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Catholic Charities at 78% of Goal

Buffalo, NY – The 2003 Catholic Charities Appeal began Sunday. Organizers say just over $8 million, or 78 percent of the $10,250,000 goal, was collected on the first day.

"We are truly gratified that in these difficult times -- for our communities and for our world -- the people of Western New York continue to rise to the needs of their brothers and sisters," Most Rev. Henry Mansell, Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, said.

"We are encouraged and heartened by this wonderful response from our volunteers, clergy, parishoners, corporations and community members," Rev. Joseph Sicari, Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities, said. "At the same time, we urge those who have not yet taken the opportunity to make a contribution or pledge to step forward this week."

The drive, with the theme "Hope - Yours to Give," continues through this coming Sunday.