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Catholics ministering and meeting goals amid a pandemic

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Dozens of Catholic ministries in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati have worked tirelessly to find unique ways to serve others during the recent months as the COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the world. Employees, volunteers, and clergy have remained committed to God’s call to serve others.

The Stewardship Department of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati oversees the yearly Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) that raises money to support six local ministries that teach, feed, and heal thousands in our community. Each of the ministries supported by the CMA has been impacted by the requirements of social distancing and the government order to shelter in place.

“Over the last few months, day-to-day operations for each of the CMA ministries dramatically changed. I am really proud of our ministries and the ways they engaged in the health crisis. They each found creative ways to continue to serve despite social distancing,” said Matt Reinkemeyer, Director of Development Operations in the Stewardship Department.

Some examples of ways that CMA-supported ministries have creatively responded to the pandemic are:

  • Provided food pantry services via a drive-thru option
  • Counseling calls/video-calls for clients in the following programs: Parenting Services, Senior Services, Refugee Resettlement, Mental Health Services, and more
  • “Coffee and COVID” youth evangelization training sessions
  • Youth online eucharistic adoration, teaching and praise and worship music
  • Campus ministry online prayer groups and faith formation
  • Continued hospital chaplaincy ministry that became vital for patients unable to see family members while hospitalized

These ministries continued to serve hundreds in the region through the pandemic, especially thanks to the generous donations that continued through the last several months. Each year the Catholic Ministries Appeal kicks off in January and runs through the spring. For the last 8 years the campaign goal has been $5 million. This year the campaign was off to a great start before the pandemic, reaching $4 million pledged faster than any previous year, but then the pandemic took hold.

“We didn’t know what to expect after the ‘shelter in place’ order was issued,” said David Kissell, Chief Development Officer for the Archdiocese. As it turns out, the campaign was still able to reach the goal, crossing the $5 million mark in mid-June. “We are so grateful and humbled by the support of so many donors across the Archdiocese. It really is a witness to the unity of our diocese.”

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 44th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with more than 450,000 Catholics, and has the fifth largest Catholic school system in terms of enrollment with more than 40,000 students.  The 19-county territory includes 211 parishes and 111 Catholic primary and secondary schools.

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