House of Charity reserves a night to say thanks

SICKLERVILLE — “Grazie!” was the theme of the evening as pastors and House of Charity volunteers came for “Supper in Siena” at St. Charles Borromeo Parish here to celebrate more than $6 million raised to date through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.

Volunteers gathered with Bishop Joseph Galante to show the support of each parish for the ministries that are funded and kept alive through the House of Charity.

Parishes received special recognition for the 2011 campaign that finished on March 31, 2012. The Highest Percentage of Goal Amounts Collected went to Sacred Heart, Camden, at 152.6 percent and to St. Andrew the Apostle for 135.5 percent.

Other parishes received recognition in the following categories:

— One Hundred Percent of Pledges Collected: Our Lady Star of the Sea, Atlantic City; St. Andrew Kim, Absecon; Immaculate Heart, Woodlynne; Transfiguration, West Collingswood; St. Rose of Lima, Newfield

— Highest Percentage of Donors/Parishioners: St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Atlantic City; St. Yi Yun II, Westville Grove; St. Brendan, Avalon; St. Andrew Kim, Absecon; St. Joseph the Worker, Haddon Township; St. Michael, Atlantic City

— Most Dollars Collected: Christ Our Light; St. Peter, Merchantville

— Most Number of Gifts: Our Lady of Hope, Blackwood (Winter); St. Damien, Ocean City (Summer)

— Highest Increase in Number of Donors: St. Andrew the Apostle, Gibbsboro; Our Lady of the Angels, Cape May Court House; Holy Child, Runnemede; St. Joseph the Worker, Haddon Township; Holy Cross, Bridgeton.

The 2012 campaign highlights thus far showed more than 3,000 donors have returned to the campaign who had not given in two or more years. In addition, more than 1,400 new donors have been added. These lapsed and new donors have contributed nearly $1 million in 2012.

St. Charles Borromeo was recognized as the first parish to turn in a report this year, and to also report the first Major Gift along with Holy Spirit Catholic Community the same week. The Marge and Betty Award for excellent detail in parish reporting went to Betty Cipalone from St. Simon Stock.

“Words cannot adequately express the appreciation of the thousands upon thousands of individuals and families that have received Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy through the time, talent and treasure of our donors and volunteers over the years,” said Mariann Gilbride, House of Charity director. “More than $90 million has been raised since the year 2000 to keep these vital programs open and available to the most vulnerable.”

Bishop Galante offered his thanks and appreciation, reminding those in attendance that they are directly impacting the ability of those services to continue through the work of their own hands in raising the necessary dollars.

Additional photos of the evening events will be posted on the diocesan website at www.camdendiocese.org. They can be viewed by clicking the House of Charity link and the Photo Gallery option.

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