contact any parish or visit www.dor.org. Questions can be addressed by calling 585/328-3210.