The Archdiocese of Baltimore joined with the Catholic Church Extension Society to produce a spiral-bound 2008 calendar celebrating the 200th anniversary of the archdiocese.
Parishes had the option of purchasing the calendar for about a dollar apiece to give to parishioners.
Ronald L. Audette, major accounts representative for Catholic Extension, said parishioners often expect a calendar from their church.
“It’s perceived by parishioners as a gift by the parish,” he said. “They look forward to it.”
Usually, a local merchant, such as a funeral home, provides the calendar, shouldering the cost in return for the targeted advertising it provides.
The bicentennial calendar gives parishioners an opportunity to learn more about the ministries and history of the archdiocese. The archdiocese provided rare archival photos as well as information on the various ministries.
Mr. Audette said not only does the calendar make a nice gift for parishioners, it’s also a way to reach out to fallen-away Catholics.
Nearly 60 parishes purchased the calendars, which were marketed to pastors with fliers offering a sneak peek at what it would look like. The minimum order for a parish is 50 copies, “and we’re happy to service late orders,” Mr. Audette said.
Traditionally parishes distribute calendars early in Advent.
The proceeds from the calendars are used by Catholic Extension to support mission dioceses and to defray the cost of educating seminarians.
Sean Caine, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said he was pleased with the calendar and would consider doing it again if there is sufficient interest from parishes.
“It is an opportunity to affirm the many good works that take place every day in the Catholic Church, including its parishes, schools, and charitable organizations, and which are often overlooked.”
Baltimore was established as an Archdiocese on April 8, 1808. Its more than 4,800 square miles are home to nearly half a million Catholics and 151 parishes.
For more information about the calendars, call 1-800-842-7804.