The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River was founded in 1904, and is comprised of Bristol and Barnstable Counties as well as the towns of Marion, Mattapoisett and Wareham in Plymouth County, Dukes County (Martha’s Vineyard) and Nantucket County (Nantucket). Within this vast area that comprises all of southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands there are 90 parish communities of Catholic parishioners all concerned with the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of their friends and neighbors.
This concern for the well being of others was formalized when the Diocese of Fall River initiated its first Annual Catholic Charities Appeal in 1942. Now, seven decades later, the tens of thousands of yearly supporters can look with pride on the number of individuals and families in need that have been ministered to throughout this period; literally hundreds of thousands of men, women and children throughout all of southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, due to their generosity.
The funds received during the Annual Catholic Charities Appeal support the many charitable ministries and programs sponsored by the Fall River Diocese. Throughout the year these programs touch the lives of tens of thousands of persons, some young, others old; some sick in body, others in spirit; some broken, others confused with nowhere to turn. Without regard to race, creed, nationality, gender, or economic status, the many ministries supported by this annual fund-raising effort reach out to those in need, motivated by God’s call to love one another.
In 2011 approximately 31,000 individuals and families contributed $4,241,127 to the Catholic Charties Appeal. This is the largest total raised by parishes in the seventy year history of the Appeal. These generous “friends of the needy” are members of the 90 parishes of our Diocese, stretching from Mansfield, Easton, and the Attleboros through the Taunton, Fall River, and New Bedford areas, and extending all the way to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. They know full well that the only way to lessen the mental, emotional, and physical suffering of those in need, to show them we CARE, and to give them HOPE, is by SHARING.