2018 Bishop's Appeal Exceeds Goals

Letter from Bishop James F. Checchio

Dear Friends in Christ,

Praised be Jesus Christ! Thanks to the dedication of our faithful parishioners, pastors and parish appeal coordinators, we exceeded our Bishop’s Annual Appeal goal for the second year in a row with pledges of over $7.8 million from nearly 26,000 households. Your wonderful response is a reflection of our commitment as a diocesan family to bring Christ’s message of hope and love to everyone we meet. Together we are Lighting a Fire in the Heart of our World.

Each gift, no matter the size, increases our ability to evangelize, to form those preparing for the priesthood or the diaconate, and to offer training opportunities for our catechists and lay leaders. It is your generosity that is helping to strengthen marriages and families, shaping the hearts and minds of our children as they grow to embrace their Catholic identity, and providing pastoral care and assistance to those suffering from poverty and other hardships of life.

Here are just a few of the highlights from this past year that were made possible by you. Two men were ordained as priests for the Diocese of Metuchen and we have the largest number of seminarians in 25 years! At Easter Vigils celebrated across our parishes, 165 candidates and 120 catechumens received the sacraments of initiation and joined our family of faith. The pastoral staff at the Catholic Center pounded the pavement throughout the sprawling Rutgers University campus extending an invitation to the thousands of students and faculty to join them for Bible study, retreats, socials, local and overseas service projects, and Mass at 4 different locations. And, more than 51,000 men, women and children were served by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen through more than 100 programs providing food, housing, counseling and so much more.

While these numbers are impressive, the real impact of your generosity can be found in the stories and faces of the individuals who have been touched by your gift—the two men who, after years of study and formation, were ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi and began their life of service in our parishes; the catechumen who, at age 86, felt the joy of receiving the Holy Eucharist for the first time; the Rutgers student struggling with anxiety and the pressures of college life who found support at the Catholic Center; and, the woman with 3 children living in her car who found steady employment and a permanent home with the help of Catholic Charities.

On behalf of these and so many more who are the beneficiaries of your generosity, thank you again for your overwhelming response to the 2018 Bishop’s Annual Appeal. May we continue to be conduits of God’s grace and steadfast in our evangelization efforts to build up this beautiful portion of God’s Kingdom here in our four counties of New Jersey.

With renewed best wishes, I remain
Yours in Christ,

Most Reverend James F. Checchio, JCD, MBA Bishop of Metuchen

About the 2018 Bishop's Annual Appeal

The Bishop’s Annual Appeal provides ongoing financial support for the pastoral, educational and charitable ministries of the Diocese of Metuchen. Achieving our $7.2 million goal for the 2018 Appeal allowed us to distribute funds to the ministries below as projected. 
OVER-GOAL FUNDS 
Your extraordinary generosity enables us to continue advancing our mission. Money raised over goal will help to: cover tuition costs for 6 more seminarians than originally budgeted for; address the needs of a growing number of retired clergy; and, enhance our communication strategy. Thank you for also providing for these urgent needs. As you can imagine, the needs are great!
Vocations & Seminarian Formation 
We are blessed to see increasing numbers of seminarians in priestly formation for the Diocese of Metuchen and your gift helps to provide the formation that will prepare them to become the future pastors of our parishes. Your gift also sustains several diocesan programs that foster vocations and provide ongoing formation for those called to ordained ministry. 
Evangelization and Communication 
Jesus gave the great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19). Christians throughout the ages have responded to this call with great enthusiasm. Now, it is our time. This year, we established a new vicariate for our diocese, the Vicariate for Evangelization and Communication. Our goal is to meet people where they are, especially our young people, by reaching out in new and exciting ways to share Jesus with them and to encourage them to develop their own friendship with Christ. With your gift to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, you share in the work of evangelization and help to bring Christ’s saving message to all people through these ministries. 
Youth-Related Ministries 
Our formation as Catholics is a beautiful, lifelong journey. To assist in that journey, the Secretariat for Family and Pastoral Life offers many enriching programs and services through the offices of Discipleship Formation for Children, Ongoing Faith Formation, Youth & Young Adult Ministry, as well as the Catholic Center at Rutgers University. Your gift to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal supports these and a variety of other ministries that encompass many aspects of marriage and family life, and human life and dignity. 
Catholic Charities and Social Ministry 
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we pray that we may always reflect His love in our encounter with others by bringing comfort to the afflicted, justice to the poor and hope to those in despair. Thanks to your support, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen served over 51,000 people last year through more than 100 programs, including housing and basic needs, addiction and family crisis counseling, affordable child care, disaster relief and immigration services. Catholic Charities serves all those in need, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity through programs that focus on the poor and devalued while always honoring the right of each person we serve to be treated with dignity and respect. 
Parish Rebates 
A parish receives 50% of the amount collected over the parish Appeal goal. This year, our parishes earned more than $200,000 to be used for local needs and charitable works at the parish’s discretion. 
Thank you!

The Bishop’s Annual Appeal provides ongoing financial support for the pastoral, educational and charitable ministries of the Diocese of Metuchen. Achieving our $7.2 million goal for the 2018 Appeal allowed us to distribute funds to the ministries below as projected. 

OVER-GOAL FUNDS 
Your extraordinary generosity enables us to continue advancing our mission. Money raised over goal will help to: cover tuition costs for 6 more seminarians than originally budgeted for; address the needs of a growing number of retired clergy; and, enhance our communication strategy. Thank you for also providing for these urgent needs. As you can imagine, the needs are great!

Vocations & Seminarian Formation 
We are blessed to see increasing numbers of seminarians in priestly formation for the Diocese of Metuchen and your gift helps to provide the formation that will prepare them to become the future pastors of our parishes. Your gift also sustains several diocesan programs that foster vocations and provide ongoing formation for those called to ordained ministry. 

Evangelization and Communication 
Jesus gave the great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19). Christians throughout the ages have responded to this call with great enthusiasm. Now, it is our time. This year, we established a new vicariate for our diocese, the Vicariate for Evangelization and Communication. Our goal is to meet people where they are, especially our young people, by reaching out in new and exciting ways to share Jesus with them and to encourage them to develop their own friendship with Christ. With your gift to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, you share in the work of evangelization and help to bring Christ’s saving message to all people through these ministries. 

Youth-Related Ministries
Our formation as Catholics is a beautiful, lifelong journey. To assist in that journey, the Secretariat for Family and Pastoral Life offers many enriching programs and services through the offices of Discipleship Formation for Children, Ongoing Faith Formation, Youth & Young Adult Ministry, as well as the Catholic Center at Rutgers University. Your gift to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal supports these and a variety of other ministries that encompass many aspects of marriage and family life, and human life and dignity. 

Catholic Charities and Social Ministry
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we pray that we may always reflect His love in our encounter with others by bringing comfort to the afflicted, justice to the poor and hope to those in despair. Thanks to your support, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen served over 51,000 people last year through more than 100 programs, including housing and basic needs, addiction and family crisis counseling, affordable child care, disaster relief and immigration services. Catholic Charities serves all those in need, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity through programs that focus on the poor and devalued while always honoring the right of each person we serve to be treated with dignity and respect. 

Parish Rebates 
A parish receives 50% of the amount collected over the parish Appeal goal. This year, our parishes earned more than $200,000 to be used for local needs and charitable works at the parish’s discretion. 

Thank you!