SASKATOON — With several last-minute donations arriving in April, the 2015-2016 Bishop’s Annual Appeal in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has reached its goal of $1.5 million.
Earlier reports that the Appeal was just shy of its goal may have prompted the final donations that put the total “over the top,” said Cathy Gilje, development manager for the Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation, reporting that as of May 1 this year’s appeal had raised $1,501,380.
“We are always incredibly grateful for the amazing generosity of the people in this diocese, who make a difference in the lives of so many with their gifts to the BAA,” she said.
The Bishop’s Annual Appeal funds a range of ministry, outreach and faith development programs in the diocese and beyond, including Catholic hospital chaplaincy, Lay Formation, Marriage and Family Life, Aboriginal parish ministry, Justice and Peace, Catholic prison outreach (Restorative Ministry), Catholic Deaf Ministry, ecumenism, communications, Youth Ministry, Christian Initiation and Catechetics, Vocations promotion and the education of priests and future priests.
Donors are “reaching out in love and building up the church” through their gifts to the appeal, said Bishop Donald Bolen, expressing appreciation to donors, volunteers and parish leaders whose generosity touches thousands of lives each year.
“Because of gifts to the BAA, inmates have found faith and healing on their journey to leave prison and rebuild their lives and families; hospital chaplains have walked with families through birth, illness and death; and ministries for youth and families, vocations, catechetics and adult faith formation continue to engage young and old — bringing them into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, ensuring the future of our faith communities and equipping life-long disciples to go out into our world and make a difference,” said the bishop.
This year’s theme was based on the challenging scriptural verse from Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me,” Bolen noted. “Jesus identifies himself with those in need, and we are challenged to respond.”