2007-08 Catholic Ministries Appeal sets new record

First time exceeding $5M; fourth straight year of growth

The Diocese of Rochester announced today that more than 37,000 Roman Catholic households pledged more than $5 million to the 2007/2008 Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) – an all-time record since the campaign began 27 years ago.

Approximately $5.1 million had been collected at the campaign’s official close on May 31 of the $5.2 million pledged; subsequent gifts will be credited to the 2008-09 annual appeal that begins this fall. Although the total fell just short of the campaign’s $5.3 million goal, there are many signs of continued growth:

  • The total is more than $300,000 over the amount raised last year and marks the first time in the appeal’s history that contributions have topped the $5 million mark.
  • This marks the fourth straight year that the campaign has seen a significant increase in the total amount of money raised.
  • In addition to a nearly 5 percent increase over last year’s final total, the average gift for this year’s campaign increased to $140, as compared to $132 last year.
  • The number of parishes that reached their assigned goal climbed to 42, with another 20 parishes bringing in more than 90% of their goal.

“This represents a wonderful outpouring of generosity from the people of our diocese,” said Bishop Matthew H. Clark. “Their gifts help us to respond to the needs of our local church, and allow the Church to reach out and help in many, many ways. With economic pressures affecting so many, especially the poor, the generosity is meeting real needs for ministry and outreach.”

“I want to offer my sincere thanks to all of those volunteers and pastoral leaders who worked so hard on this year’s campaign,” Bishop Clark added. “Your efforts have resulted in a record-breaking year for the CMA and will be felt in every corner of our diocese. I am very grateful to all.”

Contributions to the Appeal enable the diocese to provide critical support to parishes, including training and support for catechetical leaders, youth ministry opportunities, migrant ministry, grants to inner city parishes, pastoral planning, and education, among other ministries.

In addition, the CMA benefits Catholic Charities, which provides outreach to the poor and needy regardless of religious affiliation through regional offices located throughout the diocese. As well, the appeal delivers support to the diocesan Catholic Schools, by helping to fund administrative services for Catholic schools.