RI Catholic diocese launching $50M capital campaign ahead of anniversary

(AP/Michael Dwyer)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence will launch a capital campaign next year to raise at least $50 million as it prepares to mark its 150th anniversary, Bishop Thomas Tobin has announced.

The two-year campaign, titled Grateful for God’s Providence, “will be launched in January 2018 to increase resources to stabilize and maintain the viability of parish and diocesan funds,” the diocese said in a statement. The money’s uses will include care for elderly priests, seminary education, Catholic schools, social services and church preservation.

“The financial needs of the Church are clear, but the faith and generosity of Catholics in this diocese continues to be remarkable,” Tobin said. “I am very confident that the campaign will be successful, and I hope that every member of our church will participate in this historic campaign.”

The diocese said it hired Guidance in Giving Inc., a New York-based company that advises Catholic groups on fundraising, several months ago to lay the groundwork for the campaign.

The diocese’s central administration ran an operating loss of $1.1 million on $45.7 million in revenue during the 12 months ended June 30, 2016, according to its annual audit. Its net assets totaled $150 million.

The Diocese of Providence was established by Pope Pius IX on Jan. 31, 1872, making 2022 the 150th anniversary of its creation. (Rhode Island had originally been part of the Diocese of Hartford.) Tobin said there will be additional announcements about plans to celebrate the milestone.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook