For the Universal Church
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A Message from Bishop Malloy:
Dear Friends in Christ,
Your consideration of this year’s 2023 National Appeal in the Diocese of Rockford is appreciated. Taking place January 14-15, this annual collection is an opportunity to support local Catholic elementary schools and national higher education, care for elderly religious, and contribute to national efforts to share the Gospel.
In the Diocese of Rockford, we’ve opted to combine the needs of the local and universal Church into three separate appeals held throughout the year. The National Appeal is the first of these in 2023. This appeal directly benefits the Catholic elementary schools throughout the diocese, which have a key role in developing the future of our Church – some students attending these schools will become our future priests and religious. These funds also help to support the retired priests’ pension program for our 40 retired diocesan priests, many of whom still faithfully serve our parishes.
Also benefiting from the National Appeal are more than 25,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests who depend upon the Retirement Fund for Religious for medications, nursing assistance, and other necessities. Donations to this portion of the appeal provide financial support that helps religious communities care for aging members while ensuring younger ones can continue the good works of their elders.
Some funds from the National Appeal are used by The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. to support students participating in its 12 schools. These funds are also used by the University to conduct research initiatives and training programs, such as The Catholic Project – an initiative that brings together clergy and laity to address the challenges that the Church faces in the United States.
The Catholic Communication Campaign and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development also receive funding through our combined appeal effort. Locally, the communication campaign helps us share the Gospel through televised Catholic Masses and “Top O’ the Morning” weekday broadcasts, periodic livestreamed Masses from the Cathedral of St. Peter, Be Reconciled Day, and other communications projects. Half of all collected funds for the Catholic Communication Campaign remain in our diocese. In addition, 25% of donations made to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development stay in our diocese to support local anti-poverty projects.
Thank you for considering generous support of the 2023 National Appeal.
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 25,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests—women and men who have consecrated their lives to serving God and the Church. For most of their lives, religious men and women worked for small stipends and room and board. There were no 401(k) plans or pensions. Many religious communities struggle to provide for aging members. Rising healthcare costs and decreased income compound the struggle to provide adequate attention to these men and women who gave their lives to the faith. Your gift helps provide this needed care, and more. Using our contributions, religious congregations are implementing long-range retirement strategies, even as they continue to serve the People of God. With your help, the Diocese distributed $135,370 last year.
CATHOLIC COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN (CCC)
Through the internet, television, radio or newspapers, the Catholic Church embraces 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 $116,484 last year.
CATHOLIC CAMPAIGN FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (CCHD)
The Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) works to interrupt the root causes of poverty across the United States through grants to communitybased groups who create jobs, improve education, and strengthen neighborhoods. Twenty-five percent of the CCHD collection stays in the Rockford Diocese to fund local anti-poverty projects. Thanks to your gifts, the Diocese distributed $17,509 last year.
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA (CUA)
The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. has served the Church, its students, and the nation since its establishment in 1887. CUA offers 5,700 students per year an exceptional Catholic education that is grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition. Every dollar given directly supports financial assistance for students from dioceses across the country. With your help, the Diocese distributed $7,457 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 help to become and remain financially viable. Your support through prayer and donations help our underprivileged schools to continue to provide quality academic education along with religious and moral formation. Thanks to your generous gifts, $122,058 was distributed last year to needy schools in our Diocese.
ROCKFORD DIOCESAN PRIESTS’ PENSION
After devoting their lives to bringing people closer to Christ, in retirement 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 Plan to support our 39 current retired priests and those that will retire in the future. Father Timothy Piasecki was ordained 49 years ago and retired in June. He says, “God has never failed to grace me wherever I have been sent, from DeKalb to Aurora, from Rockford and Belvidere to Montero, Peru. At all times and in all places, God has provided ‘marvelous comrades,’ coworkers in service of the Gospel. As I begin retirement I glance back and see quite clearly God’s ‘fingerprints’ everywhere.” We thank you, Father Piasecki, and all our priests for your continued faithful service in retirement. Last year, the faithful of our Diocese contributed $149,408.