2013: A Year of Faith and Sustaining Hope in the diocese



Here’s a look back at some of the events in the life of the Diocese of Wilmington this year.


Bishop Malooly announces a series of Eucharistic Holy Hours Jan. 27 through November as part of the U.S. bishops’ Call to Prayer movement during the Year of Faith called by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Call to Prayer hours are to help build a culture in the U.S. that’s favorable to life, marriage and protection of religious liberty.

Msgr. George J. Brubaker, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, announces the parish school will close at the end of the spring term due to declining enrollment and increasing deficits.

Contributions to the 2012 Annual Catholic Appeal surpass $4.4 million for the first time in the appeal’s history.


“The church is called to defend and foster marriage, to strengthen the lives of married couples, and … to remind the state in simple terms what marriage is. …” Bishop Malooly writes in his pastoral letter, “Marriage: Gift from God.”

“Marriage is a unique and exclusive relationship between one man and one woman,” the bishop writes.

At the first diocesan holy hour during the Year of Faith, Bishop Malooly emphasizes right-to-life issues, warning Catholics that “the moral compass in our country continues to move away from respect for all life.”

Christine R. Dunning, a parishioner at St. Ann’s in Wilmington, becomes the city’s first female police chief. Jacqueline Wilson, a member of St. Helena’s Parish in Wilmington, is honored by the National Black Catholic Congress.


The diocese launches “Sustaining Hope for the Future,” a three-year $28 million capital campaign to reinforce the diocesan lay employees’ pension plan, secure priests’ retirement benefits, strengthen diocesan ministries and sustain current and future parish needs. Bishop Malooly assigns the pastoral care of Christ Our King Parish in Wilmington to the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

Benedictine Sister Jeannette Murray, director of the education program at Ridgely, Md., for 42 years, dies at 88 on the feast of St. Benedict, March 21.

Bishop Malooly led the annual Catholic Youth Ministry Pilgrimage in March, comprised of approximately 1,200 young people from around the diocese, including confirmation classes and Boy Scouts. The Dialog/www.DonBlakePhotography.com

About 1,200 young people participate in Catholic Youth Ministry Pilgrimage on March 23, carrying a cross through Wilmington.


Catholic Charities honors Terri Kelly, CEO and president of W.L. Gore, Inc., at its annual tribute dinner April 10.

Bishop Malooly writes Delaware legislators stating “marriage is a unique relationship between a man and a woman,” four days before Gov. Jack Markell announces a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. The Senate and House in Dover both approved the bill and it was signed into law in early May.


Immigrants in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore rally in Georgetown May 1 to support pending legislation in Congress on immigration reform. The annual Blue Mass honors police officers, emergency medical technicians and firefighters at St. John the Beloved Church.

Former first lady Laura Bush is honored at Padua Academy’s Dinner in Honor of Women’s Achievement.

Tony Flynn and Mark Reardon are honored by the diocesan St. Thomas More Society.


Three new priests are ordained to the diocesan priesthood by Bishop Malooly on June 8: Fathers Brian Lewis, Christopher Coffiey and Glenn Evers.

Bishop Malooly writes parishioners asking them to join in the second national Fortnight for Freedom and speak out for religious liberty. The bishop cites a “disturbing pattern of First Amendment violations” in the United States in his letter, including the “illegal and unjust” mandate in the Affordable Care Act that requires contraceptive services be covered by religious employers.

Father William Jennings celebrates his 100th birthday at the Jeanne Jugan Residence.


Sister Audrey Frances Moran makes her final vows as an Oblate Sister of St. Francis de Sales.

In his July 4 homily closing the Fortnight of Freedom, Bishop Malooly warns, “if Americans are not free to exercise our consciences and practice our religious faith, then all our freedoms are fragile.”


The 2013 Annual Catholic Appeal tops its goal for the year with more than $4.6 million in pledges. Benedictine Sister Patricia Gamgort, founder of St. Martin’s Ministries in Ridgely, Md., retires from the post of executive director there. Jean Austin is the new executive director.

Mourners wait in line outside St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington on Aug. 13 to pay their respects at the wake for Oblate Father Roberto Balducelli, who died Aug. 9. The Dialog/www.DonBlakePhotography.com

Oblate Father Roberto Balducelli dies Aug. 9, less than two hours before his 100th birthday. St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Wilmington says goodbye to its beloved former pastor during two days of a viewing and funeral Mass attended by more than 1,000 people.

Bishop Malooly ordains nine permanent deacons for the diocese at St. Margaret of Scotland Church on Aug. 24.


Sustaining Hope of the Future is launched at 21 “first wave” parishes in the $28 million fundraising campaign.

Married couples celebrate their major wedding anniversaries with Bishop Malooly president at the annual anniversary Mass at St. John the Beloved Church in Wilmington.

Priests in the diocese surpass their $250,000 goal by contributing more than $335,000 to the Sustaining Hope for the Future campaign that will help the lay employees’ pension plan, priests’ retirement, diocesan ministries and parishes.


The diocese begins the “Come and Seek”  program for men considering the priesthood to gather with priests and talk about the possibility of a vocation.

About 75 people attend a Building Intercultural Connections (BIC) program at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Seaford. For the fourth time, the annual Marian Pilgrimage is held at the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of Peace and Holy Spirit Church in New Castle.

The Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States honor St. Mary of the Assumption in Hockessin parishioner Geoffrey Gamble, president of the Order of Malta’s U.S. Federal Division, at the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen Dinner in New York.

St. Mark’s High School launches a strategic assessment of the school with Notre Dame University’s Alliance for Catholic Education.


Bishop Malooly releases a video in which he answers questions on the Sustaining Hope for the Future Campaign. The video is on the diocesan website, cdow.org.

A new pipe organ at St. Elizabeth Church is played during a parish homecoming Mass Nov. 3. Also, Joe Hemphill, the athletic director and football coach at St. E’s for 42 years, coaches his last game before retiring.

Bishop Malooly names four priest-associate directors to the Office for Priestly and Religious Vocations.

At the final Holy Hour of the Year of Faith in the diocese, Bishop Malooly reiterates that the church will pursue efforts in Congress and the courts against the HHS mandate.


Bishop Malooly asks Catholics to take the survey from the Vatican on the church’s pastoral care for families. The unprecedented survey is on the diocesan website, cdow.org.

The bishop blesses the renovated St. Patrick Church in Wilmington. The church replaced pews, its floor, ceiling and renovated its organ with existing parish funds and a plan to use some of the money that returns to the parish from the Sustaining Hope for the Future Campaign.

Emily Granger, a senior at Ss. Peter and Paul High School in Easton, Md., wins the national Wendy’s High School Heisman award.