Bishop da Cunha Presser

Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha said this year’s Diocesan fund raiser will pay special attention to those in need. “When we work together to provide for those most in need in our Diocese, our Diocese grows stronger.”

The 78th Annual Catholic Charities Appeal is under way in the Diocese of Fall River.

Each year, the Appeal invites parishioners in the Diocese and community supporters to help raise money for charity.

This year’s theme, “See All the People,” taken from a well-known nursery rhyme, is symbolic of the countless people who have benefited from the agencies and apostolates of the Diocese committed to serving anyone in need.

Since its inception in 1942, proceeds from the Appeal have provided the funding for the charitable services and programs sponsored by the Diocese.

The Appeal’s reach is vast: donor support transforms the lives of tens of thousands annually, from Mansfield and the Attleboros, through the Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford areas, and extending all the way to Cape Cod and the Islands. This year’s Appeal runs through June 30.

“Sacred Scripture reveals for us numerous accounts of Jesus’ special concern for the sick, the needy, the discouraged, and the disenfranchised,” Fall River Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha said.

In a letter in support of this year’s Appeal, Bishop da Cunha also writes, “When we work together to provide for those most in need in our Diocese, our Diocese grows stronger.”

The Diocese is able to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of people in all phases of life — from children, to youth, to parents, to the elderly.

The foremost agency funded by the Appeal is Catholic Social Services (CSS), which, since 1924, has been committed to improving the quality of life for those in need.

The far-reaching efforts of CSS include basic needs assistance, food pantries, emergency shelters, transitional and supportive housing, adoption services, ESL and GED programs, care for those with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities, and much more.

Other services and ministries financed by the Catholic Charities Appeal include ‘round-the-clock hospital chaplaincy, campus ministry, marriage preparation, retreats and programs for youth such as the Christian Leadership Institute and Pro-Life Boot Camp, support for retired priests and seminarians, and the weekly Television Mass.

“This year’s Appeal theme demonstrates how the Church lives everywhere: in our parishes, as well as in classrooms and playgrounds; at our hospitals; in faith formation experiences; in the depth of experience and wisdom of our elder priests, and in the tangible energy of our young seminarians,” said Mim Sherman, CEO of The Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts.

The Catholic Charities Appeal has historically maintained a low administrative expense ratio: 94 cents of every dollar contributed is directed to the services and programs funded by the Appeal.

The 2018 Catholic Charities Appeal raised $4.6 million, the third highest total in its history.

Additional information on this year’s Catholic Charities Appeal is available on its website:, including a video message from Bishop da Cunha and an overview of the many areas supported by the Appeal, including inspiring stories about those who have been helped by Appeal-funded services.

Contributions to the Catholic Charities Appeal may be made either through a one-time donation or through monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual pledges.

Donations may be mailed to the Catholic Charities Appeal office, 450 Highland Ave., Fall River, MA 02720, made online at, or dropped off at any parish in the Diocese.

Contact the Catholic Charities Appeal office at 508-675-1311 with any questions.

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