On behalf of the people who are served throughout our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens, we begin the 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal by thanking those who generously responded to the 2019 Annual Catholic Appeal. If it were not for the commitment of parishioners throughout the diocese to the Annual Catholic Appeal each year, fulfilling 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 your wishes regarding the ministries you intend your donation to support. Your gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal cannot and will not be used in the settlement of sexual abuse victim claims or for anything other than the intended purposes outlined in Appeal materials. An independent audit by Grassi & Co. is available at CFBQ.org under “Accountability.”
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 that depend upon your generosity to the Annual Catholic Appeal. 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 diocese.
This year the Annual Catholic Appeal will also support the Catholic Youth Ministry Initiative for the first time. Our Catholic Youth Ministry Initiative has made great strides in increasing its impact on the youth of our diocese. Your support through the ACA will help provide salaries for youth ministers, grants for ongoing program resources and professional development.
Thanks to many who participated in Generations of Faith, we currently have 80 parishes participating in our groundbreaking Catholic Youth Ministry Initiative. In order to continue to expand and sustain this program, however, it has now been added to those ministries funded by your commitment to the Annual Catholic Appeal.
Of course, this is in addition to the many programs the Appeal has supported in the past. 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 nearly 22,000 children studying in 76 Catholic elementary schools and academies and 50,153 students enrolled in parish religious education programs for those not attending Catholic schools.
A sad fact is that there may be 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 2020 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 Brooklyn and Queens, reaches out to those in need of legal assistance, housing, food, socialization and child care, to name a few vital programs.
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 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal is crucial in fostering vocations by sustaining programs that allow men to hear and respond to God’s call to the priesthood and the permanent diaconate.
The Office of Faith Formation is also aided by the Annual Catholic Appeal. 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 2020 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 work of a chaplain 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 2020 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 who need assisted living.
Your commitment to the 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal, no matter how big or how small, ensures the success of the mission of the Church in Brooklyn and Queens. We are the Church, together, when we are able to cast out our nets and put out into the deep, becoming 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 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal.
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