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Faith, Hope, Charity, and The Family Circus

Cartoonist Bil Keane, creator of “The Family Circus,” used his talents and cartoon characters to promote the annual Charity & Development Appeal, such as this cartoon from 1987 — the year St. John Paul II visited the Diocese of Phoenix — featuring Dolly and Jeffy. (Diocese of Phoenix Archives)

The Diocese of Phoenix is celebrating 50 years of its Charity and Development Appeal, and showing a couple of Bil Keane specialty pieces in the process. Not much, other than the captions beneath the panels, is mentioned about the history of Bil’s gifts:

Early supporters of the campaign included cartoonist Bil Keane of “The Family Circus,” whose characters helped promote the CDA for several decades.

I don’t know if it was an annual donation to the church or an occasional offering.
They seem a bit more detailed than Bil’s (and Jeff’s) annual USPS charity work.


Cartoonist Bil Keane drew this cartoon in 1970 in the first of a series of cartoons promoting the annual Charity & Development Appeal. Keane, creator of “The Family Circus,” used his talents and cartoon characters to promote the annual campaign. (Diocese of Phoenix Archives)

Even in his syndicated panel, Bil was not one to hide his light under a bushnel. (No!)

Anyway, thought I’d shared some rare Bil Keane artwork.

I will also note that Bil, along with cartoonists like Joe Sinnott, Thomas Nast, and Jack Chick (those last two being of the anti-Catholic variety), is part of Cartooning Catholics, an exhibit put on at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Historical Research Center. The exhibit goes until October 2020.



“For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”


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