It’s a huge task. And it compels me to ask more of you than ever before.

Dear Friends,

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Catholic Charities Appeal in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia — 60 years of giving hope to all. The gift of hope is a tremendous blessing. It sheds light and gives encouragement to those in despair.

Over the past 60 years, generous Catholics, like you, have donated approximately $290,000,000 in response to Christ’s instruction to help those who have been marginalized and cast aside. You have fed the hungry, given shelter to the homeless, and comforted the afflicted. You have supported extraordinary schools for special needs students, helped desperate families get on their feet, and brought joy to the lives of the aged and lonely.

In 1958, when the Archdiocese of Philadelphia launched its first Catholic Charities Appeal, the average yearly income was $4,650. Astonishingly, that Appeal raised $2 million! This year, our goal is $12.5 million. I know that we’ve set a high bar, but as you’re well aware, a loaf of bread is no longer 19 cents as it was in 1958. Nor is a gallon of gas still 24 cents.

It’s a huge task. And it compels me to ask more of you than ever before.

That’s why on this 60th anniversary of the Catholic Charities Appeal, I ask you to look deeply within your heart to be even more generous than usual to bring the gift of hope to your brothers and sisters in need.

Poverty, hunger and homelessness remain serious challenges in our community. As said in Scripture, “And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” (Hebrews 13:16)

Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Archbishop of Philadelphia