The Roman Catholic Diocese Of Rochester is using a professionally produced DVD, and it's mailing materials to more than 100,000 area homes as part of this year's Catholic Ministries Appeal. The Diocese wants to raise a lot of money. The campaign's goal is $5.8 million.
That's a half million dollars more than the campaign raised last year. Even in these tough economic times, the Diocese believes the goal will be met, "Those who have the means to do a bit more compensate for those who simply cannot lets say, either meet the level they achieved in the past, or simply do anything because they don't have the means," said Bishop Matthew Clark.
Donations made to the CMA support a wide range of programs, from hospital visits to programming for more than 1,300 catholic students studying at the University of Rochester.
John Lewis Etter, a student at the university, says the $25,000 donation from the CMA goes a long way, "It pays for all our work study students, all the programs we do, some trips."
Campus minister Father Brian Cool adds, "The spiritual part is just as important as every other aspect of a students life."
After 30 years with the Diocese Bishop Clark is retiring, and this could be his last campaign, "There are the ups and downs and joys and sorrows but in sum I wouldn't have traded this experience for the whole world."
Bishop Clark announced his retirement in July after his 75th birthday. His replacement hasn't been named, yet. In the meantime he says he plans to keep things running smoothly in the Diocese, and work on meeting that ambitious fundraising goal.