By Alex Previtera, Special to The Catholic Virginian
With the support of 15,007 donors across the Diocese, the 2017 Annual Diocesan Appeal has now raised $3,343,038, exceeding its initial goal of $2,671,471. As of April 27th, 94 parishes out of 145 have exceeded their 2017 targets with many more closing in fast.
Although the campaign has exceeded the overall goal, the Appeal is still gaining a strong response from parishioners. In fact, the list of parishes that have exceeded their targets continues to increase daily. During the week of May 1, letters on behalf of the pastors will be sent to any previous Appeal contributors who have not yet given to the 2017 effort. In addition, a significant number of parishes are continuing to promote the Appeal at Mass and the Diocese has several follow-up activities planned to ensure that everyone is given the opportunity to participate.
The Appeal addresses the increased needs of 19 different ministries and programs such as providing for the health insurance for our retired priests and those who require long-term care, fully covering the costs of room, board and tuition assistance for our seminarians and providing Fuel and Hunger Fund grants to parishes and Catholic organizations so they can offer emergency food, heating, rent and shelter assistance to those in need.
In addition, parishes will receive a portion of the pledges made from their parish through the parish sharing formula. For many parishes, this Appeal has provided added support to parish programs, funding for needed renovations and additional budget money to be used wherever the need is greatest.
Making a gift is easy and convenient. For more information on the ministries the Appeal supports or to find out how you can contribute to the Appeal, please visit: http://richmondcatholicfoundation.org/giving/annual-appeal/.
(Alex Previtera, CFRE is the Director of Development for the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond)