TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is calling on the Catholic faithful of Western New York to help move the Church into the future.

The Most Rev. Richard Malone, Bishop of Buffalo, took to the stage at Cardinal O’Hara High School Thursday morning to publicly launch a $100 million capital and endowment campaign, called Upon This Rock. The campaign is unprecedented in its size and scope.

“This endeavor will transform the way we support our missions and ministerial works in perpetuity, and move us into the 21st century as a flourishing Church that is proud to evangelize and equipped to serve our community,” Bishop Malone said.

The Diocese of Buffalo is looking to meet its campaign goals within the next five years to reshape and strengthen the funding of key ministries and programs of the Church throughout the eight counties it serves. Campaign cabinet leaders say it will have an immediate effect in the parishes of Western New York.

MORE INFO | Click here to learn more about the Upon This Rock campaign and its financial goals

The announcement of the Upon This Rock campaign follows a period of extensive planning and gathering of input from Catholic community members. It also follows a decade of challenges faced by the Church in Western New York, which included the closure of some Catholic schools as they dealt with declining enrollment.

As Bishop Malone said while outlining the campaign on Thursday, the Church stands ready to face the future. “The time is now for us to move from maintenance mode and refocus on our mission. Mission after all is why the Church exists,” he said. “It is time to flourish through evangelization, through charity and outreach, and service to those in need, through education and so many other things.”

The general breakdown of the campaign allocations is as follows:

  • $40 million – Parish Life and Ministries
  • $16 million – Pastoral Care
  • $8 million – Christ the King Seminary
  • $7 million – Healthcare for Retired Diocesan Priests
  • $2 million – St. Joseph Cathedral
  • $10 million – Charitable Works
  • $17 million – Catholic education, including a permanent endowment for tuition assistance

Bishop Malone urged all Catholic families to learn more about the Upon This Rock campaign with open minds.

Nearly $29 million dollars has already been raised in eight parishes that piloted the effort and through the generosity of major donors as part of the initial silent phase of the campaign.