Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Thursday, April 26, 2018

HARTFORD – Last year, more than 150 parishioners in the Archdiocese of Hartford who faced desperate financial situations were able to pay their bills, thanks to grants received from the Emergency Assistance Fund (EAF) supported by the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.

The EAF is just one of nine major initiatives that will be funded by the 2012 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, which kicks off in parishes March 3 and 4. Drawing upon a theme this year of "Making a Difference," the annual campaign funds the ministries, programs, services, activities and agencies of the archdiocese.

Parishes are being encouraged to show an 11-minute video, which was personalized for each parish, during all Masses in lieu of the homily.

In his introduction to the video, Archbishop Henry J. Mansell talks about the importance of the annual campaign, and notes that it shows the good works of the Church. "It’s actually the Gospel in motion," he states.

"Every day, people turn to the Church for help and support," says Archbishop Mansell in the video, for needs ranging from hunger and homelessness to marriage counseling, faith formation, education, communication, tuition assistance and vocations to the priesthood.

Last year, the campaign goal of $8.5 million was surpassed, hitting a record for the archdiocese of $9.8 million from almost 50,000 parishioners – and surpassing the previous appeal by half a million. The average donation was $200; the average donation from priests was $1,366 – the highest in the nation in similar fund drives.

This year, the goal of $8.5 million remains the same as last year’s, according to Jim Gallagher, director of the appeal. "But with the cooperation and generosity of our parishioners, we’re hoping to match or surpass last year’s record number," he stated.

As one of the areas funded by the appeal, the EAF provides basic human needs to parishioners facing urgent needs – food, clothing and shelter, as well as help with utilities, especially electricity, gas and other energy costs. Last year, the appeal allocated $500,000 to the EAF along with the Malta House of Care.

Other categories that received funding from the appeal were: $1,825,000 for Catholic Charities and other good works of the Church; $1 million for Catholic education and faith formation; $1,448,000 for pastoral ministries; $1,048,000 for seminarian and diaconate programs; $829,000 for communications; $750,000 for 250 local charitable programs in Hartford, Waterbury and New Haven; $600,000 for retired clergy; and $500,000 for tuition assistance in elementary schools.

"We encourage everyone to give to the best of their ability,’ said Mr. Gallagher. "Every year, we need more money because the needs increase, particularly in this challenging economy."

He noted that even though the 2012 campaign hasn’t officially begun, the appeal is already nearing $1 million thanks to an initial outreach effort.

"We hope to raise a minimum of $8.5 million to meet our most pressing needs," he said.