For the first time since its inception in 1985, the Bishop’s Annual Appeal of the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge raised more than $1 million in gifts for 2014-15.
The appeal, which officially closed on June 30, serves the diocese’s 12 civil parishes by supporting a host of programs and services that would otherwise go unfunded.
Nearly 7,000 individual gifts were made through numerous sources, resulting in a 7 percent increase over last year’s appeal, according to a news release.
The appeal runs from October through June.
“First and foremost, we credit the generous parishioners of our diocese for making this year’s appeal such a historic success,” Bishop Robert W. Muench said in the release. “I am again humbled by the faithful response of so many in our diocese whose outpouring of generosity is helping assist our brothers and sisters in need and advance the mission of our church. It is a truly gratifying privilege to serve along with them and to witness their kindness and concern.”
Since its establishment by the late Bishop Stanley Joseph Ott, the Bishop’s Annual Appeal has been instrumental in the growth of programs and projects of special good works within the Diocese of Baton Rouge over the last 29 years.
Gifts from the 2014-15 appeal help fund St. Joseph Cathedral’s newly renovated and expanded parish hall; Sanctuary for Life, a home for expectant homeless women in Baton Rouge; Catholic school tuition assistance and special education fund; emergency assistance for families in need; nationally recognized Catholic Life TV’s parish site acquisition; and stewardship and emergency assistance.
The 30th anniversary appeal begins in October.