Seeking the Kingdom of God: The Cardinal’s Appeal 2018

Every day, the programs and ministries of the Archdiocese of Washington and its parishes, schools and agencies bring Christ’s love and hope to those in need throughout our community, in the cold of winter and the heat of summer. Staff members and volunteers give schoolchildren the opportunity for a brighter future, help the homeless rebuild their lives and welcome immigrants in their new home.  They provide consolation to the sick, solidarity and friendship to people with special needs, support to young adults and college students, and assistance to women facing crisis pregnancies.

All this – and more – is made possible thanks to the dedication of these women and men and to the generous support of a legion of benefactors from every sector of our local Church.  For nearly 50 years, the annual Cardinal’s Appeal has provided the main source of this funding for the archdiocese’s educational, spiritual and charitable outreach.  Every dollar reaches programs and charities serving people in our community.  Together, we make a difference in people’s lives.

The theme of the Appeal, “Seek First the Kingdom of God,” from Matthew 6:33, summarizes our calling as Jesus’ disciples, to seek and help build God’s kingdom here and now. Thanks to the support of our family of faith through this Appeal, we can do what we are not able to do alone in helping others.

By giving to the appeal, donors invest in the future, helping provide tuition assistance to children attending Catholic schools throughout the area, and supporting the formation of our 75 seminarians studying to be the next generation of priests who will provide the sacraments to our families in years to come.  Additionally, through major assistance provided by the Appeal, Catholic Charities is able to offer help to the poor in 80 locations throughout our area. The appeal also supports chaplains who minister on college campuses, in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons, and also provides help to sick and elderly priests who dedicated their lives to serving Christ and the human family. Appeal donations also support outreach to our multicultural communities and funding for innovative media efforts to bring the Good News of Jesus to people.

As the Archbishop of Washington, I have the privilege of witnessing first-hand these good works and the difference that people make with their generosity.  Giving to the Appeal is an investment of faith and love that transforms the lives of our brothers and sisters in need, and opens our hearts “to seek first the kingdom of God.”