PROVIDENCE — At the halfway point of the 2021 Catholic Charity Appeal, the Diocese of Providence has achieved 58 percent of its $6.8 million goal, recording $3,963,285 pledged in total gifts as of April 5.
Of the pledged total, 81 percent of donations have already been collected from the 14,125 donors contributing to the campaign so far, with an average gift of $281.
In addition to supporting vital outreach programs that provide food, shelter and support to the most vulnerable, the Catholic Charity Appeal assists in funding dozens of crucial diocesan programs, including Catholic Youth Ministry, Multicultural Ministry, Special Religious Education (SPRED), Life and Family Ministry — to protect life at all stages, the diocesan senior St. Martin de Porres Center, seminarian education and diocesan Health Care Ministry.
“We’re at the halfway mark of our goal, and it’s been going well so far,” said Director of Stewardship and Development Tim McCaig.
McCaig said he and his team are optimistic about reaching their goal this year, despite the additional challenges impacting the process as a result of the continuing pandemic, due to the strong rate of early returns so far.
“The people have been very generous in the mail-in portion of the campaign, but the success of the Appeal is two-fold: It’s the mail donations and there’s also the in-pew portion coming up. So what we’re praying for is a high participation rate from the faithful through April and May.”
Participation by the faithful during this month and next — the in-pew portions of the Appeal — will determine whether this year’s goal will be met.
As more and more people return to in-person Masses, with the increase in allowed capacity for houses of worship to 75 percent, the in-pew part of the Appeal now becomes the focus.
Although pandemic safety protocols may affect how in-pew donations are solicited in many churches, the basic structure of the effort will remain essentially the same.
“It will be a bit different this year with safety protocols being observed, so the in-pew appeal will look a little different also, but we hope that participation from the faithful remains the same, whether they participate at Mass or manage to mail in their in-pew pledge card,” McCaig said.
In churches this weekend, April 10-11, parish Catholic Charity Appeal chairpersons and committee members will offer their lay witness before Masses about what the Appeal means to them. They will also share the goal of the amount set for each parish to strive for.
Over the following two weekends, April 17-18 and April 24-25, pastors and administrators will speak to their congregations about why it is important to support the annual Appeal and ask them to fill out a pledge envelope for submission that day.
“Every single gift makes a difference,” McCaig said, noting how even the most modest of gifts together add up to make a real difference in the lives of those helped through the Appeal.
“Our real success is measured by participation. The more people that can do something to support the Appeal, the more successful we’ll be.”
Launching the 2021 Appeal in January, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin reached out to those who have donated in the past and welcomed new donors to be as generous as they possibly can.
He reminded all of Pope Francis’s message that “charity is the high road of the journey of faith.”
In the midst of a global pandemic, those most in need seek the church’s support more than ever.
“Our compassion is an expression of faith and a proclamation of hope for our troubled times,” Bishop Tobin wrote in a letter to the faithful announcing the start of the campaign.
McCaig shared with Rhode Island Catholic the special diocesan prayer appearing with this story that he and his team are encouraging everyone to pray for the success of the Appeal.
“At the halfway mark we ask all to pray for our success as we continue moving forward into the spring,” he said.
Thank you for helping the Diocese of Providenceserve so many!
Because of generous people like you, the Catholic Charity Appeal is able to support numerous ministries and programs of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, providing social, educational and spiritual support to thousands of Rhode Islanders each year regardless of race, creed or background. Your gift makes a real impact! To learn more about the Catholic Charity Appeal or to make a donation, visit https://dioceseofprovidence.org/cca.