.- The Archdiocese of Boston has launched its 2010 Catholic Appeal, with recent figures indicating significant financial recovery since Cardinal Seán O'Malley took over the leadership of the archdiocese in 2003.
“The Archdiocese is blessed by the continued generosity of our parishioners and friends,” Cardinal Seán O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, commented. “In a particular way the priests, deacons, religious and lay members of our parishes are able to build up communities of faith and service because of the contributions in support of the Annual Appeal.”
Monetary contributions to the Catholic Appeal have increased nearly 75 percent, $6.3 million, since 2002. That year, reports about the archdiocese’s treatment of priests accused of sexual abuse sparked great controversy that led to the resignation of the cardinal’s predecessor, Cardinal Bernard Law.
Since Cardinal O’Malley’s 2003 installation, monetary contributions to the Catholic Appeal have increased by 44 percent.
Cardinal O’Malley launched the 2010 Appeal, themed “Called to Love and Share,” in the Flatley Room of the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center.
The cardinal in his homily for the weekend discussed Christian charity.
“All that we have and all that we are is a gift. When we give to help others, we are acknowledging that we are not absolute owners of our possessions, but administrators of the goods God has entrusted to us. Scripture teaches us that there is more joy in giving than in receiving. When we do things out of love, we express the truth of our being.”
He added that we have been created “not for ourselves, but for God and our brothers and sisters.”
Scot Landry, the archdiocese's secretary for institutional advancement, said that the Appeal is the “main source of funding” for the archdiocese’s central ministries.
“In many ways, the Catholic Appeal is to our Archdiocese what the offertory collection is to our parishes or what an Annual Fund is to universities,” he explained. “Through the Catholic Appeal, Catholics in our 291 parishes come together as one Church to pass on our faith, care for those in need, and gather to pray and worship together.”
The Catholic Appeal provides 74 percent of the resources for the archdiocese’s Central Operating Fund, which supports over 50 ministries, programs and offices in the archdiocese. Almost half of the gifts support specialized services to parishes, while almost 23 percent fund education, formation and evangelization efforts.
Slightly over ten percent of the Appeal supports general and operational services of the archdiocese, while 8.2 percent supports the mailings, materials and management of the Appeal itself.
“To everyone who has supported the Church’s works of mercy and evangelization I express my sincere gratitude.” Cardinal O’Malley continued. “Today, I ask all Catholics to be generous in contributing to the 2010 Catholic Appeal. Every gift matters. Working together in the name of the Church we can go forward to build a civilization of love.”