FALL RIVER — The 81st Catholic Appeal, “Journeying Together in Faith and Love,” has closed with the annual campaign raising $4.3 million to support the work of the Church across the Diocese of Fall River. In the midst of an extremely challenging economic environment, donor support remained strong, as more than 16,000 individual donors made gifts and pledges to sustain the Appeal’s longstanding mission of serving those in greatest need. 

The successful conclusion to this year’s Appeal is a reflection of how well the faithful of the diocese responded to its theme of walking down a common road together, and how they connected the tenets of Pope Francis’ worldwide synod to the good works made possible through collective support for the annual Appeal.

“I am grateful to everyone who helped continue the rich tradition of service we have in our diocese through their support of the Catholic Appeal,” said Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V.  “Each donor has embodied the words of Pope Francis who said, ‘Participation is a requirement of the faith we received in baptism.’ I am blessed to serve so many thousands who share a loving commitment to one another and to all humanity.” 

On a parish level, 31 of the 72 parishes in the diocese — 43 percent of all parishes — surpassed their 2021 fundraising total. Among those parishes was St. John of God in Somerset, which exceeded its 2021 fundraising total by 10 percent. “St. Peter reminds us, ‘As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace’ (1 Pt 4:10),” said Father Jason Brilhante, Pastor of St. John of God. “Thank you to the parishioners of St. John of God Parish for sharing their treasure so generously with the Annual Catholic Appeal to support services for our brothers and sisters in Christ!”

“With the help of so many of our pastors, parishioners, retired clergy, and friends, we can continue to support those living with disabilities, bring comfort to the hospitalized and homebound, feed the hungry, promote our Brazilian and Hispanic ministries, assist our lay leaders, support marriages, champion life, and so much more,” said Miriam Finn Sherman, Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts. “The Catholic Foundation teamed with all our parishes to help tens of thousands of people of all ages and in every corner of our diocese. It is inspiring to witness the faithful generously answering the call!” 

In addition to the individual parish totals, nearly $700,000 in gifts to the 2022 Catholic Appeal were collected from friends and supporters consisting of individuals, corporations, and organizations unaffiliated with a specific parish. 

The need for support of the many agencies, ministries, and programs of the Diocese of Fall River, and the demand for them, remain strong. The Catholic Foundation encourages the faithful to show their support of their brothers and sisters in need throughout the year. 

The complete parish Appeal totals can be found on page 11 of this edition.

Donations can be made online at any time at givefrdiocese.org 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.