September 11, 2014
Diocese Receives $1.6 Million Bequest for Partners in Charity
Parishes end appeal at 96% of their $5 Million goal SEPTEMBER 11, 2014, WORCESTER, MA -- Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, announced today that the Diocese of Worcester has received a bequest of $1.6 million from the Estate of Claire Berthiaume for Partners in Charity. Parish and diocesan efforts for the year which ended August 31, 2014 have raised $4,823,028 in the annual campaign to support the twenty-eight agencies, ministries and programs funded by Partners in Charity.
Claire Berthiaume lived in Shrewsbury for 30 years until her death in 2012 at the age of 86. For many years she was a teacher in the Northbridge schools system and school administrator for 20 years in the Framingham school system. She was a member of St. Anne Church in Shrewsbury and St. Mary Church in Uxbridge.
“My reaction is one of enormous gratitude” said Bishop McManus. “I am very grateful to Ms. Berthiaume for her generosity and desire to care for others by naming Partners in Charity in her will. Her bequest is a blessing for the thousands of people who benefit each year from our pastoral, educational and charitable programs.” $176,972 will be used to reach the $5 million needed for FY2015 and the balance will endow Partners in Charity in the future.
For the past few years, the Annual Partners in Charity Appeal has had a $5 million goal in order to provide a minimal level of service to those served by diocesan ministries and programs. “Thanks to Ms. Berthiaume’s bequest, we now have the opportunity to assure that we can address the urgent needs of the people these programs serve today and in the years to come,” Bishop McManus added.
So many of the programs supported by Partners in Charity have demands which outweigh the funding which can be provided, even when the appeal achieves its $5 million goal. Some examples include homeless prevention programs provided by Catholic Charities, Grant in Aid assistance for Catholic school students, and many programs which collaborate with parishes in their ordinary ministries. Many but not all of these programs rely on additional direct appeals in order to meet the growing needs. One pressing area of need is the care for 60 retired priests. Partners in Charity provides a significant amount of financial support for the care of the retired diocesan priests who have served in our local parishes. Yet, just as every household has experienced, the rising cost of healthcare, assisted living and nursing home care has resulted in a $1 million deficit for priests’ retirement care each of the past few years. A new fundraising effort is beginning this fall to help bridge the financial gap in the support of priests’ retirement care.
Bishop McManus also thanked the 19,226 donors from across the diocese who have supported the 2014 Partners in Charity Appeal. “The sacrificial giving of the Catholic community is a way for thousands of Catholics to be involved regularly in the good works throughout the diocese. Generous bequests are a most welcome and exceptional way to bolster and complement those efforts, but they can never replace the individual sacrificial giving in pledges or gifts that has provided assistance to tens of thousands of people through Partners and Charity and its predecessor, the Bishop’s Fund, for more than sixty years.”
To learn more about Partners in Charity, visit partners-charity.net. To learn more about how these funds and other donations to the Diocese of Worcester are used, visit worcesterdiocese.org/finance to view recent annual Diocesan Financial Reports.