In 1959 Bishop James Navagh began the Diocesan Development Fund presently known as the Bishop’s Fund Appeal. He surveyed the needs of the Church of the Diocese of Ogdensburg. He saw the need for a new building for Wadhams Hall Seminary College and the accreditation of the seminary as a four-year liberal arts college.
In 1969, a significant change took place. The annual appeal of the Bishop’s Fund changed from projects or the building of structures, to programs or serving the needs of the people through programs and services
The Bishop’s Fund Appeal provides financial assistance to the vital ministries of the Diocese of Ogdensburg. The following are among the ministries supported:
Tuition Assistance Program
- Financially supports parents in their efforts to provide their children with a quality Catholic school education.
Campus Ministry Program
- Supports Campus Ministries at the nine colleges located throughout our Diocese.
Matching Gifts to Catholic Schools
- Dispenses the matching grants to Catholic Schools.
Family Life Office
- Prepares and educates us about the covenant vocation of marriage and family life. This ministry encourages couples to be a living sacrament, a sign of God’s love, life and service in our world, supports families through changing life cycles and nurtures the holiness of family life. The Family Life Office provides programs to strengthen family life, such as Family Guggenheim Family Retreat Program, parish programs for marriage enrichment such as “Dinner for Two” and other opportunities to help build family life. We celebrate the sacrament of Marriage with the annual Diocesan Marriage Jubilee. The office strives to work collaboratively with other offices to help provide support for strong Family Life within our diocese.
Natural Family Planning Office
- Helps couples live as good stewards of married love and the gift of life. Through parish outreach, media, marriage preparation, and Natural Family Planning classes and consultation, this ministry educates couples to understand and embrace God's plan for marriage and family.
Respect Life Ministry
- Dedicated to building a Culture of Life through education, communication and advocacy. This ministry provides educational materials on a variety of life issues through pastors, parish pro-life representatives, the diocesan newspaper, the respect life website and at diocesan events.
Bishop’s Good Samaritan Fund
- Through your generosity, the Good Samaritan Fund enables Bishop LaValley to provide Christian charity, an ongoing good work of the Church, to people in the North Country who are experiencing particular financial difficulty.
Office of Evangelization
- Strives to find creative methods to proclaim and to teach the Word of God and to help the parishes and the People of God be aware of their experiences of God’s love in their life and to express this to others. The spiritual life of the People of God grows in different ways. Some of the ways of growing in the faith and being evangelizers of the faith are through prayer, reflection, study of Scripture and becoming involved in small community faith-sharing groups. Resources are available to parishes to support their evangelization efforts and to aid inactive Catholics to help them reconnect with their Catholic faith.
Department of Worship
- Offers assistance in areas of worship, of church art and architecture, and of music and liturgy. Its primary purpose is to help parishes implement the liturgical norms of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as, to be available as a resource for liturgical celebrations and formation throughout the diocese.
Priest, Deacon & Lay Education
Education of Seminarians
- Enables our seminarians to pursue God’s call to the priesthood by assisting with tuition, room and board and medical insurance.
Continuing Education and Formation of Priests
- Conducts programs and conferences that support the on-going formation and education of the priests for the Diocese.
Priests’ Graduate Studies
- Provides graduate studies for priests in sacramental theology, Scripture, moral theology, Canon Law, and counseling, among other areas of concentration where the Bishop would see a need.
- Fosters and promotes Church vocations to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life in the Diocese of Ogdensburg with the awareness that every son or daughter of God receives the call of Christ to “Follow Me.”
- Facilitates assignments and retreats, and organizes ministerial activities and continuing education opportunities.
- Provides the spiritual, pastoral, personal and academic formation of candidates who are discerning a vocation to the permanent diaconate.
Formation for Ministry Program
- Provides academic, pastoral and spiritual formation for sponsored persons called to ministry in their local parishes or in a recognized pastoral ministry within the Diocese of Ogdensburg.
Department of Christian Formation
- Through its central office in Ogdensburg and the regional offices in Watertown, Plattsburgh, and Ogdensburg, it assists parishes in establishing and maintaining religious education and formation programs for children and adults. For those who wish to become religious educators the Department provides the catechist formation program with the end result being a certified catechist qualified to work in catechetical formation and education in parishes.
Diocesan Center of Youth Ministry
- Dedicated to be the traveling companion of our young people on the road of life and it is incumbent upon us as a Church community to nurture, guide, and support these young disciples. The Office of Youth Ministry is committed to providing the parishes of the diocese with the support and resources needed to build and sustain youth-centered, parish-based youth ministry programs. The Office of Youth Ministry operates Camp Guggenheim and SportsCamp at Wadhams Hall.
Young Adult Ministry
- Assists and encourages young adults (ages 18 – 39) to deepening their relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In partnering with young Catholics throughout the Diocese of Ogdensburg we will create a faith experience that is relevant in today’s world through prayer, service, education and fellowship that positively highlights the magnificent work of God in our world -- past, present and future.
- A summer retreat and camp for children, young adults and adults, which provides an opportunity for all ages to enjoy one another within a faith-based environment in the beautiful Adirondacks. Modern facilities, newly renovated kitchen and dormitory all facing on a beautiful, clear mountain lake.