Annual Catholic Appeal – Supported Ministries and Services


Here are the programs supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal:

Pastoral Services

Institutional Chaplains put into action the corporal works of mercy by visiting the sick in hospitals and nursing homes and bringing comfort and reconciliation to the imprisoned.  They also provide spiritual support and guidance to civil service and law-enforcement personnel.  Institutional chaplains are the face of Christ to those they service in the special corners of the diocese in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore Counties.

Ordained Deacons collaborate with the bishop and priests to serve the people of God through their threefold ministry of liturgy, word and charity.  Strengthened by the grace of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, deacons serve also as a bridge between the clergy and laity.  Ninety-one deacons currently minister in the diocese with 9 deacon candidates in their first year of Deacon Formation for ordination in August 2017.  An additional 22 deacons are retired.  This ministry traces its origin to the earliest days of the Church and its first martyr, St. Stephen, as attested in the Acts of the Apostles.

The Office of Hispanic Ministry assists parishes and diocesan offices in realizing their mission to the Hispanic flock. Guided by the Diocesan Plan for Hispanic Ministry, the Diocesan Team fosters the development of spirituality, community building, social action, and leadership and theological formation with its Mobile School of Evangelization. The diocese’s growing Hispanic population is estimated at over 100,000.  Currently, 19 parishes serve as regional Hispanic Ministry Centers, addressing the various liturgical, formation, apostolic, and outreach needs. Also, weekly masses are regularly celebrated in Spanish seasonably at two migrant laborer camps.

The Ministry for Black Catholics of the Diocese of Wilmington represents Catholics of African Descent as we work in collaboration with other departments within the Diocese.  The Ministry seeks to explore and implement evangelization efforts needed to lift the spirits of Black Catholics, and to bring others, both churched and unchurched into the family of the Body of Christ.  The ministry is now participating with BIC (Building Intercultural Competence for ministers) to help evangelize and engage cultures in light of a growing diversity within the Catholic Church.  The Diocese values Black Catholics and is sensitive to the needs of the Black Community. Evangelization, especially of the youth, is very important and essential to the Church. 

How precious is the family as the privileged place for transmitting the faith! ~ Pope Francis 7/26/2013
The Office for Marriage and Family Life reinforces Pope Francis’ message by providing formational, educational, supportive and spiritual enrichment programs & resources for parishes, individuals, couples and families.  The OMFL has implemented a new and updated pre-cana curriculum as well as a Catholic-based regional bereavement support series.  The OMFL also works with the Bishop to celebrate the gift of sacramental marriage through the Annual Wedding Anniversary Mass.

The Office of Worship working with the Bishop is charged with the implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. The office develops and deepens the liturgical life of the diocesan parishes and institutions by serving as a resource on liturgical matters such as music, sacramental celebrations, devotional practices and liturgical formation.

The Office for Pro-Life Activities provides programs and information to strengthen our diocesan witness on issues related to the dignity and value of all human life.  This year the office has continues to play a role also in the struggle over religious liberty issues.  The director consults with individuals on questions of bioethics, and the Respect Life Committee works to maintain a united front in the pro-life community.

The Tribunal is an ecclesiastical court established by the Bishop to administer justice according to the Code of Cannon Law of the Catholic Church. Most cases heard relate to the validity of marriage in the Catholic Church.


Catholic Education

Our Catholic Schools educate students in faith, knowledge and service.  Students learn, celebrate, live, and pray the Catholic faith each day enhanced by regular opportunities for worship and service.  Catholic schools are centers of academic rigor in which the core curriculum is enriched by arts integration programs, one-to-one iPad and laptop initiatives, world languages, co- and extra-curricular activities, and athletics. Assessment data demonstrates that students score well above national averages at all levels.  In Catholic schools students receive an outstanding education with 99% continuing their studies in colleges, universities, or other post-secondary programs.  Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wilmington develop the whole person – spiritually, intellectually, morally, and socially – in an environment that recognizes faith and learning as intricately woven together.

Catholic Youth and Young Adult Ministry is committed to engaging leaders at the local level. Working with youth ministry leaders in parishes and schools, CYM helps assess the needs of young people and identify opportunities for faith formation.  Working with organizers of local young adult groups, CYM provides leadership development opportunities and facilitates communication among those involved in young adult and campus ministry programs.  To supplement the work of the local faith community, CYM offers three weeks of summer service in Pitcher and Basin, opportunities of young people to lead on the diocesan level via the Youth Leadership Team, learning how to be good sports who live a healthy lifestyle through CYM Sports, intentional leadership development for young people at the annual Leaders Today, Leaders Tomorrow Conference, a chance for junior high youth to learn more about their faith in a fun-filled CHAOS rally, and the annual Pilgrimage as ways to engage youth and young adults as active members of the universal church.  For many parishes, CYM serves as the one-stop shop for the most relevant resources, ideas for effectively engaging young people in their faith, and helping catechists and youth ministry leaders more fully engage young people in healthy, age-appropriate, and effective life-long learning.

Deaf Ministry offers sacramental and spiritual support and nourishment to those in the hearing impaired community. Through a collaborative effort, a signed mass is now offered in the Diocese bi-monthly. Interpreted (ASL) masses are also held each Sunday in at least one location in the Diocese. Particularly, there are interpreters at each Sunday 9:15 mass held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, in Bear, Delaware. The Diocese works with other regional support ministries to ensure that events and programs offered specific to the deaf are promoted to those in our diocesan community. When necessary, this Ministry helps to identify or provide interpreter services to assist children who participate in a religious education program.

