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February 1, 2009

Annual Catholic Appeal begins in parishes next weekend

By Catholic New World staff

When he was out preaching, St. Paul asked the early Christians to provide financial assistance to the church. In this Year of St. Paul, Cardinal George asks modern-day Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago to do the same.

With a theme of “Do all for the Glory of God,” from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, the 2009 Annual Catholic Appeal kicks off the weekend of Feb. 7 and 8.

The 2008 Annual Appeal concluded at the end of January. At that point $15.7 million was pledged by 92,000 donors. As of Jan. 26, $14.5 million was received. Parishes were set to receive $3.2 million in rebates.

The archdiocese conducts an annual campaign, as is the case in most dioceses in the United States, to help fund the work of its schools, agencies, ministries, offices and other services.

In the next few weeks, people who gave to the appeal in the past will receive a letter at their home from Cardinal George asking for their support for the 2009 campaign. Parishes will also have an in-pew drive.

It’s all an effort to grow the kingdom of God on earth.

“The various works and ministries supported by the appeal are works of justice and charity,” Cardinal George wrote in his letter to parishes.

“By educating people of all ages, performing works of service, offering spiritual direction to those seeking to know Christ better, celebrating the sacraments in our parishes and by our very presence in the community, the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Chicago strives to honor and glorify God in all that we do.”

For more information on the appeal, contact the Department of Stewardship and Development at (312) 534-7944 or visit

A few things your money supports

  • Grants and scholarships for schools serving economically disadvantaged communities
  • Training of volunteer religious educators to conduct parish religious education programs
  • Recruitment, education and formation of lay ministers and deacons
  • Continuing education and ongoing spiritual formation of priests
  • Capital grants to parishes and schools serving economically disadvantaged communities
  • Catholic Relief Services for aid to the poor in foreign lands
  • Ministries of care and comfort to those in need
  • SPRED (Special Religious Education) in more than 100 parishes
  • Office of Respect Life (supporting the dignity of life from conception to natural death) — Elizabeth Ministry, Project Rachel, Project Gabriel, chastity programs for youth