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May 6, 2011

May 7, 2010 - May 31, 2011

The annual Catholic Charities Appeal: Open Your Heart, Open a Door begins across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Sunday, May 7, 2011 and continues throughout the month of May.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, reflected on the following in his annual Catholic Charities Appeal's Letter:

"I continue to be impressed on a daily basis by the corporal and spiritual works of our clergy, the men and women religious and laity who tirelessly serve the people of Greater Philadelphia. Our Church has an extraordinary commitment in providing for the poor, addressing parish needs, enhancing our children's religious, elementary and high school education and supporting the many other good works of our Archdiocese. We have built an attentive, faithful ministry of services that provide hope to hundreds of thousands of people every year."

The Catholic Charities Appeal dates to 1912 when the first Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Charities was established in Philadelphia by then-Archbishop Edmond F. Prendergast. The Catholic Charities Appeal supports:

Catholic Human Services

The Catholic Charities Appeal provides major funding for Archdiocesan programs and agencies within Catholic Human Services, which encompasses nearly 100 sites across the five-county Philadelphia region. Four divisions - Catholic Social Services, Catholic Health Care Services, Nutritional Development Services, and the Office for Community Development - together fulfill the social mission of the Church by feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, protecting and nurturing neglected children and at-risk youth, healing and strengthening families, caring for the elderly, and building safer communities united in their concern for the common good. The divisions of Catholic Human Services embraces God's people in their time of need providing services without distinction to race, color, or creed.

Catholic Education

The Catholic Charities Appeal will provide nearly half the operational costs of the four schools of special education within the Archdiocesan school system and financially support many of the staff and programs provided by the Office for Youth and Young Adults.

Skilled Care for Elderly and Infirm Priests

The Catholic faithful have always been loyal supporters of the priests who have baptized and taught their children, preached the Gospel, presided at their weddings, comforted them in their sufferings, forgiven their sins and celebrated the Eucharist. The Catholic Charities Appeal will provide much needed funds for skilled care to those priests who have given their lives in service to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


The Catholic Charities Appeal provides funding to the Family Life Office and the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese in an effort to assist Cardinal Rigali in strengthening the bonds of the Catholic faith throughout the region.

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Editor's Note: For information about The Catholic Charities Appeal please contact 215-587-3651 or visit

Jhoselyn Martinez
Communications Specialist

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