The Office for Religious Education assists Bishop Malooly in his ministry and responsibility as the chief teacher of the Diocese, ensuring faith formation at all stages of one’s life journey. The ORE is at the forefront of all diocesan catechetical efforts, ensuring and supporting parish and school religious education programs and efforts to proclaim the Gospel and catechize children, youth, and adults in the Roman Catholic faith. The efforts of the ORE include ensuring the proper integration of an outcome based curriculum in religious education for elementary and middle school level students. The ORE also oversees sacramental preparation guidelines in the parishes while providing ongoing guidance and direction to Parish Catechetical Leaders in their religious education programs to ensure a consistent and proper transmission of the Catholic faith. Importantly, over the next several years, the Office for Religious Education will be taking the lead role to implement exciting new initiatives resulting from recommendations of the Bishop’s Priorities for the Future Commission focused on “Renewal of Catechesis at Every Level.”

Special Needs Ministry offers religious formation programs for children, youth and adults. In addition to overall religious education, these programs help individuals with special needs prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. The Diocese currently supports two parish centers with programs focused solely on providing religious formation to those with special needs. Through Special Needs Ministry, the Diocese also provides assistance and consultation to parishes to help them offer an inclusive environment where possible to support special needs programs on their local level. In addition, the Diocese sponsors regular prayer groups for members of the adult Faith and Light community.


Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities’ Basic Needs Program helps low-income individuals and families to become more self-sufficient. The program offers financial coaching and case management services in addition to providing financial grants for basic living expenses. Once the immediate threat of homelessness is averted with financial assistance, households in crisis can work with Catholic Charities case managers towards achievable economic goals, such as creating a household budget, keeping that budget for six months, finding employment, finding a higher-paying job, securing child-care, and getting access to health benefits. Providing these additional services increases the knowledge base of the household and prepares them to meet and avoid future financial crises.

Bayard House provides a safe, secure residence to homeless, pregnant teens and young women. The only licensed residential program in Delaware providing direct client care service 24/7 to at-risk homeless pregnant and/or newly parenting adolescents and women, Bayard House is at the heart of the mission of Catholic Charities. Bayard House also serves neighboring communities with a Food Cooperative program, and provides education on the realities of teen pregnancy to high school students through its Project Straight Talk program. Catholic Charities Pregnancy Counseling service, offered through the Bayard House program, allows an expectant mother to carry her child with dignity while making well thought-out decisions. This service is free to the client.

Located in Milton, DE, Casa San Francisco provides shelter for up to 10 adults for approximately 30 days, as well as a wide range of services aimed at helping low-income residents of Sussex County. Shelter residents work with case managers to obtain income and find affordable local housing opportunities. When their stay has ended, residents may be able to continue working with Casa staff for additional support and case management. Casa also operates a Food Cooperative program, a Senior Food Distribution program, and an Emergency Food Pantry.

Behavioral Health, Substance Abuse, and Domestic Violence Services provides outpatient counseling to individuals and families with mental health concerns. Counselors help those struggling with such issues as depression and anxiety, as well as substance abuse problems like addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication and behavioral addictions such as gambling, internet gaming, and sexual addictions. In Kent and Sussex Counties, seniors can receive counseling treatment at their nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Likewise, at-risk children in Kent County are able to attend counseling sessions in select elementary schools. A Spanish-speaking clinician in New Castle County provides service for Latino clients and families. Domestic Violence and Anger Management programs are also offered through Charities’ Counseling Services.

Food Assistance Programs are available in every county in Delaware and in Somerset County Maryland. Eligible households can participate in a Food Cooperative Club by applying for membership at Bayard House, Casa San Francisco, or Seton Center, paying a nominal membership fee [if possible], and receiving monthly distributions worth approximately $35.  When a family is in crisis and in need of food, they can visit Casa or Seton Center for a distribution of 3-4 days of food from an Emergency Food Pantry.  Casa and Seton Center are also distribution points for the federal government’s Surplus Food Program.

HIV Services provides financial coaching and case management services in addition to providing financial grants for basic living expenses for households affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Immigration Program assists individuals and families with issues related to their legal status in the United States that are causing, may cause, or have caused family separation and difficulties in personal, social and economic development. The Refugee Resettlement Program provides reception, placement and monitoring services for cases assigned through a contract with the USCCB.

Besides providing safe, affordable housing for seniors and individuals with a disability, Pastoral Services at Marydale Retirement Village offers supportive and positive assistance to tenants through its pastoral care program. The pastoral coordinator provides opportunities for residents to participate in sacramental and liturgical worship, as available, and provides information and referral services, coordinates other social services provided by government or private agencies, and helps tenants access other assistance programs, like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, food stamps, and medical assistance.

Seton Center is a multi-purpose neighborhood community center located in Princess Anne, MD. Seton Center offers a wide variety of programs to local residents, the area’s Hispanic community, and migrant farm workers. Those in need have access to the Basic Needs program, Behavioral Health Services, Immigration help, membership in the Food Cooperative, Emergency Food Pantry distributions, and a Thrift Center featuring new and gently used clothing and household goods. Seton Center also provides health screenings, women’s support groups, and information and referral services.

Operating since the 1930’s, the Thrift Center provides quality used clothing, furniture, appliances, household goods, and mattresses, to families with limited income.

Administrative & Communications

The Dialog is the official newspaper of the diocese, is distributed 26 times a year through parishes to 22,000 parish homes.  Its website, is also updated daily with diocesan, national and international church news.

The Office of Public Relations and Media establishes and maintains positive relationships with the secular media. The office distributes news releases, oversees the diocesan website, and produces radio programs with the goal of advancing a greater understanding of the Church, Church teachings, diocesan and parish ministries and services, and the Bishop’s priorities.