Bishop McManus took note of economic challenges faced by parishioners and asked pastors to join him in prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude for the sacrifices made by those who gave to the annual Partners in Charity Appeal this year.
The Appeal, which ended Aug. 31, received gifts and pledges totaling $4,835,997, according to Michael P. Gillespie, director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development. That is $111,645 more that was collected in last year’s Appeal, but short of the goal of $5 million. Sixty-six of the diocese’s 104 parishes and three missions reached or exceeded their goals, Mr. Gillespie, reported.
“The challenges of this economy are felt in every corner of our diocese by our parishioners,” Bishop McManus said. “I ask our pastors to join me in a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude for the many sacrifices our donors have made and continue to make in order to support the ongoing charitable,educational and pastoral works which rely on this annual appeal.
“Although the needs which we must face in these agencies and ministries will continue to be great, with God’s help I am confident that the Catholic Church will bring hope to those who turn to our diocesan programs over the coming year,” the bishop said.
Mr. Gillespie reported that there were 20,509 donors, 1,306 of them new. The average gift was $235.
The 133 members, including 33 new members, of the St. Paul Society, who pledge $5,000 or more, contributed $828,330 to this year’s Appeal.
Mr. Gillespie thanked the people of the diocese and the pastors who direct the parish appeals.
“Thank you for answering the call to share your blessings with so many of our brothers and sisters in need. We thank our parish priests and parish staffs for their willingness to add to their already heavy workloads. They worked diligently throughout the campaign to keep the Appeal alive in their parishes, Finally, thank you to our newly appointed advisory committees, whose insights will help us improve our processes for future campaigns,’ he said.
He also thanked the diocesan chair couple, Fred and Patty Eppinger, “who helped us communicate the need for this appeal so effectively throughout Central Massachusetts.”