DARIEN— Bishop Caggiano said the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) helps to make the diocese one large family by investing in people through education, charity and other ministries.
Speaking to almost 200 invited guests and volunteers at a reception held at Giovanni’s Water’s Edge, the bishop thanked them for their generosity and leadership of the 2018 Annual Catholic appeal.
“Families stick together, and when one is in need, all are in need. Our faith brings us together, the bishop said.
“There are many in need in our family right here in Fairfield County and through your love of neighbor and love of the Church, we are able to reach out to them. “
The bishop announced a $10 million goal for the 2018 appeal and urged people to give sacrificially. The ACA supports all of the major ministries, programs and services provided by the diocese.
“Jesus made God’s love clearly evident. We as his disciples are asked to do the same, and it’s always a sacrifice.”
In his remarks to guests the bishop said that the programs recommended by the Synod are continually unfolding in the diocese including the effort to “re-imagine Catechesis” and engage young people through programs such as the successful “Face of Prayer” campaign and the recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land with 22 young adults.
The evening featured the release of the powerful new “Joy in Christ, Our Gift to Share” video and a lengthy question and answer session with the bishop.
The bishop’s theme of family was also reflected in the comments made by Fr. Michael Jones, Vicar for Development, and Roxanne and Jason Melaragno of Fairfield, Co-Vice Chair Couple of this year’s Appeal.
“Some of the things we do best, we do together,” Fr. Jones said in his introduction to the evening.
“Our schools, Faith Formation, charitable service, support for priests and seminarians all receive support from the Appeal,” he said. “The treasure of the Church is its people and the ACA invests in them.”
Roxanne Melaragno, a member of Holy Family Parish in Fairfield, described their leadership role as “a calling” to live their faith by helping others.
“Your donation helps people in your own backyard,” she said. “These are very worthy ministries in line with our beliefs.”
Jason Melaragno said that Catholic Charities is the largest non-governmental provider of charitable services around the globe, and that he would like to see increased participation in the campaign.
Bill McLean, Chief Development Officer of the diocese, thanked the Melaragnos and others for their leadership, and said his goal is to encourage new donors and communicate more effectively about all of the good work the appeal funds.
“You personify what it means to give generously,” McLean said to guests. “We hope all those who have given in the past will consider renewing their gift each year and that we can increase donor participation.”
During the question and answer session many guests said the bishop said the ACA goal was lowered to $10 million because he wants to take some of the burden of parishes and also find additional sources of income.
Many guests said they were excited by the work the diocese has been doing to engage young people in the Church. They also were enthusiastic about the growth in online giving and the “Text to Give” (Text 50555) efforts to attract younger donors.
The bishop concluded by saying that every gift matters and that people who are unable to contribute can volunteer or become “missionaries” for the campaign.
“You can always let people know all the good that is being done by the Appeal.”
For more information on programs and ways to give, go to www.2018ACAbridgeport.com, or phone: 203.416.1470.