For the Universal Church
A Message from Bishop Malloy:
Dear Friends in Christ,
On the weekend of January 18-19, Catholics in the Diocese of Rockford will be invited to contribute to our first combined collection in 2020. This National Appeal allows you to donate to one or more separate collections at one time. I ask you to prayerfully consider contributing to the work of the Catholic Church through these efforts to share the faith here in the United States and in our own Diocese.
Students from the Rockford Diocese attend the Catholic University of America (CUA). CUA is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church, and it is the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Through this collection, we are able to strengthen and ensure the continuing good work of CUA as it prepares students to respond to the many issues facing the Church and society today.
Our Diocese also benefits from the Catholic Communications Campaign, which reaches out with the Good News of Christ through many modern communications channels. Of the funds collected for this part of the appeal, one-half will remain here in the diocese to assist our evangelization efforts through local communications projects including the award-winning “Top O’ the Morning” weekday broadcast. Beyond Diocesan borders, this campaign connects people around the world to the Gospel message.
In service to the poor of our nation, funds collected for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) help those in need across the country and in our own communities (25% remains in our Diocese).
As part of this appeal, contributions to the Retirement Fund for Religious will support senior members of religious orders (men and women) who have long given prayer and service to the Church in our country and in our Diocese. This collection provides financial assistance and resources to help religious communities who are struggling to meet the ongoing needs of their senior members.
At present there are 50 retired priests of our Diocese, most of whom continue to serve parishioners to the best of their abilities. This is your opportunity to support these faithful priests of our Diocese with a contribution to their pension funds. Additionally, this appeal is a vehicle to support our financially-challenged diocesan grade schools, helping them to continue to offer quality academic education and religious and moral formation.
We appreciate your generosity in support of this annual National Appeal combined collection.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Malloy
Bishop of Rockford
The National Appeal Supports:
Retirement Fund for Religious (RFR)
This annual appeal benefits over 30,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests—women and men who have consecrated their lives to serving God and the Church.
Many religious communities struggle to provide for aging members. Most elder religious served for small stipends, leaving a large gap in retirement savings. Rising health-care costs and decreased income compound the struggle to provide adequate care. Your gift to the Retirement Fund for Religious provides vital funding for medications, nursing care, and more. It also helps religious congregations implement long-range retirement strategies, even as they continue to serve the People of God. With your help, the Diocese distributed $160,078 last year.
Catholic University of America (CUA)
The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. was established in 1887 and has served the Church, students and the community for generations. CUA offers over 6,000 students per year an exceptional Catholic education in a faith-filled atmosphere that is grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition. Every dollar given directly supports financial aid for students from dioceses across the country, including ours. With your help, the Diocese distributed $7,328 last year.
Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)
The Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) works to uphold the dignity of human life by breaking the cycle of poverty across the United States through grants to local community-based groups who create jobs, improve education, and strengthen neighborhoods. Twenty-five percent of the CCHD collection stays in the Diocese to fund local anti-poverty projects. With your help, the Diocese distributed $22,100 last year.
Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC)
Through Internet, television, radio or newspapers, the Catholic Church uses all technologies, old and new, to spread the Gospel message. The Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) supports Catholic media projects in our Diocese and all over the United States. With your help, the Diocese distributed $122,004 last year.
Catholic Elementary School Financial Support for the Diocese of Rockford
This part of the appeal provides a special way for you to assist the Diocese of Rockford to support schools that have operating deficits and need your help to become and remain financially viable. Your support through prayer and donations will help our underprivileged schools to continue to provide quality academic education along with religious and moral formation. Thanks to your generous gifts, $170,182 was distributed last year to needy schools in our Diocese.
Rockford Diocesan Priests’ Pension
In retirement, many of our priests continue to serve as spiritual leaders, counselors, ministers to the sick, and much more. With gratitude for their years of faithful ministry, the Diocese has a Priests’ Pension to support our 50 currently retired priests and those that will retire in the future.
Reverend Jerome (Jerry) Leake has served our Diocese for more than 51 years. As a recently retired priest, he is busier than ever. Father Leake can be found assisting pastors in celebrating the sacraments in parishes and helping out at Pope Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy. Father Leake also continues as the head chaplain for the Aurora Police Department where he has served for over 47 years. We thank Father Leake and all our retired priests for their continued faithful service and prayers. Last year, the faithful of our Diocese contributed $136,080 to support our retired priests.