Appeal has received $5,022,168 as of Aug. 31
September 1, 2016, WORCESTER, MA – “It has been a challenge for five years to reach a $5 million goal, but this year our fervent prayer was that we would make it,” said Michael Gillespie, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development, reflecting on this year’s Annual Partners in Charity Appeal. His office announced today that, as of the end of the day August 31, it has received 17,857 gifts and pledges totaling $5,022,168, thereby exceeding the $5 million goal. The campaign officially launched at an event at the Diocesan Chancery on February 11. The official total may take another week to determine given that some gifts are still in transit.
“Allow me to express my profound gratitude to God for the wonderful response to this year’s Partners in Charity Appeal,” commented Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester. “Thanks to the generous support of the people of the Diocese of Worcester, and the leadership of pastors and parish chairpeople, we achieved our $5 million goal for pastoral, educational and charitable ministries.”
In the end, 48 of the 97 parishes and 2 missions have met or exceeded their goal for this year and many more came close to goal. “That was fantastic to see,” noted Mr. Gillespie, “since this was the year we changed how we calculated the parish goals. Thanks to the work of the advisory board and with the Bishop’s support, we developed a more equitable formula which reflected each parish’s weekly offertory and took into account past campaign totals.”
Mr. Gillespie went on to share the reactions when parishes made their goals. “I remember one pastor who called needing another “Thank you” banner because he was so excited at how his parish raised more than ever. Pastors and parishioners who recognized the mission-critical nature of our ministries are the champions of this story.”
Along with Development Office staff, members of the Partners in Charity advisory board include Rev. Ernest P. Allega, pastor, St. Denis, East Douglas; Dr. Mary Lou Anderson, dean emerita, Assumption College; Rev. William E. Champlin, pastor, St. Leo Parish, Leominster; Rev. James J. Caldarella, Minister to Priests; Mrs. Diane Cetin, Partners coordinator, St. Joseph Parish, Charlton; Mrs. Judy Curini, Catholic Free Press; Mrs. Patricia Halpin, parishioner, Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, West Boylston; Msgr. Robert K. Johnson, rector, Cathedral of St. Paul, Worcester; Mr. Kevin Kieler, parishioner, St. Luke the Evangelist Parish, Westborough; Rev. Charles F. Monroe, pastor, Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Worcester; and Rev. Jonathan J. Slavinskas, administrator, Our Lady of Providence, Worcester.
Mr. Gillespie pointed out the increased role for the leadership giving among the various societies which range from annual commitments of $300 to $7,500 or more. “The growing commitment from donors who have joined societies and have increased their support contributed significantly to our being able to support ministries providing these works of mercy,” he added. All of the society honor rolls are publicly acknowledged after the appeal has concluded in a published appeal report. The 2015 report is available online at partners-charity.net.
“I am also impressed by the number of elderly and retired parishioners who see themselves as partners in the work of the Catholic Church,” added Mr. Gillespie. “It shows how this appeal relies on many groups of donors, from leadership gifts to retirees and everyone in between.”
This year’s campaign theme “Called to be Merciful,” echoed the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that is taking place in the Catholic Church around the globe. Reflecting on that theme, Bishop McManus had one more message to those who supported the appeal. “Thank you and may God bless each of our donors as, together, we offer the face of God’s mercy to our brothers and sisters in need.”
The goal has been $5 million since the 2011 campaign, which raised $4,724,352. During the 2012 appeal it raised $4,835,997. In 2013 the appeal ended with $4,868,683. In 2014, the campaign raised $4,823,028 and announced the receipt of a bequest for $1.6 million. In 2015 it raised $4,881,859.
The twenty-eight 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 Services, Seminarian Health Insurance, St. John’s Diocesan Cemetery System, Diocesan Development & Stewardship, Catholic Campus Ministry, Catholic Schools Department, The Office of Religious Education, Ongoing Priestly Formation, New Evangelization Worcester for Youth & Young Adults, Catholic School Grants-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