Opportunities for Catholics of all ages are supported by the Catholic Ministries Appeal, which is beginning its 37th year.
The appeal, which is coming off another record-high showing, is currently being launched in parishes around the 12-county Diocese of Rochester. With a theme of “Glorifying the Lord By Our Lives,” letters announcing the kickoff were mailed in mid-September to the homes of more than 100,000 registered parishioners. A promotional video also will be shown in diocesan parishes and can be viewed along with other CMA-related information at www.dor.org/index.cfm/stewardship/annual-appeal.
According to David Kelly, CMA manager, the 2017-18 campaign has a goal of $6.55 million. Last year’s appeal brought in a record total of $6,231,250, achieving 98.13 percent of its $6.35 million goal and surpassing the previous-high figure from 2015-16 by nearly $200,000.
“Parishes are putting forth such a tremendous effort on their campaigns. We’re starting to see more parishes make their goal,” Kelly said, noting that approximately 60 diocesan parishes — the highest number ever — met or surpassed their CMA goals for 2016-17.
“We remain grateful to all those families that generously contribute each year,” Kelly added. “Their continued support provides essential operating income for programs that provide direct services to our parishes and thousands of people throughout the diocese.”
The 2017-18 CMA will run through May 31, 2018. Its proceeds provide funding for more than half of the diocesan budget.
Among the many beneficiaries of CMA monies are initiatives for diocesan young adults. For instance, Theology on Tap discussion nights — presented in Rochester taverns 16 times per year — often draw as many as 50 participants, according to Linda Mehlenbacher, diocesan director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. In addition, Mehlenbacher’s office recently launched two fresh offerings for young adults: Discovering Christ, a seven-week program to help people deepen their faith and pass it along to others; and holy hours combined with food and fellowship.
Along with support for young-adult ministries, the list of fully and partially CMA-funded programs, services and ministries includes faith formation for children and adults; Catholic schools; sacramental preparation; youth and campus ministries; diocesan Catholic Charities and its 10 regional offices and agencies; information technology; chaplaincies; social-ministry initiatives; support of priests, deacons, pastoral leaders and vocations, including formation and education through St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry; parish support ministries; ministries of Pope Francis, the United States bishops and Rochester Bishop Salvatore R. Matano; and diocesan Pastoral Center operations and services.
Contributions to the CMA can be made by mail using parish-provided envelopes, or online at www.dor.org/index.cfm/stewardship/give-online. Checks (made payable to the Catholic Ministries Appeal), credit cards, electronic-fund transfers and appreciated securities are all accepted. Pledges are tax deductible. For further information, contact Kelly at 585-328-3210, ext. 1326, or firstname.lastname@example.org.