2019 Diocesan Appeal
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Our theme for this year’s Diocesan appeal comes from the Gospel of St. John. When Jesus says “Come Follow Me” our responses can take many forms.
Where do we find Jesus? How do we follow Him? The Church itself exists to help its members encounter Christ. We find Him, for example, in the people who are served through Catholic Charities. We find Him in the sacraments, perhaps for most of us particularly in the Eucharist. We find Him also in our parish community as we learn and grow together in faith.
The Diocese of Rockford provides ministries and programs that help us all connect with and follow Christ. We have, for example, our Ministry Formation Program and Diocesan Theological Institute. They educate and empower lay members of our parishes to serve the people of God more effectively.
From this appeal, all of our priests, including those who serve your parish community, receive ongoing spiritual and fundamental support throughout their priesthood. We are educating 21 seminarians, preparing them to be our future priests. Permanent deacons also are trained and educated through the diocese; we currently have 33 men studying to become deacons. They are answering the call to serve Christ and help others find Him as well.
Engaged couples receive valuable faith instruction through our Life and Evangelization Office (LiFE). This office also supports Respect Life efforts at parishes throughout the diocese and sponsors a pilgrimage to the March for Life each year. It also hosts the annual Silver and Gold event celebrating wedding anniversary milestones. These ministries help people follow Christ in support of life and marriage.
I would also like to mention a lesser-known ministry in the diocese. The Deaf Apostolate serves those who are hearing impaired to help them grow in their Catholic faith and receive the sacraments with enriched understanding. This important apostolate helps make the path to Christ more accessible.
These services and more happen through the support of our annual Diocesan Appeal. With your help, the Rockford Diocese will continue to introduce the people of our parishes to Jesus, walking with them every step of the way as they follow Him.
Thank you in advance for your support of this essential appeal.
Most Reverend David J. Malloy
Bishop of Rockford