Cardinal launches 2023 Catholic Appeal
SALEM -- The annual Catholic Appeal is underway, with the theme "Faith in action starts with you."
The Catholic Appeal supports the parishes, schools, and central ministries of the Archdiocese of Boston. Among the many services and programs it funds are faith formation, hospital and prison chaplains, faith community nurses, and addiction recovery programs.
The archdiocese released an announcement of this year's Appeal on March 10. In it, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley said the appeal was a reminder that the Church's various works, from evangelization to works of mercy and supporting vocations, "depends on the generosity of Catholics across the archdiocese."
"It is in our common mission to advance the lifesaving ministry of Jesus that we can build communities of love. These are the virtues that help the Church provide aid and attention to areas of greatest need across our many communities," the cardinal said.
As part of the appeal efforts, parishes are conducting in-pew campaigns, providing envelopes to parishioners attending Mass that they can take home and return with their donation enclosed. However, donors can also make their contributions online at BostonCatholicAppeal.org or by mail.
Each parish has an appeal coordinator to help launch and monitor the campaign in their community. They usually do this by putting announcements in the bulletin, offering petitions in the prayers of the faithful, arranging witness talks, and providing updates on the parish's progress toward meeting their fundraising goal.
The 2023 Catholic Appeal had its launch on the weekend of March 4-5. Commitment Weekend took place March 11-12.
As part of the launch, Cardinal O'Malley celebrated a Sunday Mass in Spanish at Immaculate Conception Church, part of Mary Queen of Apostles Parish in Salem, on March 5.
In his homily, he described support of the appeal as "an act of mercy, generosity, and faith."
"In this way, all Catholics can participate with their sacrifice and generosity in the works of mercy and evangelization, which are the mission we have received from the Lord. I thank you in advance for all you are going to do," he said.
He connected contributing to the appeal with the observance of Lent.
"During Lent, we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, to fasting. Those deprivations allow us to save resources to help the poor and needy," he said.
"We know that 'money is a powerful gentleman,' is the golden calf. He is the great idol that often calls our attention and distracts us from our vocation to be a disciple of Jesus who became poor for our love. So, we want to find how to share the blessings that the Lord has entrusted to us to be generous with others," he added.
Before the final blessing, parishioner Angela Quintin spoke about how the appeal supports Catholic education, among many other services.
The Catholic Appeal supports approximately 31,000 students and 3,000 faculty in the archdiocese's 100 Catholic schools. It also supports over 350 faith formation directors, 190 faith formation programs, and campus ministry programs serving 25 college and university campuses.
Quintin said that one of her children attended Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, and some members of the parish's youth group attend Catholic schools because of the support of the appeal.
"Thanks to the annual appeal collections, we can help our youth to receive a Catholic education," she said.
She encouraged everyone at Mass to take the envelopes in their pews.
"Please listen to Jesus's voice and make an appropriate donation. Our grain of sand will help all those who are in need," Quintin said.