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Annual Catholic Appeal launched

Surrounded by first graders at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Weymouth, the archdiocese’s Secretary for Advancement, Scot Landry, announces the launch of the 2007 Catholic Appeal May 1. The goal for the 2007 appeal has been set at $14 million, slightly above the $13.8 million raised in last year’s campaign. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

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WEYMOUTH -- Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes, Sacred Heart Parish in Weymouth has been reborn with the help of the Archdiocese of Boston. Archdiocesan programs, funded by the Annual Catholic Appeal, have assisted the parish in rebuilding the church after a seven-alarm fire destroyed the building on June 9, 2005, according to pastor Father Daniel Riley.

Father Riley spoke in the library of Sacred Heart School during the kickoff of the 2007 appeal, which has set a goal of $14 million that will be spent on parish services, education and the central administration of the archdiocese.

Like Sacred Heart, the archdiocese has made great strides since its own crisis. In the four years following the breaking of the clergy abuse scandal, donations to the Catholic Appeal have increased 55 percent and the number of contributors has increased by more than 30 percent. Last year the appeal raised $13.8 million, surpassing its goal by nearly $1 million.

Scot Landry, the archdiocesan secretary for advancement, said that in addition to financial goals, the archdiocese has set the objective of increasing the number of participants again this year and shortening the length of the appeal campaign.

This weekend parishes will launch the appeal by showing the 2007 appeal video, handing out brochures and inviting all Catholics to participate by giving whatever they can, he added.

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