The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington began a three-year capital campaign to raise funds for pensions, diocesan ministries, and current and future parish needs.
The campaign, Sustaining Hope for the Future, is designed to meet the needs created by the diocesan bankruptcy settlement that was finalized in September 2011 and paid $77.4 million to survivors of clergy sexual abuse to settle their claims against the dioceses and 29 parishes. The settlement drained diocesan reserves and requires the diocese to reinforce its lay employees’ pension plan with a $10 million infusion by the end of 2017.
Catholic school teachers, parish secretaries, Catholic Charities staff, cemetery workers, parish maintenance staff and others will have their pensions secured by the Sustaining Hope for the Future campaign. The campaign will also help retired priests who have dedicated their lives to the spiritual needs of their parishioners to have health insurance coverage and a dignified retirement. A percentage of the funds will be used by parishes to meet their various needs.
The Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington, said he is confident that priests and lay parishioners will step up and support the campaign.
The last major fundraising campaign by the diocese, Bringing the Vision to Life, was launched in 2000 and concluded in 2004 and raised $54 million in pledges. In addition to building two new Catholic elementary schools, Christ the Teacher Catholic School in Glasgow and Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Ocean Pines, Md., and additional facilities for St. Thomas More Academy in Magnolia, Bringing the Vision to Life has provided complete or partial funding for dozens of parish projects.
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 57 parishes, 18 missions and 30 schools serving the state of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There are more than 233,000 Catholics in the diocese. Information about the diocese is available at www.cdow.org.