March 12, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ray Delisle
Annual Diocesan Appeal Off to a Strong Start Appeal surpasses $1.2 Million after initial requests
March 12, 2015, WORCESTER, MA – The Office of Development of the Diocese of Worcester has announced that, since the beginning of Lent, it has received 3,127 gifts and pledges totaling $1,255,602 toward this year’s Annual Partners in Charity Appeal. Roughly half of the 101 parishes in the diocese began their public appeal last weekend and will continue to conduct their in-pew appeals over the next two weekends. The total raised to date represents 25 percent of the $5 million goal. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Our Faith in Action: United as the family of God.”
“This response during Lent demonstrates the support local Catholics have regarding the mission of the Catholic Church in Central Massachusetts,” said Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester. “I thank God for the generosity of our people and am grateful that they continue to participate in our diocesan-wide efforts to support pastoral, educational and charitable services made possible by this annual appeal.”
Michael Gillespie, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development, noted that this year he is seeing a continued increase in the use of online donations. He said that office has worked on making it easier to participate through the web since it’s the means that more people use today to donate and handle financial transactions. “Our goal this year was to make it as convenient and flexible as possible for our donors,” he added. Donors can identify their parish affiliation so that their donation is counted toward that parish’s individual goal.
Mr. Gillespie also is noticing more donors choosing to enroll in various giving “societies,” many of which are named after saints including recently canonized St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II. One new society, named the Holy Family Society in recognition of this year’s focus on the family, has been introduced for donations of $7,500 or greater. Another new society, invoking the guidance of St. John Vianney, recognizes any priests who have made a contribution of $1,000 or more. The society honor rolls are publicly acknowledged after the appeal has concluded in a published appeal report.
The website offers information about what is supported by the appeal and a short video featuring Bishop McManus and people who have been impacted by this appeal. For more information, visit www.partner-charity.net or contact a local pastor or the Office of Development at 508-929-4368.
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