Despite fundraising challenges stemming from the clergy sex-abuse crisis, the 38th-annual Catholic Ministries Appeal finished with the second-highest total in campaign history.
The 2018-19 appeal, which began this past fall, ended on May 31. According to Colleen Brade, campaign coordinator, commitments as of May 30 totaled $6.292 million — 93.6 percent of the $6.725 million goal. This amount is the result of contributions from 24,439 donors. Brade noted that 42 parishes in the 12-county Diocese of Rochester reached their set goal, and another 21 parishes raised 90 to 99 percent.
“We are so grateful for the generous donors who support the CMA, despite some of the challenges the church is facing. It speaks of people’s commitment to their diocesan parishes and the people in need,” Brade said.
The appeal, featuring a theme of “Sharing Our Blessings,” finished nearly $150,000 and more than 2,000 donors behind the 2017-18 CMA campaign, which generated $6.44 million from more than 26,600 donors. Although this marks the first time in 11 years that a new record CMA amount has not been set, Brade spoke positively of the campaign’s results in spite of the abuse crisis — an issue addressed by Bishop Salvatore R. Matano in his introduction to the 2018-19 CMA promotional video.
“All things considered, I think that’s phenomenal,” Brade said of the amount raised.
CMA campaign proceeds provide funding for more than half of the diocesan budget. Contributions fully or partially support a number of programs, services and ministries around the diocese.