The Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese of Washington, which marks its 50th anniversary in 2019, provides the main source of funding for the archdiocese’s ministries and its educational and charitable outreach. On the weekend of Feb. 23 and 24, Catholics in parishes across the nation’s capital and in the five surrounding Maryland counties will be invited to make a commitment to the appeal, through a pledge or a gift. One hundred percent of donations to the Annual Appeal go toward the outreach programs and ministries it supports.

The theme of the 2019 Annual Appeal is “Our Faith. Our Hope. Our Mission.”

Here are examples of the impact that donations to the Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese of Washington have on people in this community:

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal support the education and formation of the Archdiocese of Washington’s 87 seminarians, who are studying to be the next generation of priests who will bring Christ’s love and the sacraments to people at all stages of their lives.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal help provide for the care of retired and sick priests who have dedicated their lives to serving the people of the archdiocese.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal support the formation of permanent deacons who serve in parishes and in a variety of ministries throughout the area, and also support the archdiocese’s offices for vocations and consecrated life.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal help fund tuition assistance that makes the dream of a Catholic education possible for families, giving students a foundation of Catholic values and academic excellence to help them make a difference in whatever path in life they follow. The archdiocese awarded $6.1 million in tuition assistance for the 2018-19 school year, a more than seven-fold increase since 2007.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal also support parish religious education and school safety programs.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal fund campus ministries at area universities, providing students with a community of faith during their college years.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal provide essential support to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, the region’s largest non-governmental social service provider, which served more than 142,000 people last year in 58 programs. Appeal donations support Catholic Charities’ Sanctuaries for Life program, which serves pregnant women in need, helping them deliver healthy babies and assisting them with medical and physical care for their children.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal support a variety of marriage and family ministries, so people’s faith can be strengthened in their lives at home, at work, at school and in the community.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal support a range of youth ministry programs, and outreach to young adults.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal support outreach to people with special needs, so they can share their gifts with the Church.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal support programs celebrating the cultural diversity of this Catholic community. Masses in the Archdiocese of Washington are celebrated in more than 20 different languages, including American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French-Creole, German, Italian, Korean, Latin, Nigerian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog (for people from the Philippines) and in Vietnamese. Forty sites offer Masses in Spanish, serving the archdiocese’s estimated 230,000 Hispanic Catholics.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal support chaplains providing hospital ministry, and also outreach to people who are imprisoned.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal support efforts promoting the dignity of human life at all stages, including the Archdiocese of Washington’s annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life at the Capital One Arena, which this year drew more than 18,000 teens from 35 states, 67 dioceses and five countries to join in a day of prayer for the protection of all life.

•  Donations to the Annual Appeal support archdiocesan communications efforts, including providing new websites and Flocknote service to parishes, and evangelization efforts like Find the Perfect Gift during Advent and the Light is On promotion of the sacrament of Confession at parishes during Lent.

(For information on the Archdiocese of Washington’s Annual Appeal, go online to appeal.adw.org .)