Catholic Strong Campaign

View the Catholic Strong Campaign video in English or Spanish

The Catholic Strong Campaign Prayer


We are grateful for the gift of our church and the blessings of its parishes, schools and ministries.

Please watch over us as we embark on this campaign, CATHOLIC STRONG, which will fortify these gifts for the benefit of the entire community of South Jersey.

Let this be an opportunity to celebrate our tradition of church teaching by going outward, strengthening our future and becoming Missionary Disciples of your Son, Jesus Christ, to the people of Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties.

We pray that you watch over us and guide us as we invigorate our parishes and leadership, raise our public image, embrace our diversity, and continue to serve Your mission on Earth.

Father, bless our campaign and send forth your Holy Spirit so that we will be for years to come CATHOLIC STRONG.


Our Plan for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish

The Catholic Community of South Jersey has evolved tremendously over the course of its 80-year existence. Now, the time has come for this generation of Catholics to contribute to the great history of our diocese. We must invest in evangelization programs, lay faith formation, and professional development for parish staff and ministers.

As vital and active members of the Diocese of Camden wishing to make our contribution, we are beginning the Catholic Strong Campaign to provide the resources needed to ensure our parishes are financially stable, strengthen Catholic education, expand our outreach capabilities, and enhance our evangelization efforts. A successful campaign will ensure the vitality of our faith communities and ultimately meet the evolving needs of our Diocese.

Every parish will share in these efforts with an allocated goal. Our parish target is to raise a minimum of $1,245,000, of which we will receive 70% of the collected amount (or a minimum of $871,500) that will go toward parish needs. Additionally, we will receive 80% of all funds collected over our parish target. We will also include our 2018 House of Charity target ($144,446) in the overall total. Therefore, our total parish target is $1,389,446.

Click here to view the needs that we will use our share of funds to address...

St. Nicholas Church – $175,000

  • Renovate outside of the church/siding and windows jambs ($75,000)
  • Renovate steeple siding ($5,000)
  • Replace doors ($5,000)
  • Repair and/or replace sidewalks ($35,000)
  • Upgrade to LED lighting for all church fixtures ($30,000)
  • Purchase cameras and alarms both church and rectory ($25,000)

Assumption Church – $689,000


  • Purchase eight new doors: four at the entrance to narthex and four at the entrance to Church with locks and crash bars ($50,000)
  • Purchase new lighting controls panel ($16,000)
  • Repair and/or replace sidewalks ($30,000)
  • Repave and reline parking lot ($190,000)
  • Properly repair steeple ($48,000)
  • Purchase security cameras and update alarms system; purchase three cameras with Wi-Fi to stream Mass to shut-ins, nursing homes and hospital; and update technology in church ($100,000)


  • Purchase two new storm doors and alarm system ($20,000)


  • Purchase two new doors with entrance buzzer system with cameras and a central station alarm system ($25,000)


  • Hire full-time youth and young adult director and fund salary of $40,000-$45,000 per year for three years ($120,000-$135,000)
  • Hire part-time minister to our senior parishioners and fund salary of $25,000 per year for three years ($75,000)


Read a Letter from Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan D.D. Bishop of Camden

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

After my arrival in the diocese, I set forth three principal pastoral objectives that needed to be addressed: increasing vocations to the priesthood; the availability and accessibility of Catholic schools; and the financial stability of the diocese and each parish. Significant strides have been made in the areas of vocations and Catholic schools. Our next hurdle is the maximizing of the resources in each of our parishes and in the diocese to meet the growing challenges of announcing the joy of the Gospel to all men and women in South Jersey.

In Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation EVANGELII GAUDIUM, (The Joy of the Gospel) he encourages us to become a missionary Church that ministers even to the peripheries of society. “Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent attitude that says, ’we have always done it this way.’ I invite everyone to be bold and creative in the task of rethinking the goals, style, structures and methods of evangelization in their respective communities. The important thing is to not walk alone, but to rely on each other as brothers and sisters.” (EG #33)

To accomplish the Holy Father’s mandate, we must invest our time, talent and, yes, our treasure in our parish communities. Therefore, it is time for us to come together in a diocesan-wide campaign to raise funds, something that has not happened in our diocese for more than two decades. This historic effort is not so much about bricks and mortar, but rather about the flesh and blood of our parishes, Catholic Schools and the ministries of our missionary Church.

Our theme, CATHOLIC STRONG, is not just a slogan. It is a goal that we can reach together.

To accomplish this, we must: invest in evangelization programs, particularly crafted for youth and young adults; strengthen faith formation programs for families, adults and children; encourage professional development of parish ministers and staff; and continue to expand our social service efforts. In this way we bring the truths of our Catholic faith to more people; serve our neighbors spiritually and practically; and lay the groundwork for the future of the Church in South Jersey.

Ours is a joyful faith that follows the mission of Jesus Christ. CATHOLIC STRONG is a call to make His mission more present in South Jersey by building up the ministries of our parishes through programs of evangelization.

The Sunday Mass is central to our faith lives, and every Mass concludes with the dismissal “Go,” which calls us to bring our faith to serve the needs of children; families; the poor; the immigrant; the refugee; the addicted; the struggling and burdened; and all women and men who look to the Church for spiritual assistance and support.

I ask each of you to prayerfully consider how best to contribute to your parish and the entire Catholic community of South Jersey so that we may become stronger missionary disciples. I hope you will ask questions, offer solutions and act as good stewards of our Faith. May we be CATHOLIC STRONG to ensure, now and far into the future, an active, engaged Church in South Jersey.

With gratitude for the privilege to serve you as your bishop and with firm hope for the future of our Church in South Jersey, I am,

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan D.D.
Bishop Of Camden


Get answers to questions you may have about the Catholic Strong Campaign

What is the Catholic Strong Campaign?

