By Alex Previtera, CFRE

With the support of 18,273 donors across the Diocese, the 2017 Annual Diocesan Appeal has now raised $4,000,149, exceeding its initial goal of $2,671,471 and continuing the trend of raising over $4 million during the past few years. To date, 115 parishes out of 145 have exceeded their 2017 target with many more very close.

“In his Misericordiae Vultus (M.V. 10), Pope Francis expressed that ‘The time has come for the Church to take up the joyful call to mercy once more. It is time to return to the basics and to bear the weaknesses and struggles of our brothers and sisters,’” said Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo. “This year’s theme for the Annual Diocesan Appeal, Building Our Family of Faith, was one way that we as the Catholic faithful could respond to this call.”

At its heart, the Appeal is a profound commitment to ensuring that diocesan parishes and the larger Catholic Church have the necessary resources to significantly build ministries and programs. When resources are properly met, the Church becomes stronger on several levels. On a larger level, the Appeal is helping to ensure that educational costs for seminarians are fully covered, health insurance and pensions are provided to retired priests who have devoted their lives in service to the Church and necessary resources are given to those in need.

Just as important as the larger ministries, the 145 parishes within the Diocese gain funding for important local priorities such as expanding ministries, reducing debt and building funds for capital improvements. On July 25, the Diocese sent the first round of funding to parishes totaling nearly $730,000. As more gifts and payments on existing pledges are received, the Diocese will be sending another round of checks in October, January and April.

“I am sincerely grateful for the leadership of our pastors and Appeal volunteers as well as our parish and diocesan staff members in helping us attain another successful year for our Annual Diocesan Appeal,” said Bishop DiLorenzo. “In addition, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the many parishioners across our Diocese who have prayerfully answered our request for support. I am always amazed by what we can accomplish when we work together as one unified Catholic Church.”

For more information on the ministries the Appeal supports (such as Retired Priests, Fuel and Hunger Fund and Seminarian Education) or to find out how you can contribute to the Annual Diocesan Appeal, please contact us at (804) 622-5127 or visit http://richmondcatholicfoundation.org/giving/annual-appeal/.

– Alex Previtera, CFRE is the Director of Development and Operations for the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond.