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Heralding God’s mercy through the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal

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.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017