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The 1990 Catholic Charities Appeal Tuesday announced a goal of $7.2 million, a 2.8 percent increase from last year's total, that is designed largely to continue existing programs.

The appeal's major new venture is the establishment of a "multigenerational day-care center" at the former St. Mary of Sorrows School on Genesee Street, Monsignor John J. Conniff, the director of Catholic Charities, said during a press conference Tuesday morning.

"This is going to be a pretty tight year," Monsignor Conniff said. "The rest (of the funds) will enable us to continue providing what we have right now. There's little in the way of expansion here."

The St. Mary of Sorrows center, which already operates a day care facility for 106 youngsters, will add a day-care program for about 80 senior citizens, a treatment program for elderly mental health clients and a Catholic Charities office, Monsignor Conniff said.

Monsignor Conniff said the interaction between the senior citizens and youngsters in day-care will be "a great thing for both groups." The center is within a block of two major bus lines and is easily accessible to people without cars, he added. A March opening is planned.

The appeal will be held April 1-8 and is funded largely by individual contributions from parishioners, said Bishop Edward D. Head. The $7.2 million goal is a $200,000 increase over last year.

Post-drive contributions last year brought the total to $7.6 million by September, Monsignor Conniff said. Catholic Charities officials this year hope to approach $8 million for a final figure.

The appeal funds a wide range of programs, including nursing homes and day care centers, and departments that concentrate on marriage counseling, substance abuse, refugee resettlement, adoption and services for the handicapped.

Monsignor Conniff said this year's relatively modest goal is the result of continued population loss in the eight counties of Western New York and financial difficulties faced by corporate donors.

Bishop Head said the theme of the 1990 drive is, "We have faith in you," and the drive's patron will be St. Isaac Joques, a Jesuit North American martyr.

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