Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Aug
  • 18

Partners in Charity exceeds $5 million goal

Posted By August 18, 2017 | 4:30 pm | Lead Story #1
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By William T. Clew | The Catholic Free Press


The annual Partners in Charity Appeal has exceeded its $5 million goal, according to Michael P. Gillespie, director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development. This is the second consecutive year that the appeal, which helps to support 28 diocesan ministries and agencies, has gone over the top. The appeal will continue to accept gifts and pledges through Aug. 31, the end of the fiscal year. The appeal had received $5,030,350 in gifts and pledges by Wednesday. There have been 17,031 gifts. The average gift this year is $295. So far, 54 of the 96 parishes and three missions have reached or exceeded their goals, Mr. Gillespie said. Last year, at the end of the drive, the Appeal received $5,044,850 in gifts and pledges, 18,014 gifts with an average gift of $280, and 53 parishes reached or exceeded their goals. There were 48 donors in the Holy Family Circle this year, he said. They gave $7,500 or more, for a total of $630,454. There were 68 members of the St. Paul Circle who gave $5,000 or more for a total of $310,925. He said 142 priests have given a total of $218,660. Of that number, 91 gave $1,000 or more. There have been 708 online gifts so far, totaling $346,568. “On behalf of the many thousands of people who are impacted by the agencies and ministries supported by Partners in Charity, allow me to express my sincere gratitude to all of you who responded to this year’s appeal,” Bishop McManus said. “Thanks to the generosity of the people of the Diocese of Worcester, and the leadership of our priests and parish chairpeople, we will be able to respond to those in need, inspired by the example of St. Teresa of Kolkata, the patron saint for this year’s appeal.” This year’s campaign theme, “Faith in Action is Love,” is taken from the words of St. Teresa of Kolkata, who was canonized last fall by Pope Francis. Reflecting on that theme, Bishop McManus said, “I thank God for the generous support of our parishioners who are helping us bring God’s love to those in need in Central Massachusetts.” Along with development office staff, members of this year’s Partners in Charity advisory board include: Mary Lou Anderson, dean emerita, Assumption College; Father James J. Caldarella, minister to priests; Diane Cetin, Partners coordinator, St. Joseph Parish, Charlton; Judy Curini, parishioner, Immaculate Conception Parish, Worcester; Father Juan Escudero, associate pastor, St. Mary, Shrewsbury; Msgr. Robert K. Johnson, rector, St. Paul Cathedral, Worcester; Deacon Steven Kohut, deacon at Our Lady of Czestochowa, Worcester; Kevin Kieler, parishioner, St. Luke the Evangelist Parish, Westborough; Father Jonathan J. Slavinskas, pastor, Our Lady of Providence, Worcester; and Father Mateus Souza, associate pastor, St. Mary of the Assumption, Milford. Mr. Gillespie said gifts continue to come in every day, especially from those parishes making a final push to reach their individual goals before Aug. 31. He thanked those who contributed to the fund drive this year. “Through your generous support we are able to serve thousands of families and individuals in the Worcester Diocese through outreach, formation, evangelization and worship,” he said. “We are particularly appreciative of the strong leadership of our pastors who support this critical appeal each year. Thank you also to the lay leaders who assist in coordinating it throughout our many parishes.” The 28 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’s Diocesan Cemetery System, Office of Stewardship and Development, Catholic Campus Ministry, Catholic Schools Department, Office of Religious Education, Ongoing Priestly Formation, New Evangelization Worcester for Youth and Young Adults, Catholic School Grant-in-Aid, Seminarian Education, Central Catholic Schools Subsidy, Advanced Studies for Clergy and Laity, Communications, African Ministry, Hispanic Ministry, Office of Marriage and Family, Minister to Priests, Office of the Diaconate, Respect Life Office, Cathedral of St. Paul, Vocations Office, Office for Divine Worship. For more information on the appeal, including a list of the results by parish, visit