FALL RIVER—The 80th Catholic Appeal, “Time to Gather, Time to Heal, Time to Love,” has closed with results representing the annual campaign’s best year since 2017. In the wake of an extraordinarily challenging time, more than 18,000 individual donors — a 12.5 percent increase over last year — contributed $4.6 million in gifts and pledges to sustain the Appeal’s longstanding mission of serving those in greatest need. Thanks to this boost in participation, the 80th annual Catholic Appeal surpassed its $4 million goal by 15 percent.
The 2021 Catholic Appeal of the Fall River Diocese took place as the world began to emerge from the extraordinary challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic: a time when the demand for basic needs skyrocketed and the services of many diocesan ministries and programs became more necessary than ever before.
“I am grateful to everyone who supported the good works of our diocese through the Catholic Appeal,” said Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. “Together, we have weathered the storm of a lifetime; and together, we are living our faith by ensuring all our brothers and sisters have a place to turn and receive the assistance they may need. While we are not fully recovered from the toll the virus took on us, this year’s Appeal is a sign of hope that we will ultimately emerge stronger. Our Savior has provided us with a sure foundation as we read in the Gospel of Matthew, ‘And the rains blew and beat on the house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.’”
On a parish level, 59 of the 78 parishes in the diocese — 76 percent of all parishes — surpassed their 2020 fundraising total. “The generosity of our seasonal and year-round parishioners here on Nantucket continues to astound me, and this year’s Diocesan Catholic Appeal is the most recent example of that,” said Father John Kelleher, pastor of St. Mary’s-Our Lady of the Isle in Nantucket. “It’s extremely gratifying for all of us to know that the donations raised for the Appeal will make a positive difference in the lives of so many people. May God bless everyone who donated to the Appeal, and all who will be assisted by it!”
“The funds raised through this year’s Appeal will help as we recover from the significant financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the struggles of the past year-and-a-half, it was so inspiring to see our pastors, parishioners, and friends step forward in such a strong show of support,” said Miriam Finn Sherman, chief executive officer of the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts. “The Catholic Foundation teamed with all our parishes to ensure the Appeal’s message, which is so incredibly important, reached people wherever they were: whether at home, in the pews, reading The Anchor, or on their phones and computers.”
The need for support of the many agencies, ministries, and programs of the Diocese of Fall River, and the demand for them, remains strong. The Catholic Foundation encourages the faithful to show their support of our brothers and sisters in need throughout the year.
Donations can be made online at any time at givefrdiocese.org/2021 or mailed to the Catholic Appeal office at 450 Highland Avenue, Fall River, Mass., 02720. They may also continue to be dropped off at any parish in the diocese.