Bishop Clark launches 2008-09 Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA)
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Calling on Catholics to help bolster the Church’s ministries and ensure a strong Diocese for future generations, Bishop Matthew Clark today officially launched the 2008-09 Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA).
The CMA funds ministries for more than 350,000 Catholics in 12 counties. The campaign goal is $5.39 million. Every pledge received is used directly and indirectly to fund ministries affecting every Catholic and faith community in the diocese, such as:
• Welcoming new Catholics through special education programs (RCIA)
• Providing faith formation programs for youth
• Giving support to families, the elderly and the sick
• Assisting Catholic Charities and Catholic Education
• Reaching out to the poor, the homeless, the hungry
• Encouraging religious vocations
• Honoring marriage and preparing engaged couples
• Spreading the Gospel through communications media
• Teaming with other dioceses in the USA, supporting the Vatican
• Providing parishes with needed services and support
“On the 140th anniversary of our diocese’s founding, I am delighted at what we have accomplished together and envision a future full of hope,” Bishop Clark said in addressing Catholics in the diocese. “Your generous support of the Catholic Ministries Appeal fills me with confidence that many wonderful things will continue to happen in the Diocese of Rochester.”
He acknowledged tough economic times, but added that Catholics always have found a way to help the Church. “This is a mission everyone can and should support. The CMA is about taking care of one another–family, neighbors and those in need. It is about passing on the faith and spreading the Good News to others so that they, too, can receive the Light of Christ,” It is about ensuring that the Kingdom of God increases through our own good stewardship. It truly is about “Our Faith, Our Future.'”
Last year’s CMA returned the best response in its nearly 30-year history and for the first time broke the $5 million mark in pledges. In fact, the CMA has grown each year for the past four years. More than 37,000 gifts were received in the last campaign, with the average gift increasing from the previous year to $137.
Brochures and pledge cards are being distributed to the approximately 120,000 Catholic households in the diocese, and personal appeals will be made at the parish level over the course of the next several weeks. The CMA will conclude on May 31, 2009.
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