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CATHOLIC DRIVE AHEAD OF LAST YEAR

The 1998 Catholic Charities Appeal already has raised $2,253,150 -- or 25 percent of its $8,915,000 goal -- a week before it is scheduled to begin, Monsignor Henry J. Gugino, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, said Saturday at the annual report luncheon in Samuel's Grande Manor in Clarence.

The drive is running ahead of last year's appeal, which had raised $1,936,179 at this point, Monsignor Gugino told Bishop Henry J. Mansell and about 300 parish workers.

He encouraged the parish workers to continue raising money. "We still have a long way to go," he said.

The drive begins next Sunday and ends April 5, Palm Sunday.

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