Sun staff report
The season of gratitude is here, and the diocesan HOPE Appeal team is offering a huge and heartfelt thank you to all who have supported this year’s campaign.
As of Nov. 12, 18,987 donors had contributed $4,109,543.45 toward the campaign’s $4.5 million goal, according to Danielle Mensing, the diocese’s Director of Annual Giving. The campaign, which kicked off in May, concludes Nov. 30.
Each year, funds raised through the annual giving campaign help to support programs, services, and ministries that serve the diocese’s 230,000 Catholics as well as countless members of the wider Central New York community.
“Together when we give to the Annual HOPE Appeal, we are giving thanks to Christ for the innumerable gifts we’ve been given and helping our friends and neighbors who benefit each year from the diocesan good works funded through our annual appeal,” she said.
Mensing offered examples of some of the ways HOPE Appeal donors are making an impact: Tuition assistance is helping students receive a Catholic education; more than 30 hospital chaplains and pastoral ministers are bringing comfort to more than 44,000 people; and some 14,000 youth are involved in faith formation classes.
Another 100,000 individuals in need are provided services and assistance through the Catholic Charities agencies in the diocese. Mensing shared a testimonial received from the Onondaga County agency:
Derrick came to [the Catholic Charities Men’s Shelter] when his substance addiction had taken hold of his life. His assigned Shelter Case Worker was able to work with him to make sure that he made it to his Helio Health appointments and he was referred to Health Homes. With the collaboration between the Health Home Care Manager and Shelter Case Worker, Derrick was able to connect with a Primary Care Provider and Therapist. His Shelter Case Worker was also able to work with him through his criminal court case for a synthetic marijuana ticket. Derrick had also fallen and broken his arm, which caused him to go to the emergency room and miss a Public Assistance appointment. The Program Coordinator was able to reach out to [the Department of Social Services] to reschedule a date and get him back on track. With shelter staff assistance Derrick was set up to see the Catholic Charities Men’s Shelter Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who assisted Derrick with a treatment plan which included medication and provided the documentation needed for Permanent Supportive Housing. Community collaboration and Derrick’s mindfulness of appointments led to a successful housing placement where he still resides today.
Mensing also noted that parishes and parishioners not only benefit from HOPE Appeal-funded ministries and services, but also from direct funds: When a parish’s HOPE Appeal collections exceed the set goal, half of the overage is returned to the parish, she said.
Mensing thanked the parishioners who already have donated or pledged to this year’s campaign and encouraged everyone to visit the HOPE Appeal website at syrdio.org to learn more about how HOPE Appeal gifts are used throughout the diocese. “You make an incredible impact when you support HOPE Appeal and you should know how!” she said.
The diocese’s new shepherd recently made his first contribution to the HOPE Appeal. As a priest of the Diocese of Ogdensburg for 30 years, Bishop Douglas J. Lucia gave annually to that diocese’s Bishop’s Fund Appeal — and his commitment to giving began even before that.
“As one of the Christian Faithful I feel it is important for a member of the clergy to do sacrificial giving as we ask of the laity. I have always had Sunday offering envelopes since I was in grade school and I continued the practice into adulthood. Just as I encourage others to share of their means to help the Church’s mission and meet its needs, so I must be willing to do the same. Just as I ask parishioners to share their blessings in life so I must do as well,” he told the Sun.
Bishop Lucia said he has “seen the importance of the HOPE Appeal in the various diocesan initiatives I have encountered since becoming the Bishop of Syracuse: Deacon Formation, Lay Formation, Catholic Charities, Catholic schools, Communication and Evangelization, and the list could go on.”
The bishop thanked “all who have been so generous to this year’s HOPE Appeal! You help us to continue letting the light of Christ shine in our local Church and in encouraging others to intentional discipleship.”
Bishop Lucia also asked those who had not yet given “to consider a gift to this year’s appeal and to support our diocesan vision of missionary discipleship. Please help us in our mission to meet people where they are at and to share with them the light of Christ for their lives today.”
To donate to the 2019 HOPE Appeal, please send your donation by November 30. Visit syrdio.org to donate online; send checks to the secure lockbox: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, PO Box 1729, Albany, N.Y. 12201-1729; or call Mensing directly at 315-472-8447 to donate over the phone.
Editor’s note: The Catholic Sun is a HOPE Appeal-supported ministry. Thank you for your continued support!