FALL RIVER — The 81st Annual Catholic Appeal has raised $3.4 million of its $4.8 million goal to date, with less than one week remaining in the campaign, which ends on Thursday, June 30. There is still time to make a gift in support of the many agencies assisting tens of thousands in need throughout the Diocese of Fall River each year.

The Appeal invites parishioners of the diocese and community supporters to bear witness to the good works their gifts make possible. Since 1942, the Appeal has helped meet the spiritual and corporal needs of individuals and families throughout the diocese: from the Attleboros, Mansfield, Taunton, and the greater Fall River and New Bedford areas, to Cape Cod and the Islands.  

The following are Catholic Appeal testimonials, what can be called “Ministry Moments From Across Our Diocese.”

“I am 18 years old. I was living on the streets of New Bedford, sleeping in doorways. I heard about Kilian’s from Pedro Ramos (Kilian’s Youth and Young Adult Outreach Case Manager). I don’t want to go back on the streets. I plan to better myself — not just money-wise, but mentally, etc.  At Kilian’s, you have access to showers, meals, and housing assistance. People here really appreciate the donations to the Appeal. The donors are helping people who would not otherwise have the daily needs of life. We appreciate the donors and we are thankful for them.”

— Greggorey

Guest of St. Kilian’s House

“At my ordination in May 1970, my father and I took a picture outside the Cathedral. Above our heads was the logo of the Catholic Appeal. I’ve been a friend of the Appeal ever since. It’s a wonderful thing and helps not only certain charities, but it’s also a boost to the morale of the clergy and the bishop because there’s so much that they are unable to do, but we’re able to consequently do, through the generosity of the people. The diocese couldn’t run without it. It’s very necessary. I wouldn’t want to be in a diocese where they didn’t have any of these things. It’s just phenomenal.”

— Father Thomas L. Rita

Retired Priest of the Diocese of Fall River 

“The youth today speak, think, and experience life differently. The Gospel becomes their message of hope in times of despair, love during times of hate, and faithfulness, no matter the obstacles. My goal is to help bring them closer to holiness and allow them to take ownership of the beauty which is their Catholic faith.”

— Oscar Rivera, Jr. 

Director of Youth Ministry, Diocese of Fall River 

“There are a lot of people out there that need help and don’t know where to get it or don’t know how to get it. But when they come to Sister Rose House, they want to get you back to living again. There are so many people that I’ve seen here that also made it through or are just now starting to get their life back on track. And there are plenty more that need that same help. Those that want the help, need the help, all they have to do is come and do the right thing, and they’ll be blessed. And it does work, because I am an example.”

 — James Turner

Former guest of Sister Rose House and now an employee of Sister Rose’s Soup Kitchen

There are many ways to support the Catholic Appeal during its home stretch. Contributions to the Appeal may be made either through a one-time donation or through monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual pledges. Donations may be mailed to the Catholic Appeal office, 450 Highland Avenue, Fall River, Mass., 02720; made online at www.GiveFRDiocese.org; or dropped off at any parish in the diocese. Please contact the Catholic Appeal office at 508-675-1311 with any questions.