FALL RIVER–The 73rd annual Catholic Charities Appeal of the Fall River Diocese will take place in parishes throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands from May 1 to June 24.

Proceeds from the Appeal fund diocesan charitable services and programs that provide shelter, food, clothing, counseling, advocacy support and faith formation.

The theme selected for this year’s Appeal is “Find the Face of Christ in Your Neighbor,” drawn from a December 2013 address by Pope Francis in which he said, “In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ.”

The Catholic Charities Appeal supports Catholic Social Services network of regional offices that sponsor emergency shelter and transitional housing, basic needs assistance, food pantries and vouchers, pregnancy and parenting support, foster care, refugee resettlement, advocacy programs for persons with disabilities and for immigrants, and crisis intervention.

Other Catholic Charities Appeal-financed services and ministries include hospital chaplaincy, summer day camp for handicapped children, marriage preparation and family resources, campus ministry, CYO, programs for the bereaved, the Television Mass and more.

“Our Holy Father has exhorted us to deepen our commitment to and love for the poor,” writes Bishop George W. Coleman in his letter on the Appeal. “I am so proud of the tangible efforts we have enacted to respond with love to the material destitution we face in our communities.”

As the 2014 Catholic Charities Appeal begins, Bishop Coleman is asking parishioners and supporters across the Diocese once again for prayerful consideration and support.

“I ask for your generosity in helping the Diocese of Fall River continue to meet the spiritual, educational, and temporal needs of people throughout area,” said the Bishop.

“No matter how large or small our contribution may be, we can, with this one gesture, live our faith by helping others experience the same love of God that has blessed our lives.”

Diocesan Director of Development James Campbell commented that he has been “amazed at the enthusiasm our Holy Father has generated with his humility and focus on service.

“Our people are historically generous to the Annual Appeal and I anticipate that even more will now join us in donating to the causes that define our commitment to human dignity and respect for the poor. I am so proud of the hundreds of women and men who advocate proudly for the Catholic Charities Appeal every year. The pastors and laity throughout the Diocese are exemplars of charity and compassion.”

Last year the Catholic Charities Appeal set a new record for returns, raising $4,319,468.93.

The Appeal is the one and only time during the year when the Fall River Diocese asks for financial help to fund its charitable agencies and programs, which are open to anyone regardless of creed, race, nationality, gender or economic status. It maintains a low administrative expense ratio: 93 cents of every dollar contributed is directed to the services and programs funded by the Appeal.

Contributions to the Catholic Charities Appeal may be made either through a one-time donation or through a pledge, which can be paid over ten months. Donations may be dropped off at any parish in the Diocese, made through the Charities Appeal website at www.frdioc-catholiccharities.org, or mailed to the Catholic Charities Appeal Office, P.O. Box 1470, Fall River, MA 02722.

Additional information on the Catholic Charities Appeal is available on its website or by calling the Appeal Office at 508-675-1311.

Diocese of Fall River
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