Catholic Strong, the Campaign for the Catholic Community of South Jersey, is an effort to raise a minimum of $50 million in gifts and pledges. Seventy percent (70%) of all dollars collected up to the parish’s goal will be used to support the needs defined by each parish. Every parish in the Diocese has been assigned a financial target to reach in order to meet both the needs of the parish and specific needs of the Diocese, which will be funded with the remaining 30% raised. The needs being addressed through the campaign of both the Diocese and the parish are extraordinary needs beyond those supported on an annual basis by parish offertory or the House of Charity.

Why do we need a major fundraising campaign?

At the time of the mergers and consolidations of parishes in the Diocese, it was believed that the majority of our parishes, because of efficiencies of right-Sizing and the sale of property, would become operationally stable and prepared to meet ongoing physical plant and maintenance needs. Unfortunately, as a result of the “great recession” of 2008, many parishes in the Diocese of Camden have been struggling financially Most are able to meet their day-to-day operational expenses, but few are ready to deal with major physical plant needs. Understanding the challenges that our parishes face, 70% of all funds collected up to the parish goal will go directly to the parish to meet their own unique needs.

Thirty percent (30%) of the funds raised up to the parish’s goal will be directed to meet specific needs of the Diocese of Camden that cannot be met by the House of Charity. The Diocese operates with funds provided by the House of Charity -Bishop’s Annual Appeal, the assessment revenue provided by parishes, and the income from sources such as investments, rental income and service fees. These operational funds come in and go out every year from the House of Charity to meet the day-to-day operations. There is no surplus.

Since his arrival in the Diocese of Camden, Bishop Sullivan, as part of his strategic plan, has identified a variety of needs to

be addressed at the diocesan level. These include increasing the effectiveness of our faith formation and evangelization ministries by matching them to those provided in our individual parishes, coordination of the delivery of social service and social Justice services to better serve our parishes, and providing resources identified as essential by the Catholic Schools Commission for building up our Catholic schools These are needs that go beyond the ability of the House of Charity.

Who will be asked to support the Catholic Strong Campaign?

Each parish family in the Diocese of Camden will be asked to consider making a gift to the campaign. This campaign is conducted in a phased approach so that each member IS reached in the appropriate time and manner. While not all members will be able to give at the same level, each will be asked to make a sacrificial commitment.

What is the time frame of the campaign?

The campaign began with eight pilot parishes that launched their efforts in August of 2017. The remaining parishes will conduct their campaigns in one of two six-month blocks beginning in January 2018.

Who is conducting the campaign?

Along with your pastor and assigned parish campaign director, a core group of volunteers will be asked to lead and assist in the implementation of the campaign plan. Every parish will receive assistance from the diocesan campaign office staff. Full-time campaign directors will assist parishes weekly

will the House of Charity continue?

Yes. The House of Charity IS vital to continue funding the to-day work of the ministries of the Diocese.

How is this campaign different from the House of Charity?

This campaign is a response to extraordinary needs, while the House of Charity helps to fund the ongoing operating expenses of the Diocese.

How will the campaign affect parish offertory collection?

Parishes rely on their offertories. Throughout the campaign, pastors will ask parishioners to make commitments above and beyond regular giving. Parishioners are asked not to diminish giving to the offertory or the House of Charity collection, but rather to consider an increased commitment to the Church. Parishioners are encouraged to continue to embrace stewardship as a way of life.

How will parish targets be set?

Each parish target will be set at 1.35 times the average ordinary income from the years 2014-2016.

How will my parish benefit from the campaign?

Each parish will receive 70% of the funds collected up to Its goal from parishioners to be allocated to its own local cause. Parishes that exceed their target will receive 80% of those funds collected above their target. Funds collected will be dispersed every six months to both a parish’s deposit and loan fund and diocesan case components.

How much should we give?

Genuine stewardship encourages gifts of equal sacrifice, but not gifts of an equal dollar amount. Ultimately, your thoughtful and prayerful decision will be most appropriate and most appreciated.

How long will the pledge redemption period last?

Gifts are encouraged to be pledged over a three-to five-year period.

Are gifts to the campaign tax deductible?

Yes. Pledge payments are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Are donors able to pay pledges using a credit card, debit card, or through automatic withdrawal from a checking or savings account?

Yes. A donor may fulfill a pledge using a credit card, debit card, or automatic withdrawal from a checking or savings account. Donors simply provide their account information and their authorization on their personalized pledge card.

Why are donors asked to complete a pledge card?

Pledge cards aid in appropriately recording and acknowledging commitments, and in providing donors with a reminder of subsequent payments according to the schedule they request. Donors are asked to sign the pledge card, indicating that they have authorized the terms of the indicated on the card. A pledge card is not a legally binding document.

Can donors make gifts of stock or other non-cash gifts?

The campaign accepts gifts of stock and other non-liquid assets, including real estate. Donors wishing to make a gift of stock should follow the stock transfer instructions included in each solicitation packet. Donors wishing to make non-cash gifts should speak with their pastor/pastoral administrator or contact the Diocese of Camden regarding our gift acceptance policy.

Donors who are considering a gift from a donor advised fund, or those considering an estate gift, should contact Jim Lanahan, Director of Development at the Diocese of Camden, by calling 856.583.6125.

Who should donors make checks payable to?

All contributions should be made payable to Catholic Strong.

How are the campaign expenses currently being paid?

The costs of the campaign are being paid from the diocesan share of the funds collected.

Click here to view a PDF of what the Diocese of Camden plan.

For more information, check the Diocesan Website for Catholic Strong