Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Apr
  • 12

Partners reaches half-way point

Posted By April 12, 2012 | 1:24 pm | Lead Story #3
Just three weeks into the annual Partners in Charity Appeal, the fund drive already is slightly more than half way to its $5 million goal. As of noon Wednesday, the Appeal had raised $2,703,440 in gifts and pledges, or 54 percent of the goal, according to Michael P. Gillespie, director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development. “I am very grateful for the generosity of the people of the diocese who are donating at an unparalleled level this year in the early going of our campaign. The priests know their people best, and they have first-hand understanding of the resources that every parish can draw from,” Bishop McManus said.

Just three weeks into the annual Partners in Charity Appeal, the fund drive already is slightly more than half way to its $5 million goal.
As of noon Wednesday, the Appeal had raised $2,703,440 in gifts and pledges, or 54 percent of the goal, according to Michael P. Gillespie, director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development.
“I am very grateful for the generosity of the people of the diocese who are donating at an unparalleled level this year in the early going of our campaign. The priests know their people best, and they have first-hand understanding of the resources that every parish can draw from,” Bishop McManus said.
Two more parishes have exceeded their goals. They are St. Joseph in Charlton, which has a goal of $55,000 and has raised $72,009, and Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hopedale, which has a goal of $45,435 and has raised $59,302.
“For me the appeal is very personal. I am able to tell parishioners that I’m a priest because of the financial support and generosity of the Diocese of Worcester,” said Father Nicholas Desimone, associate pastor at St. Joseph who was ordained by Bishop McManus in June 2010.
“I’m also a donor.  It’s important for me to join parishioners in making this sacrifice. So many of our parishioners don’t have much to give, but they know that even small gifts add up and are important to the campaign.”
Father Desimone said he thinks it’s also important for parishioners to see the larger picture. “The Catholic Church isn’t just local, it’s global. In asking for our support, the Appeal broadens our outlook to the diocese and beyond.”
Mr. Gillespie said gifts and pledges to the fund drive are ahead of where they were at the same time last year. This year’s goal can be reached and even exceeded, he said, “if every parish meets its goal and those who exceeded their goals in 2011 reach the same level of giving this year. Scores of parishioners are making direct gifts each day, using the donation envelopes provided at the parish, and by visiting the campaign web site www.Partners-Charity.net and making a quick, safe and secure gift/pledge online. In fact we have received close to $150,000 with online gifts so far.
“We’re very grateful to all pastors and parish teams for their leadership, teaching and example in bringing the message of the appeal to their parishioners. Our parish chair people/secretaries have done an outstanding job in sending in completed parish reports to the development office.”  he said.
The recession has hurt families on every economic level, he said, and  even if people can’t give what they did in the past, it’s important that they continue to participate.
“People need to know that whatever they are able to give,  is needed and appreciated. Even giving a small amount makes a difference,” he said. “I receive countless emails and calls from many donors and pastors who are proud of the works of the diocese and eager to see the appeal succeed.”
He said that “the “Open Wide the Doors to Christ” online stories on the appeal’s website, those shared at the parish by pastors, and weekly in The Catholic Free Press are making people more aware of the scope and compassion of the many programs and services funded by the diocese.
“These ministries serve people who have nowhere else to turn for help, and we should be very proud of that. Our donors are compassionate people who care about the poor and believe in the Gospel values that motivate our outreach.”
The annual Partners in Charity Appeal  helps to support charitable, educational and ministerial organizations in the diocese. They include:
Charity:     Catholic Charities, Clergy Retirement, Retired Priests Health Ministry, Haitian Apostolate, McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys, Pernet Family Health Service, Seminarian Health Insurance, St. John’s Diocesan Cemetery System, Diocesan Development, Stewardship.
Education: Catholic Campus Ministry, Catholic Schools Department, The Office of Religious Education, Ongoing Priestly Formation, Diocesan Youth Ministry, Grants-in-Aid for Catholic School Students, Seminarian Education, Central Catholic Schools Subsidy, Advanced Studies for Clergy and Laity.
Ministry: African Ministry, Hispanic Ministry, Office of Marriage and Family, Ministry to Priests, Office of the Diaconate, Respect Life Office, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Vocations Office, Office for Divine Worship.