The Partners in Charity Appeal kickoff event scheduled for tonight has been canceled.
The goal of the fund drive is $5 million, as it was last year. The theme for this Appeal is “Called to be Merciful.” Michael P. Gillespie, diocesan director of Stewardship and Development, said it fits perfectly with Pope Francis’ “call to all of us to mark this Jubilee Year of Mercy with our own acts of love and mercy.”
Parish goals for the 2016 Partners in Charity Appeal have been set using a new goal formula that will increase some goals and lower others, according to Mr. Gillespie.
“We are well aware of the ebb and flow of low Mass attendance in the Northeast,” Mr. Gillespie said. “Shifting demographics throughout our diocese has at times impacted our charity appeal, making it harder for some parishes to reach their respective goals. Our Partners in Charity Advisory Board, which is comprised of clergy and lay volunteers, has been working on a new appeal formula that is more equitable for all parishes.
“Parish goals for the 2016 appeal are calculated using the individual parish’s ordinary income, using a three-year rolling average. Taking the offertory income into account, the new goal formula places parish goals more in line with each parish’s financial situation.
“The parish ordinary income amounts are determined by the Diocesan Finance Office, based on the annual reports that the parishes submit each year,” he said.
Mr. Gillespie said the objective of using the new formula is “to provide more equity and balance for all parishes.” But just using the offertory income as a guide would mean that some parishes would see goal increases up to 80 percent from the previous year.
“Clearly, such a drastic change would not be advisable,” he said. “In order to make a gradual transition, we have determined that a parish goal will increase no more than 25 percent. If a decrease is recommended, a parish goal will decrease no more than 5 percent,” he said.
Even if all parishes reach their goals, he said, the Appeal will be short of the $5 million goal. So the development office will be responsible for raising the $120,000 difference.
“This Appeal formula for 2016 is, in fact, a trial; following the Appeal it may be necessary to review it. We will continue to make changes so it can be more equitable for all parishes,” Mr. Gillespie said.
The annual Partners in Charity Appeal helps to support charitable, educational and ministerial organizations in the diocese. The recipients follow:
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 Cemetery System, Diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development
Catholic Campus Ministry, Catholic Schools Office, Office of Religious Education, Ongoing Priestly Formation, Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Seminarian Education, Grants-in-Aid for Catholic School Students, 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, Cathedral of St. Paul, Vocations Office,
Office for Divine Worship, Wells Street House