Areas Supported by the Catholic Appeal

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More than a dozen agencies and apostolates funded by the Catholic Appeal assist and minister to more than 100,000 individuals and families.

Catholic Charities

Since 1924, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fall River has been committed to improving the quality of life for those in need by providing comprehensive social and human services including basic and emergency needs, homelessness, assistance with immigration issues, housing and residential services, mental health ministry, foreclosure help, citizenship services, and much more. Catholic Charities works with persons of all faiths and cultures in the Spirit of God’s universal love to advance human dignity and promote social justice, truth, and solidarity in our community. Visit the Catholic Charities website.

Bereavement Support Group

Catholic Charities offers a Bereavement Support Group to help people cope with the loss of a loved one. The group meetings provide an opportunity for those who wish to share their experiences, feelings, and emotions with others who are on the very same journey. In sharing, often new ways are discovered to cope and to find new strength and hope.

Mental Health Ministry

Catholic Charities and the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers ( have partnered to provide a much-needed Mental Health Ministry within our diocese. This ministry’s main purpose is spiritual accompaniment – reminding parishioners impacted by mental health issues that they are not alone. The ministry provides education and awareness; creates a welcoming, accepting environment; offers companionship for those affected by mental health issues; supports family members and caregivers; and provides advocacy and referrals for therapy, counseling, or clinical treatment.

Guild for the Blind

The Guild for the Blind, a program of Catholic Charities, helps visually impaired individuals across the Diocese keep, strengthen, and recover their faith through prayer, support, and fellowship. The Guild offers telephone-based Rosaries twice a month. Following the Rosary, participants take part in discussions that help reduce feelings of isolation and offer suggestions for easing commonly-shared, everyday challenges. 

Community Action for Better Housing

Support of the Catholic Appeal funds the work of Community Action for Better Housing (CABH), which offers safe, affordable places to live in Fall River and New Bedford. CABH works with many different groups – including the elderly, homeless, those actively recovering from addiction, or victims of domestic violence – to provide them with secure housing and a stepping stone to a brighter future.

Pastoral Care for the Sick

The Office of Pastoral Ministry to the Sick ministers to the sick and dying in all of the hospitals in the diocese. It offers a network of full and part-time chaplains who provide coverage for these hospitals, providing much-needed support in the form of visits, distribution of Communion, and assistance with the administration of the Sacrament of the Sick to thousands of individuals. Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the warmth and support of our hospital chaplains has often served as the sole source of comfort for many patients feeling the pain of isolation from family and friends. 

Deacon Paul Spearin (pictured here) is Chaplain at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River.

Catholic Schools Support

Gifts to the Catholic Appeal support the education of our youth by helping make the dream of a Catholic education feasible for families through tuition abatement and scholarship support. Our Catholic Schools offer our students the chance to grow and prosper spiritually, academically, emotionally, and socially – putting them on the path to becoming the people God created them to be. They teach respect for the dignity of every person. By infusing religion throughout the curriculum, our schools help our students become well-rounded, faith-filled individuals who contribute to society in a variety of ways.

Weekly Television Mass

The weekly Television Mass, brought to you by the Diocese of Fall River, provides spiritual comfort to thousands of individuals in homes, hospitals, and nursing facilities across our region. For many of our viewers, some of whom are sick, of advanced age or homebound, the opportunity to hear the Word of God and to join the prayers of the Mass is a source of consolation and support in their daily living. A Sunday morning fixture since 1963, the Television Mass offers a local Mass celebrated by a familiar area priest. Your support helps to continue this important ministry and the service it provides to Catholics throughout southeastern Massachusetts and beyond. Click here to support the weekly Television Mass.

Secretariat for the New Evangelization

The Secretariat for the New Evangelization (formerly the Office of Faith Formation) serves our parishes, schools, and college campuses by equipping Catholics of the Diocese of Fall River to play active roles in an invigorated Church. The office’s vision is for people of all ages to engage as disciples of Jesus; for Catholic communities to be evangelically capable; for married couples and families to live as the domestic Church; and for every human life to be protected and loved from conception to natural death. The Secretariat works to achieve this vision through parish evangelization, consultations and general support, talks and workshops, and life-long formation efforts across a number of ministries: 

  • Campus Ministry: providing college students, faculty, and staff the chance to grow in their faith journeys through peer leadership and evangelization opportunities, service work, and Catholic student groups.
  • Family and Respect Life: for nearly 30 years, the Diocese of Fall River has provided life-changing support to expectant mothers, the unborn, married couples, and families through pro-life diocesan-wide events (including the chance to participate in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., a Pro-Life Mass with the Bishop, a Pro-Life essay contest for junior high school and high school students at all our Diocesan schools, and the annual Pro-Life Boot Camp for Catholic youth), Project Rachel, and marriage enrichment. 
  • Adult and Child Discipleship: serving our priests, parishes, and the people of our Diocese through adult confirmation, R.C.I.A., men’s ministry, and family and parent formation opportunities.
  • Youth Ministry: provides consultation, support, and resources for the youth of the Fall River Diocese through confirmation, retreat experiences and events, the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), and middle and high school formation.

To learn more about the work of the Office of the Secretariat in the Diocese of Fall River, visit Fall River Faith Formation’s website.

Support for our Priests and Deacons of Today and Tomorrow

The Catholic Appeal supports Seminarian and Clergy Education and Development, offering critical support for seminarians as they begin their education and journey to the priesthood. Additionally, the Diaconate Program supports more than 60 deacons presently serving in parishes and in other ministries in the Diocese. The Appeal also benefits the retired priests of the Diocese of Fall River, many of whom continue to serve our parishes and people each and every year: celebrating Mass, assisting our pastors, visiting the sick, administering the sacraments, and educating and guiding the individuals and families of our community in their faith.

Hispanic and Brazilian Ministries

The diocese seeks to assist our Latino and Brazilian Portuguese communities in bearing rich and meaningful witness to their faith through the efforts of the Hispanic and Brazilian Ministries, through Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese Masses and resources, as well as coordination of services unique to the needs of these faith-filled and active Catholic populations.