Catholic Diocese Is Set to Resume Bishop Reception
By Kathryn Marchocki
August 10, 2004
MANCHESTER — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester will resume the Bishop’s summer reception this year. The event was discontinued in 2002 during the height of the clergy sexual abuse scandal.
The reception, now to be known as the Bishop’s Summer Luncheon, is for donors contributing at least $500 to the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund. It will be held Sept. 9 at the bishop’s mansion, now known as Trudel House.
The fund gives grants to nonprofit organizations regardless of religious affiliation to help New Hampshire residents. Past recipients include New Horizons soup kitchen, American Red Cross and New Hampshire Easter Seals.
“This fund is significant because it meets people’s basic needs. These aren’t glamorous extras,” said Kathleen D. Cook, board chairman and 2004 campaign chair.
Volunteers actively involved in the fundraising requested the reception be resumed, Cook said.
“They felt it was missed,” she said. “It’s a very special evening.”
Cook said contributions fell after the reception was canceled in 2002. She attributed this to the “issues in the Catholic church” and that some people gave less than before because there was no reception.
The fund raised $108,248 in 2003, said the Rev. Edward J. Arsenault, diocesan chancellor. A record $415,000 was raised in 2001.
The fund’s board of directors represents “very diverse faiths and we feel strongly about the commitment to meeting needs regardless of religious affiliation,” Cook said.
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