On behalf of the people who are served throughout our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens, we begin the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal by thanking those who generously responded to the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal.
If it were not for the commitment of parishioners throughout the Diocese to the Annual Catholic Appeal each year, the responsibility to provide the basic services and ministries of the Diocese of Brooklyn would be impossible.
I want to assure you that we stand committed to full transparency and respect for your wishes regarding the ministries you intend your donation to support. Your gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal cannot be used for the settlement of sexual abuse victim claims or for anything other than the intended purposes outlined in Appeal materials. An independent audit by Grassi & Company will be available at the end of the calendar year.
Those Who Are Hungry
Who does your offering to the Annual Catholic Appeal support? Those who are hungry, without shelter, without access to Catholic education, men discerning the priesthood or diaconate and those who are ill and dying – are just a few of the groups who depend upon your generosity to the Annual Catholic Appeal.
By supporting the works of the Diocese and the mission of the Church through a commitment to the Annual Catholic Appeal, you will inspire others in your parish and our diocese to join us as a response in faith to serve our neighbors by funding the good works of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The ministries made possible through a gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal go beyond the abilities of any one parish while benefiting all parishioners who make up our diocesan family. In the area of Catholic education, your support makes it possible for the Diocese to identify children who are not currently enrolled in our religious education programs or Catholic schools and academies.
Catholic education is critical to the life of our diocese because it ensures the future of our Church in Brooklyn and Queens. Currently, there are 35,599 students attending our Catholic grammar schools, academies and high schools and 42,222 students enrolled in parish religious education programs for those not attending Catholic schools. A sad fact is that there are another 80,000 students, baptized and living in the Diocese of Brooklyn, who have never been given any religious education. Through your generosity and the collaboration of our parishes and Catholic schools and academies, we can identify these students and provide all our children with religious education.
The Stranger Among Us
The 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal also makes it possible for the Church to welcome the stranger among us through its support of Catholic Migration Services. Thanks to your commitment to the Appeal, Catholic Migration Services along with Catholic Charities reaches out to those in need of legal assistance, housing, food, socialization, and childcare to name a few vital programs.
Our Priests and Deacons
The life of every parish within the Diocese of Brooklyn depends heavily on the dedicated work of our priests and deacons. Your support of the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal is crucial in fostering Vocations by sustaining programs which allow men to hear and respond to God’s call to the priesthood and the permanent diaconate.
Upon my arrival to the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2003, we had 27 seminarians preparing to enter the priesthood. Thanks to the investment in vocation programs made possible by your gifts to the Annual Catholic Appeal, since 2004, 98 men were ordained to the priesthood for Brooklyn and Queens. An additional 46 men are currently in formation and hope to become priests.
The Office of Faith Formation
The Annual Catholic Appeal also aids the Office of Faith Formation. This office is responsible for how we prepare young people and adults to receive the sacraments. The School of Evangelization, within the Office of Faith Formation, provides the instruction and opportunity for the Diocese of Brooklyn to provide our lay leaders with the necessary tools to call others to Christ through the Church.
The 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal allows us to support our Catholic Chaplaincies in non-Catholic colleges and universities, hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions throughout Brooklyn and Queens. The chaplain’s work is significant in ensuring that none of the faithful of Brooklyn and Queens are denied access to the sacraments.
Our Retired Priests, who are not able to live independently, are helped by the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal as well. At the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, 49 rooms are dedicated to our senior priests in the Bishop Mugavero Residence. This home provides a dignified community experience for priests needing assisted living.
Lastly, not all of our Parishes are able to meet the financial burden their work demands. In recent years, we have made tremendous progress with Christ Jesus Our Hope, where we looked at all the parishes of the Diocese to see which needed to be combined in order to be sustainable and vibrant. The parish support which your gift to the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal provides goes further to help those parishes with large pastoral demands in communities of low means or extraordinary circumstances.
Your commitment to the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal, no matter how big or small, ensures the success of the mission of the Church in Brooklyn and Queens. Together, we are able to can cast out our nets and put out into the deep to become fishers of men and women.
We are grateful for your partnership in the Lord’s work and invite you to join with your neighbors to live your faith and make so many good works possible through your commitment to the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal.