Fundraising up in Boston

Fundraising up in Boston

While money isn’t everything, it does keep the lights on and a roof over your head. That’s why it’s good news to hear that the Boston archdiocese’s annual appeal is coming back strong.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston raised $13.8 million in its most recent annual fund drive, up 57 percent from its low point in the midst of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, but still down significantly from its fund-raising levels before the crisis.

While the overall number of individuals contributing was down from 2000 levels (50,000 v. 90,000), it’s still more than the 38,000 in 2002. Yes, there are still folks who say they will never give to the archdiocese again after the faith-shaking revelations of the Scandal and the uproar over parish closings, but it’s obviously not an overwhelming number.

Keep in mind, too, that while Boston was the epicenter of the Scandal when it erupted in 2002, it has not been forced into bankruptcy like a half-dozen other American dioceses and is in fact doing not so bad. Like I said at the top, fundraising isn’t everything, but it’s one indicator among many of general attitudes among Catholics toward the Church and the archdiocese in particular. People put their money where their heart and head are committed.

“Clearly, if you look over the last four campaigns, there is a strong demonstration of forward movement and a recognition by Catholics of the progress that’s taking place across the archdiocese,” said Damien DeVasto, director of the Catholic Appeal. “There’s more to be done—there’s no question—but this is a real reflection that there is a greater sense of community and progress.”

We’re not out of the woods, by any means, but it’s a sign of hope.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli