Both Channel 10 and the Catholic Courier are reporting that Bishop Clark has directed that a special collection be conducted either this weekend or next. Its purpose is to raise funds to meet a challenge issued by the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation.
The Wegman family has offered the diocese $2 million in assistance for poor children to attend Catholic schools, provided the diocese can raise another $500,000 in new donations on its own.
It appears that the bishop has already gone through his list of wealthy donors and has managed to come up with about $320,000. Now he's reaching out to average parishioners in an effort to raise the remaining $180,000.
The bishop has also directed that a letter asking for support be read at every Mass this weekend. The bishop's letter says, in part,
I know you have already been generous to the Catholic Ministries Appeal. But I ask you again for support in this special effort for the sake of these children and their future.
In this time of almsgiving, in this time in which we celebrate our own blessings and the abundant love and forgiveness of Almighty God, let us give hope to these children; let us stretch out our hands and offer them a way up and out of poverty through education.
Given that the CMA drive seems to be stalling out substantially short of its goal, it will be interesting to see how well the people respond.