March 04, 2005

Fallen-away donors rally to annual Catholic Appeal

Boston Herald

By Marie Szaniszlo
Friday, March 4, 2005

More than 20 percent of Boston-area Catholics who stopped giving to the archdiocese's flagship fund-raiser after the clergy sexual abuse scandal have returned as donors, church officials said yesterday.

Overall participation in the Annual Catholic Appeal is up 19 percent over last year, raising a total of $10.85 million, officials said. And more than 6,000, or 12 percent, of this year's donors are new contributors.

``Donors who stepped away are returning, and new donors are coming forward,'' said Damien DeVasto, the appeal's director.

Since 2002, the appeal has generated 22 percent more funds and 32 percent more donors, increases DeVasto attributed to a variety of factors, including Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley's leadership and parishioners' commitment to the church's mission. The appeal funds more than 80 programs serving hundreds of thousands of Catholics and non-Catholics in 144 eastern Massachusetts communities.

Posted by kshaw at March 4, 2005 05:57 AM