Catholic Strong: Take up the challenge of missionary discipleship



The video for our CATHOLIC STRONG campaign is available at The viewer is treated to a five-minute journey around our South Jersey diocese — its people, churches, schools, parish buildings and programs. The pride of our priests and people in their Catholic faith is very evident by those featured and, I concur, WE CATHOLICS HAVE MUCH TO BE PROUD OF.

For the past 80 years, everyday Catholics have built a strong presence in the six counties of our diocese. Over the decades that presence has had different forms and emphases. When the first diocesan bishop was installed on May 4, 1938 he concluded his sermon with these words: “May Camden Flourish.” Thanks to the generous support of our Catholic people, that has happened.

This milestone 80th anniversary of the diocese calls us to strengthen that historic support in order to continue the flourishing of our Catholic faith and presence in South Jersey. We look forward to the future of our church as it is lived in our parishes, schools, programs, buildings and people. The foundation that has been handed on to us must be made firmer, cared for and brought up to date.

The vitality of parish life requires renewal so that our people grow stronger in their Catholic faith. Programs directed at children, youth and young adults need solid direction so that they are effectively preparing the future generations of South Jersey Catholics. New challenges that confront our parishes must be faced with the same determination and cooperation as in the past.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, encourages the church to move beyond the past to a new interaction with the world. In The Joy of the Gospel he writes, “Every Christian is challenged to be actively engaged in evangelization. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are ‘disciples’ or ‘missionaries’ but rather that we are always ‘missionary disciples.’”

The CATHOLIC STRONG campaign is intended to provide our parishes and all the ministries they undertake with the tools needed to take up the challenge of missionary discipleship on behalf of our schools; religious formation programs; ministerial development; charitable service to the poor, senior citizens and needy; youth ministry; evangelization efforts; outreach to the addicted and the care of our properties.

Each time that I visit a parish or school in our diocese I witness great things. However, I know there is much more that can be done and must be done and will be done so that “CAMDEN MAY FLOURISH.”

I am confident that with your financial and prayerful support CAMDEN WILL CONTINUE TO FLOURISH because WE ARE CATHOLIC STRONG.


See related Catholic Strong stories:…sary-says-pastor/…-generous-donors/…e-church-repairs/


The Campaign for the Catholic Community of South Jersey

The Campaign for the Catholic Community of South Jersey, titled Catholic Strong, is seeking to secure a minimum of $50 million, which will primarily benefit local parishes. Seventy percent of the funds raised through this effort will be allocated for parish needs as determined locally and 30 percent will fund the diocese’s coordination and support of various ministries.

Strong Parishes – $35 Million

The parish is the heart of the Church and the center of Catholic life. That is why the primary goal of this campaign is to provide the resources that will strengthen parishes and their ministries. Seventy percent of the funds raised at each parish will remain at that parish in order to address local needs. These funds will provide each parish the ability to grow ministries, increase evangelization efforts, complete capital improvements, reduce debt, and focus on other critical concerns. Because each parish is unique, parishes will determine for themselves how best to utilize their share of the funds raised. Parishioners are encouraged to take an active part in the campaign at the local level and fully support the mission of their parish.

Strong Schools – $8 Million

This campaign will provide South Jersey Catholic Schools with the  funding to target key areas which are not able to be addressed through our current operational funds. These areas include: faculty and staff development, especially in the area of catechesis; curriculum expansion and innovation; and more substantial methods for engaging youth and young adults.

Strong Service – $4 Million

While the Diocese of Camden provides care to individuals and families in need across the six counties of South Jersey there are always new needs that form. From this campaign, specific funding will go to new addiction healing services programs with special emphasis on combating the opioid crisis, broader efforts to provide assistance to the poor, enhanced healthcare outreach for individuals and families, and greater legal support services for immigrants and the marginalized.

Strong Faith – $3 Million

Beginning with the Apostles, it has been the responsibility of the faithful to go beyond the church walls to share their faith in the person of Jesus Christ. This campaign will focus on strengthening evangelization efforts by:

  • Promoting the public image of the Catholic Church in South Jersey through traditional and newer media to showcase the vitality of parishes and ministries from the Jersey Shore to the Delaware River.
  • Welcoming new members, welcoming back inactive members, and encouraging all those who seek Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church to become missionary disciples to all corners of our communities.
  • Increasing educational opportunities for parish ministers and staff to help parishes embrace the varied expressions of the Catholic faith in language, culture, and practice, as well as their own professional and faith formation.


Catholic Strong Prayer


We are grateful for the gift of our church and the blessings of its parishes, schools and ministries.

Please watch over us as we embark on this campaign, Catholic Strong, which will fortify these gifts for the benefit of the entire South Jersey community.

Let this be an opportunity to celebrate our tradition of church teaching by going outward, strengthening our future and becoming Missionary Disciples of your Son, Jesus Christ, to the people of Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties.

We pray that you watch over us and guide us as we invigorate our parishes and leadership, raise our public image, embrace our diversity, and continue to serve Your mission on Earth.

Father, bless our campaign and send forth your Holy Spirit so that we will be for years to come Catholic Strong.