DIOCESE—The first combined collection in 2017 will take place in parishes the weekend of Jan. 21-22.
The National Appeal combines several collections into one. It offers an easy opportunity for Catholics to assist the Church’s efforts in spreading the Good News of Jesus in the United States.
One cause of the National Appeal will assist retired priests through the Rockford Diocesan Priests’ Pension. The pension helps current and future retired priests, many of whom continue to serve in the diocese after retiring. Some $141,400 was contributed last year to this part of the appeal.
A second piece of this appeal will assist diocesan Catholic elementary schools that struggle financially.
Last year, needy schools received $243,208 through parishioners’ generosity.
The other four collections help to share the faith in and beyond the Rockford Diocese.
The Retirement Fund for Religious assists the many religious order women and men who served the Church and parishes for small stipends for many decades. The result is the majority of religious communities now lack the funds to take care of their retired members. 2016 donation: $184,078
The Catholic University of America (CUA) is the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. Bishops and chartered by the Vatican. Located in Washington D.C., it provides students from many places with an education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition. Every dollar given provides financial aid for students from across the country. 2016 donation: $7,988
A third collection is the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which provides grants to local groups that create jobs, improve education and strengthen neighborhoods. Twenty-five percent of this part of the collection stays in the Diocese of Rockford to fund anti-poverty projects. 2016 donation: $26,477
And finally, the National Appeal supports the Catholic Communication Campaign. The CCC supports Catholic media projects, including the TV Mass in our own diocese (see pages 6-7) and all over the U.S.
2016 donation: $79,571
“The urgent call to evangelize surrounds the nature of the National Appeal,” says Bishop David Malloy in his letter from the appeal brochure. “I would encourage you to join this effort.”