Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez held a press conference on Mon., Jan. 22 to announce the launch of the 2024 Catholic Charities Appeal (CCA). The Appeal is the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s single largest annual fundraising initiative. This year’s fundraising goal is $10 million and the theme is “Giving Hope to All.”

“​​For 65 years, the Church, through Catholic Charities [Appeal], has given hope to our most vulnerable and those in need,” Archbishop Pérez said. “It has lifted up those struggling with poverty, addiction, homelessness, hunger, and many more challenges that jeopardize their ability to survive. We do that because it is at the core of the Gospel.”

The Archbishop noted that one in five people in the five-county metropolitan Philadelphia region receive services funded through the CCA.

“This is the largest annual fundraising initiative of our local church because it fuels our ability to love, to be charitable, to give to those in need because in serving them, we serve Christ,” Archbishop  Pérez said.

“Your generous response to the Catholic Charities Appeal ensures that critical and life sustaining work of charity and mercy throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia can serve people who rely on us for real help and hope each year.”

During the press conference, Heather Huot, Secretary for Catholic Human Services, spoke about the vital assistance that Catholic Social Services provides to people across the Archdiocese.

“The work of Catholic Social Services is expansive, covering all five counties and providing care and support for people through a wide range of services, including family service centers, housing programs, residential and day programs for the intellectually disabled, foster care, residential services for youth, senior care management and food programs,” Huot said. “Last year, over 600,000 individuals were impacted by the work of Catholic Social Services.”

​​Katie Bier, Principal of Our Lady of Confidence School in Willow Grove, spoke on behalf of the three special education schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia: St. Lucy’s School for Children with Visual Impairments in Philadelphia, St. Katherine Day School in Wynnewood, and Our Lady of Confidence School.

“Parents who seek out our schools are looking for the Catholic education they are able to give to their special child just like the one they’re able to give to their neurotypical child,” Bier said.

“Our three schools are able to provide specialized instruction to meet their needs in a Catholic environment. Special education in Catholic schools is a unique gift, and with your funding we’ll be able to continue serving God and taking care of his special children this year.”

Mr. Ernest W. Russom III, President of the CCA Board of Directors, along with representatives from organizations that benefit from the Catholic Charities Appeal, joined Archbishop  Pérez at the press conference.

Huot emphasized the importance of the Catholic Charities Appeal in supporting the charitable works of the Church throughout the Philadelphia region.

“The Appeal empowers us to provide a wide range of support and services to our most vulnerable sisters and brothers,” she added.

“It is my hope this year that the work of Catholic Social Services will create a spark of hope across the Archdiocese that will inspire generosity and invite partnership with us.”