PLATTSBURGH — As summer turns to fall in the North Country, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg turns to the public for generosity.
Last weekend, parishes across the diocese kicked off the 2012 Bishop’s Fund Appeal in an effort to raise money to support the diocese’s many ministries.
The annual appeal asks the public for donations, which will be used by the ministries to meet the social and educational needs of members.
“A gift to the Bishop’s Fund will help to provide financial assistance to the vital ministries of the Diocese of Ogdensburg,” said Valerie Mathews, director of the fund.
“These are ministries that no one parish can provide on their own.”
One such ministry is the Good Samaritan Fund, which, Mathews said, helps people in their time of need, whether they have a sick child or have lost their home to natural disaster.
Last year, for example, the Good Samaritan Fund aided families in the AuSable Forks area whose homes were damaged by floodwaters.
The ministry also provides for numerous food pantries throughout the diocese, according to Mathews.
“It just helps people get through another day,” she said.
Money given to the Bishop’s Fund also supports the diocese’s Guggenheim Center, a youth camp in Saranac Lake.
The center hosts weeklong, faith-centered sessions for teens in the summer, as well as weekend retreats for families throughout the year.
“Families come together and learn how to build their families and build their marriages,” Mathews said.
Other ministries supported by the Bishop’s Fund include the diocese’s Family Life, Natural Family Planning and Vocation offices; Education of Seminarians; Respect Life Ministry; Office of Evangelization; Continuing Education and Formation of Priests; Priest’s Graduate Studies; Permanent Deacons; Deacon Formation; Department of Christian Formation; Diocesan Center of Youth Ministry; Young Adult Ministry; and Department of Worship; as well as the Formation for Ministry, Tuition Assistance and Campus Ministry programs.