The annual Partners in Charity Appeal has received 4,735 gifts and pledges totaling $1,515,939 since the beginning of Lent, or 31 percent of this year’s $5 million goal, according to Michael P. Gillespie, diocesan director of Stewardship and Development.
So far, 36 of the 97 parishes and three missions in the Worcester Diocese have conducted their initial public appeal, also known as in-pew Sunday. Another 15 parishes are scheduled to conduct their in-pew collections in the next two weeks.
The theme for this year’s campaign is “Called to be Merciful.”
“Our theme is resonating with our parishioners in this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy,” Bishop McManus said. “I thank God for the generosity of our people and am grateful that they continue to participate in our diocesan-wide efforts to support pastoral, educational and charitable services made possible by this annual appeal.”
Mr. Gillespie said that this year he is seeing a continued increase in the use of online donations. He said that his office has worked on making it easier to participate through a redesigned website since it’s the means that more people use today to donate and handle financial transactions.
“We continue to find ways to make it as convenient and flexible as possible for our donors,” he added. Donors can identify their parish affiliation so that their donation is counted toward that parish’s individual goal.
He said he also is noticing an increase in donors choosing to enroll in various giving “societies,” many of which are named after saints such as recently canonized St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II. One of the newer societies invokes the guidance of St. John Vianney in recognizing any priests who have made a contribution of $1,000 or more. The society honor rolls are publicly acknowledged after the appeal has concluded in a published appeal report which is available online at partners-charity.net.
The 30 agencies and ministries which receive funding from the appeal are:
Clergy Retirement, Retired Priests Health Ministry, Catholic Charities, Haitian Apostolate, McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys, Pernet Family Health Service, Seminarian Health Insurance, St. John Diocesan Cemetery System, Diocesan Development & Stewardship, Catholic Campus Ministry and the Catholic Schools Department.
Also the Office of Religious Education, Ongoing Priestly Formation, New Evangelization Worcester for Youth & Young Adults, Catholic School Grants-in-Aid, Seminarian Education, Central Catholic Schools Subsidy, Advanced Studies for Clergy and Laity, Communications Office, African Ministry, Hispanic Ministry, Office of Marriage and Family, Minister to Priests, Office of the Diaconate, Respect Life Office, Saint Paul Cathedral, Vocations Office, Office for Divine Worship.
In addition to a report detailing how last year’s appeal funds were distributed, the appeal website also features a short video hosted by Bishop McManus with interviews of people who have been impacted by this appeal. For more information, visit www.partners-charity.net or contact a local pastor or the Office of Development at 508-929-4368.