Catholic Free Press

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  • Feb
  • 28

2014 Partners in Charity

Posted By February 28, 2014 | 6:46 pm | Lead Story #2

By William T. Clew

The annual Partners in Charity Appeal, which provides support for charitable, educational and ministerial organizations in the Worcester Diocese, is under way.
The theme of the 2014 fund drive “Our Faith in Action” asks us to put our faith in action by being sources of hope and light.
“There is nothing more profound that you can offer another person than hope in the face of despair and a light that shines forth in the gloom of darkness,” says Bishop McManus in the 2014 video for the diocesan appeal.
The goal for the fund-raising campaign again is $5 million. Parish goals have not been increased, according to Michael P. Gillespie, diocesan director of Stewardship and Development.
The 2013 campaign raised $4,868,683 in gifts and pledges, he said.  That was 97 percent of the $5 million goal and was $33,526 more than was raised in 2012.
Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II are this year’s campaign patrons.     The campaign literature contains a prayer card with sketches of the two popes, done by Father John J. Foley, pastor of St. Anne Parish, Shrewsbury. The two popes are scheduled to be canonized this spring. They have been called examples of hope and light because of their service to peace and spreading the Gospel.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to all pastors and administrators for the leadership that you so willingly provide for this important appeal,”  Mr. Gillespie said in a letter to the parishes. “Together, as we begin our 64th year as a diocese, your support is more vital than ever.
“The faithful throughout our diocese are being asked ‘to do as Jesus did;’ serve those most in need, help to spread the Gospel, care for our priests and encourage vocations, ensure vibrant parish communities and pass on the faith to future generations – all of which is achieved by supporting the annual appeal. As a community of believers, members of all parish communities throughout our diocese are asked to give to this important effort. It is important that everyone is given the opportunity to participate,” he said.
He said that there are four ways to donate or to pledge contributions. They are: a one-time gift, a pledge payable over eight to 10 months, an online gift (made at www.partners-charity.net) or a gift of securities.
He is asking parishes to conduct the traditional in-pew solicitations on the weekend of March 22 and 23. In his letter to pastors and administrators, Mr. Gillespie said that when setting up the campaign calendar, “we are cognizant of the fact that suggested dates may not work for all parishes. Thus, pastors are welcome to adapt this schedule so it best works for their individual parishes.”
Inserts for parish bulletins, one geared toward programs that help the youth of the diocese and one that enumerates what Partners does for active and retired priests, are suggested for use March 15 and 16 and March 22 and 23. Pledge cards also are being distributed for bulletin insertion.
Bishop McManus narrates this year’s Partners in Charity video that is available for parishes to show  to various groups. One pastor reported that he sets up the video during the coffee hour after Masses and there is always a welcome reception. One may also view the video on the Partners website, www.Partners-Charity.net.
Ministries that offer hope and light to the people in the Diocese and are financially supported by Partners in Charity include:
Charity: Catholic Charities, Clergy Retirement, Retired Priests Health Ministry, Haitian Apostolate, McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys, Pernet Family Health Services, Seminarian Health Insurance, St. John’s Cemetery System, Diocesan Development, Stewardship;
Education: Catholic Campus Ministry, Catholic Schools Office, Office of Religious Education, Ongoing Priestly Formation, NEW Youth & Young Adult Ministry, Seminarian Education, Grants-in-Aid for Catholic School Students, Central Catholic Schools Subsidy, Advanced Studies for Clergy and Laity, Communications Office;
Ministry: 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 for Divine Worship, Wells Street House.