The theme for last year’s Bishop’s Lenten Appeal (BLA), “Go forth
as heralds of God’s mercy” was embodied through the tremendous generosity of
44,000-plus families and individuals who responded to the appeal with pledges
of more than $17,725,000 to support the work of the local Catholic Church.
“As I begin my ministry at the Arlington Diocese, I am truly
humbled by the generous outpouring of financial support from the faithful in
our diocese,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. “It is gratifying to hear of the
many parishioners who are joyfully sharing their gifts through the BLA, which
funds programs and ministries that teach, heal, support, nurture and feed so
many of our brothers and sisters in need.”
The diocese was blessed to receive a challenge gift that matched
increases in pledges with an equal donation of $500,000 to the Arlington Diocese.
More than 35 percent of families and individuals increased their BLA pledge
this year to help the diocese achieve the full amount of the challenge gift. These
funds helped to build the Catholic Charities Endowment and the Diocesan Tuition
Assistance Endowment, which have grown through this matching gift, and now assist
hundreds of needy families each year.
The BLA ensures that the diocese will continue to be served by
dedicated priests, religious and lay people who carry out the pastoral programs
and ministries of parishes and the diocese. Donations to the BLA support a
multifaceted array of important ministries and offices including: Vocations,
Catholic Charities, Catholic Schools, Religious Education, Youth Ministry,
Family Life and many others. A list of the programs and initiatives supported
by the BLA is shown in the adjacent chart.
The 2017 Bishop’s Lenten Appeal mailing will be sent at the end
of January and will feature the theme, “Offering hands to serve and hearts to
love.” The 2017 BLA will seek prayerful reflection and support from all
parishioners to continue the works of charity and outreach funded by this
critical appeal. For more information, contact the BLA office at 703/841-2750.