FALL RIVER — The 82nd Annual Catholic Appeal of the Diocese of Fall River fundraiser has kicked off and runs through June 30.

Since it first launched in 1942, annual gifts and pledges to the Catholic Appeal have supported all the agencies, programs, and ministries of the diocese, providing food and shelter, educating children and adults, and meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of tens of thousands of individuals and families.

“Thousands in our midst are crying out for healing, for caring, for assurance and hope,” Bishop Edgar da Cunha said. “As a diocese, we are working to meet a need that has become quite literally, mission critical — reminding those struggling they are never alone. Our donations to the Appeal truly save lives.”

The Catholic Appeal supports the work of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fall River (formerly Catholic Social Services), which serves and ministers to nearly 40,000 individuals throughout the diocese each year.

Catholic Charities offers assistance with basic and emergency needs including housing to women, men, children, and families, addiction recovery services, support for persons with disabilities, as well as sustenance to those suffering from food insecurity.

In the past year, Catholic Charities also launched a new Mental Health Ministry, which is spearheading the implementation of teams at parishes throughout the diocese to provide support for parishioners and their families.

The Catholic Appeal also funds chaplains and pastoral care at area hospitals, the weekly Television Mass, support for seminarians, programs for youth, the Office of Family and Respect Life, campus ministry, scholarship aid for Catholic schools, and more.

The 2022 Catholic Appeal raised $4.3 million through the generosity of 16,000 donors. This year’s goal is $4.6 million.

Donations may be made either through a one-time donation or through a pledge arrangement: www.GiveFRDiocese.org; dropped off at any parish; or mailed to the Catholic Appeal at 450 Highland Ave., Fall River, MA 02720.