PROVIDENCE — Noting the words of St. Paul, “For we walk by faith, not by sight,” (II Cor 5:7), Bishop Thomas J. Tobin this week launched the 2023 Catholic Charity Appeal in the Diocese of Providence, introducing the theme chosen for this year’s campaign: “Walking Together in Faith.”
“Faith is the virtue that calls us together to form the Church, the Body of Christ. And it is faith that motivates us to a life of charity; to reach out to serve the needs of our brothers and sisters,” Bishop Tobin said.
He said that is exactly what the annual Catholic Charity Appeal is all about: Walking together and serving others, always in the name of Christ.”
“The needs of our brothers and sisters, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, remain and, in fact, have increased, and thus we are all called to action now, as much as ever,” he said.
Donations to the Appeal provide the principal means of support to numerous diocesan ministries, including those which aid families with food, heating, and clothing; provide care for seniors at the St. Martin de Porres Multiservice Center; shelter for the homeless at Emmanuel House; assistance for expectant mothers with diapers and formula; and pastoral care of the sick.
The Appeal’s 2023 goal is $7 million, an increase from $6.8 million in 2022, when the campaign surpassed $6,960,000 in donations (103% of the goal), from 19,600 contributors.
While the overall campaign goal increased this year, individual parish goals have remained the same for another year.
“We’re encouraged by the fact that we began last year’s appeal with $490,000 on Dec. 31, and this year, more than $650,000 has already been raised towards the 2023 Appeal,” said Tim McCaig, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development.
The director said donations to the Appeal will fund outreach ministries across the entire diocese, aiding those in need of assistance from Aquidneck Island in the southeast up to Glocester in the northwest part of Rhode Island, and down to the entire south coast.
“The Catholic Charity Appeal doesn’t just help the Providence area, it helps all areas of Rhode Island,” McCaig said.
Bishop Tobin’s letter to the faithful, which is arriving in homes across the diocese this week, is the first phase of the campaign.
“I’ve already made my pledge to the Catholic Charity Appeal, and I invite you to do the same. With a joyful heart, let us each consider a gift that would serve as a symbol of our gratitude for all the Lord has done for us. To continue its important work of charity, the Church needs you – and your generous support! ” Bishop Tobin said in his letter.
In February and March, presentations will begin in churches across the diocese.
Although the active phase of the campaign takes place in the first part of the year, donations can be made through June 30, 2023, when the Appeal closes.
“A gift to the Appeal funds immediate assistance programs that aid those in desperate need of food, shelter and heating assistance, but it also builds up the church in the areas of Evangelization, Catholic Education, Spiritual Formation and Ministerial Services,” McCaig said, noting that approximately 100,000 people a year benefit from monies donated.
He added that he is especially grateful to be a part of the Appeal every year because it allows him to witness both sides of the process; the tremendous generosity of the clergy and laity and how that benefits the ministries and programs in action that are made possible by those gifts.
In addition to the in-pew Appeal solicitations in parishes, the Office of Stewardship has established the following online link for donors to contribute to the 2023 Catholic Charity Appeal: Givecentral.org/2023CCA.