Photo courtesy of Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

ELLSWORTH — An anonymous donor and a matching challenge during Advent helped St. Joseph Parish in Ellsworth in closing a budget gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were very blessed that this donor pledged to match, dollar for dollar, up to $15,000 as part of an Advent fundraising campaign,” said Fr. Emile H. Dubé, pastor of St. Joseph Parish. “Parishioners and community members donated nearly $18,000, allowing us to surpass our goal and receive the full $15,000 in additional matching funds from our donor!”

The Advent Challenge ran through Christmas Day and replaced many of the parish fundraisers that were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. All funds donated will be used to support the continued day-to-day operation of St. Joseph Parish, which was established in 1862 and includes St. Joseph Church, Ellsworth; Blue Hill Mission, Blue Hill; Our Lady of the Lake Church, Dedham; and St. Margaret Church, Winter Harbor.

“I am so thankful to everyone in our community for their generous support. To have so many people contribute beyond their weekly offerings in this campaign is truly wonderful,” said Fr. Dubé. “It helps keep our parish strong.”