The Phillies and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are teaming up to offer a fun night of baseball at Citizens Bank Park to benefit a good cause: the annual Catholic Charities Appeal.
The first-ever Catholic Charities Night at the Phillies will be Sept. 17, and $8 from each ticket purchased will go toward the appeal.
The night will have a Catholic flair when Bishop Timothy Senior, rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the game against the Florida Marlins beginning at 7:05 p.m. And the choir of St. Cyprian Parish in West Philadelphia will sing the National Anthem.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the Church and for the appeal, just to get Catholics together,” said Gina Conforto, director of marketing and communications for the appeal. “As far as we know, (the Phillies have) never done a ‘Catholic night.’ It’s the first time.”
Tickets to the game are available in three seating areas of the park in prices ranging from $20 to $38. They include Outfield (sections 101-107, at $38 per ticket), Pavilion (201-207, $30), Pavilion Deck (306-310, $28) and Pavilion Deck (301-305, $20).
They must be purchased on this page at the Phillies website – enter the promotional code Catholic when prompted — before Sept. 13 for proceeds to be applied to the Catholic Charities Appeal.
Conforto hopes at least 500 tickets will be sold for the game. “We’re really excited about it and we’re hoping for a really good turnout,” she said.
The game represents a new way that the Catholic Charities Appeal is raising money to support the charitable good works of the Catholic Church to all people in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
For many years its fundraising relied almost exclusively on door-to-door solicitation. These days a direct mail campaign to Catholics’ homes joins a video presentation in Catholic churches, supplemented by events such as the Phillies game.
The efforts appear to be working. The appeal currently is at 75 percent of its goal of $10 million for the year, at $7,506,935 pledged. All indicators of activity in the appeal exceed last year’s tallies as of last week, including higher number of gifts, higher participation of rate of donors, higher average dollar amount of gifts and, most notably, about $1 million more received in cash from pledges as compared to last year.
To date $7,159,655 has been received from the more than $7.5 million pledged so far this year.
Conforto said 38 archdiocesan parishes “have gone over their goal” for the appeal this year.
The appeal benefits Catholic social service agencies that serve all people regardless of creed, economic background or ethnicity.
It also benefits parishes like St. Cyprian that need financial assistance to continue serving people in distressed neighborhoods.
Learn more at the website of the Catholic Charities Appeal.