November 23, 2017

Bishop Rozanski announces annual appeal grant recipients for 2017-18

By Sharon Roulier

Volunteers from Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Easthampton pause for a photo while preparing food for the Take and Eat program. (IObserve file photo/Fred LeBlanc)


SPRINGFIELD – Just in time for Thanksgiving, several agencies in the Diocese of Springfield will be receiving grant monies due to the generosity of thousands of donors to the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal(ACA), bringing support and hope to those who are most needy throughout western Massachusetts. 

Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski announced this week that nearly $300,000 would be distributed to community based social agencies, ministries and programs in the four counties of western Massachusetts. To date, 16,830 people have pledged or donated more than $2.6 million to this year’s campaign.

“For over fifty years in the Diocese of Springfield, the Annual Catholic Appeal has been a lifeline to help in so many different ways those who are in danger, in despair and especially in our pro-life causes,” said Bishop Rozanski.

A volunteer poses with students at Homework House in Holyoke. (IObserve file photo)

The ACA has long shared a portion of its annual collection with non-diocesan groups engaged in providing local services. Of the $2.6 million total raised in the 2017 appeal, the remaining funds help support diocesan services and agencies, including the Catholic Charities Agency, Catholic Communications and Catholic schools. The complete list of those allocations will be published in the 2018 annual appeal brochure.

In a video statement the bishop thanked those who have already contributed while urging those who have yet to give, to consider a donation.

“I thank you for your participation in the appeal. For your generosity and all you have done,” said the bishop. “If you have not yet given to the annual appeal, there’s still time. So I urge you to please be involved in helping in the ways in which our church can reach out to others and improve their lives.”

In Facebook posts, two of the agencies receiving grants recently offered thanks to donors and to Bishop Rozanski.

A post on the Homework House page read: “The Annual Catholic Appeal has helped sustain Homework House’s services to Holyoke kids from our very beginnings 10 years ago. The entire Homework House community sends our thanks to the ACA and Bishop Mitch Rozanski for your very generous grant which will continue to support our work with those who are ‘least among us’”

And the directors of New Spirit youth retreat ministry wrote: “… Barry and Pat would like to say a big thank you to all people who support the Annual Catholic Appeal in the Diocese of Springfield. Thanks to your generosity, and the ACA Committee, New Spirit has been awarded a very generous grant for the 2017-2018 season. This is the 19th year in a row that we have received funds from the diocese. We are truly grateful and blessed beyond measure to have had the opportunity to serve the young people in this area during the past 24 years. Thank you, Bishop Mitch Rozanski, for the continued support of our ministry efforts.”

The complete list of ACA recipients follows:


  • Alternatives: Crisis Pregnancy Center (Greenfield) – $6,000  
  • Angels Take Flight(Hampden County) – $4,000
  • Bethlehem House(Easthampton) – $25,000 
  • Genesis Spiritual Life Center(Westfield, all WMass) – $10,000. 
  • The Gray House(Springfield) – $22,000  
  • Holy Cross Sandwiches for the Homeless(Springfield) – $2,500
  • Homework House(Holyoke) – $19,000
  • Jericho(Holyoke, all WMass) – $25,000  
  • Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen(Chicopee) – $15,000
  • Montague Catholic Social Ministries(Turners Falls) – $30,000
  • New Spirit, Inc.(all WMass) – $21,000
  • New Direction(No Berkshire County) – $8,000 
  • Pregnancy Support Services of Berkshire County (Pittsfield and Central Berkshire County) – $3,000
  • Providence Behavioral Health Hospital(Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties) – $30,000
  • Providence Ministries Service Network(Hampden County) – $26,000
  • Residents Encounter Christ Prison Ministry(Berkshire County) – $1,000