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Catholic Appeal to launch March 3-4

By Mark Labbe Pilot Staff
Posted: 2/23/2018

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BRAINTREE -- With February coming to a close, Archdiocese of Boston's Catholic Appeal, launching on the weekend of March 3-4, is quickly approaching, and the archdiocese is busily preparing for it.

Representing the largest single source of funding for the Central Ministries' operating budget, the Catholic Appeal annually invites all parishioners to help further the archdiocese's numerous programs and services through contributions. The 50 Central Ministries are wide-reaching, providing a range of services that support education, evangelization and outreach.

This year's theme, "We the many serving as one," is an idea that Catholic Appeal manager Arlene Dubrowski is taking to heart.

To make the 2018 Appeal as inclusive as possible, she told The Pilot Feb. 20, she and her team have added "a lot more foreign language materials."

Homilies by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley will be available in Spanish and Portuguese with additional written texts in Haitian Creole and Vietnamese, Dubrowski said, adding that she hopes additional materials will be available in those languages as well.

"We know that it's always been a struggle to reach out to the ethnic communities," she explained.

Cardinal O'Malley and Vicar General Bishop Peter J. Uglietto will help kick-off the Appeal by celebrating Masses at parishes across the archdiocese the weekend of March 3-4. They will also celebrate Masses that following weekend, March 10-11, for Appeal Commitment Weekend, during which parishioners will be asked to complete an in-pew envelope pledging support.

There is a push this year to "have pastors really encourage the Catholic Appeal in their parishes," Dubrowski said. "We find that parishes that have their pastor's support are much more successful."

Parishioners, too, are encouraged to support efforts in spreading the word about the Appeal by putting out flyers or giving witness talks on how Appeal funds have impacted their parishes or their own lives. So far, Dubrowski said, there are close to 200 parish coordinator volunteers.

Timothy McGuirk, a communication associate with the archdiocese, also speaking to The Pilot Feb. 20, said this year's theme "really draws on unity," and invites "people this year to participate in the work of the larger Church."

As Catholics, he said, we "are called to support one another and participate in that larger Catholic family" through the Appeal.

The goal of this year's Appeal is $17 million, remaining unchanged from the previous year. The 2017 Catholic Appeal saw the participation of close to 50,000 donors, Dubrowski said. This year, "we hope to reach that or exceed" that participation level, she said.

Kathleen Driscoll, the archdiocese's Secretary for Advancement and Chief Development Officer, said "The Catholic Appeal is an opportunity for everyone to participate in the work of the larger Catholic family here, in the Archdiocese of Boston. The ministries funded by the Appeal strengthen our parishes, schools and Catholic organizations with practical and pastoral support."

"Through the incredible generosity of parishioners supported by our pastors and those who volunteer as appeal coordinators, our number of supporters continues to increase. We hope to continue to grow the Catholic Appeal's work to best address people's needs in our local communities," she continued.