2012 Catholic Appeal surpasses goal raising $14.2 million

BRAINTREE -- The 2012 Catholic Appeal surpassed its goal by raising $14.2 million, according to the archdiocese.

Contributions from 42,120 donors -- 2,355 of whom were first-time donors -- allowed the 2012 appeal to close on Jan. 31 at 102 percent of its $14 million goal.

Appeal officials attributed the success to the efforts of parish coordinators and pastors as well as a message that highlights the ministries the appeal supports.

The appeal's "The Good Samaritan Is You," campaign focused on the ways archdiocesan ministries supported by the appeal strengthen families, enrich parish life, inspire future generations, and advance Church leadership.

"We are putting an actual story and a face on where your dollars go and how we are using them here in Central Ministries," said Kathleen Driscoll, the archdiocese's Secretary for Institutional Advancement.

The appeal also worked to spread their message through a variety of methods beyond traditional direct mail and parish materials.

An online "Video Tribute to Boston's Military Chaplains" for Memorial Day, informed Catholics about the leading role played by the Archdiocese of Boston providing priests for military service.

"It really was a beautiful tribute to them, to our country, and to what we represent here in terms of the ability for Christ to also be in the middle of the battlefield," Driscoll said.

In addition, an online Christmas video, two phone-a-thons and an increase in online giving also helped contribute to the success of the 2012 campaign.

At the parish and local level, the appeal worked with almost 100 Catholic Appeal Coordinators at raise awareness.

"I firmly believe that we need to continue to educate parishioners on the scope of the archdiocese's work and acquaint them with the talented, faithful professionals who dedicate themselves to serving the archdiocese," said John Riley, a parish appeal coordinator at St. Paul Parish in Wellesley and a member of the Lay Appeal Committee.

The appeal also worked with the Pastor Advisory Committee (PAC) coordinating outreach to pastors and their parishes.

"These critical committees, are really instrumental to the success of the appeal," said Jacqueline Miller, manager of the Catholic Appeal.

"I really have to say this is not something that we can do alone. It is truly a collaboration between the diocese, our PAC, our lay committee, our regional bishops, and vicar foranes. I really want to stress how important that is and how grateful we are," she said.

Miller thanked all the archdiocese's pastors for work at a local level in the success of the appeal.

"It is our pastors that get up there and that really promote the appeal within their parish and that really make an effort to educate their parishioners on the benefit of the appeal at their parish," she said.

Miller also offered specific words of thanks to donors.

"The most important thing for me as Catholic Appeal manager is: I am very grateful for our donors and for their support. It helps us to fulfill our roles here in the Archdiocese of Boston that ultimately reach out and touch all the parishes within our archdiocese," she said.