It wasn’t yet a victory celebration, as the Cardinal’s Annual Appeal still has a little ways to go to meet its $20 million goal, but that didn’t stop Cardinal Dolan from expressing his appreciation and admiration to the 400 pastors and parish volunteers gathered before him at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie last week.
Saying that he was looking out at “the major stockholders of the Archdiocese of New York,” Cardinal Dolan told those gathered for the Appeal’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in the seminary’s Cardinal Spellman Gymnasium June 20 that he loved them and was honored to be their archbishop.
They were on the front lines of the Appeal efforts that to date had raised $19,218,000 from 61,138 families in the archdiocese, according to statistics reported by Appeal director Channon Lucas.
“I thank you very much,” Cardinal Dolan said.
Noting that the campaign will continue to the end of the calendar year, the cardinal said he expected that it would eventually meet and exceed its goal.
“We couldn’t have done it without you,” the cardinal said to the volunteers.
The Volunteer Appreciation Dinner is always a festive occasion, and this year’s was no exception as vicariate representatives cheerfully reported the totals raised by the parishes in their regions, including the number of parishes that had exceeded their goals. Throughout the archdiocese, a total of 180 parishes had already met their goal, Ms. Lucas said.
“We are definitely on track to reach and exceed the goal of $20 million,” she told CNY.
As the statistics were reported, “oohs” and “aahs” were heard as the higher numbers were tallied.
Helen Lowe, the archdiocese’s director of development, presided over the awards presentations, which this year featured a newly inaugurated Pastors Hall of Fame which paid tribute to a dozen pastors whose parishes reached 125 percent or more of their goal and had received contributions from at least 40 percent of families.
The honor roll included: Msgr. Michael Hull, Guardian Angel parish, Manhattan; Father Ricardo Fajardo, Holy Spirit, the Bronx; Father Charles O’Connor, O.F.M., Holy Cross, Callicoon; Father Jacob Thumma, St. Sylvester’s, Staten Island; Father John Jaume, C.R., Our Lady of Fatima, Plattekill; Father Peter Meehan, Our Lady of the Rosary, Manhattan; Father William A. White, Immaculate Conception, Bangall; Father Jacek Nowak, S.CH., St. Joseph’s, Poughkeepsie; Father James Borstelmann, St. Colman’s, East Kingston; Msgr. Nicholas Soares, St. Clement and St. Michael, Staten Island; Father George Sears, St. Mary’s, Poughkeepsie; and Father Terzo Vinci, S.A.C., Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Yonkers.
Newly elected to the Cardinal’s Appeal Hall of Fame were: Mary Cashin and Patricia Connelly, St. Stephen of Hungary, Manhattan; Carrie McGee, Antoinette Robinson and Frank DeLeonardis of the Wakefield parishes in the Bronx; Susan Kolesar, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Shrub Oak; and Alice Sheehan, St. Martin de Porres, Poughkeepsie.
Mrs. Sheehan told CNY afterward that she had “no idea” she would receive the designation. Her involvement in the work of the Appeal dates back many years, but not quite as far as her connection to St. Martin de Porres parish, where she was among the first parishioners.
In fact, she and her late husband, Philip, were among those who went door-to-door more than half a century ago to determine if there were enough Catholics in the area to support a new parish. St. Martin de Porres was founded in 1962, and Mrs. Sheehan said it is “a great parish.”
“I’ve been able to see it grow,” said Mrs. Sheehan, who records parish envelope donations each Sunday and is a member of the senior program, where she teaches the card game bridge.
This year, parishioners made St. Martin de Porres the highest-pledging parish in Dutchess County with $143,746 raised by the dinner date.
Msgr. James Sullivan, the pastor of St. Martin de Porres, had a simple reply when asked to what he attributed the success of his parish’s Cardinal’s Appeal efforts: “The generosity of the people.”
That generosity, he said, enables them to respond to meet the needs of their own parish as well as that of the archdiocese through their support of the Appeal.
To make a donation to the Cardinal’s Annual Appeal, see the ads on Page 7 in English and en la Pagina 19 en Español.