Catholic Extension Facts

Catholic Extension is a national fundraising organization committed to supporting and strengthening poor Catholic mission dioceses across the U.S. We provide funding and resources to dioceses and parishes through programs and services investing in people, infrastructure and ministries. This support is given based on need, passion and commitment to the growth of the Catholic faith.


Catholic Extension supports 91 “mission dioceses” in the United States. These mission dioceses represent:

  • 46 percent of all the dioceses in the U.S.
  • 71 percent of the landmass in the U.S.
  • 33 states


  • America’s 91 mission dioceses are those that cannot sustain themselves without support. Some are impoverished. Some are geographically isolated. Some have large populations, but few Catholics.
  • Their people have three things in common: they are eager to practice their faith, they seek support to come together and they seek to gain greater access to the Catholic Church and its many ministries.


  • Committed exclusively to Catholic communities in the United States, we raise funds and direct resources to strengthen faith-filled people who gather as the Church in our nation’s impoverished dioceses.
  • Dedicated to forming faith-based partnerships, we offer support to bishops, priests, seminarians, women religious, lay leaders and parishioners in our country’s 91 “mission dioceses” to help them build self-sufficient communities.
  • Each year Catholic Extension funds more than 1,000 grants totaling over $20 million in places where the Catholic Church is struggling to provide the resources necessary to build faith and flourish.


Catholic Extension provides support to people, ministries and infrastructure.

  • PEOPLE. Young Catholics; Vocational and continuing education support; Recruitment and training of lay leaders, future seminarians and administrative staff. Our support reaches 1 in every 6 U.S. Catholics, totaling 11 million.
  • MINISTRIES. Social outreach to the homeless, immigrants, prison and substance abuse programs; Investment in worship and faith resources with Bibles, libraries and liturgical resources; Formational ministries in marriage, youth, family, senior citizens, religious education and Catholic schools.
  • INFRASTRUCTURE. Support for building, expanding and renovating churches; Purchasing computer hardware and software; Providing diocesan support for administration, communications, technology training, operations, fundraising and salaries for pastors, women religious and deacons.


All of our gifts come from private donations – individuals, family foundations and foundations. We do not take up collections at churches and do not receive any government funding. Catholic Extension raises its money through a variety of vehicles, primarily:

  • Annual Gifts from individuals (i.e. direct mail and on-line solicitations)
  • Foundation Gifts
  • Major Gifts
  • Planned Gifts (i.e. annuities, trusts and bequests)
  • 90 – 95 percent of outside support is given to the mission dioceses

Catholic Extension also has a Calendar Program that sells calendars to parishes throughout the United States. One- hundred percent of the net proceeds are funneled back to the dioceses we support.