By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Cardinal Justin Rigali called on all Catholics to join him in making a sacrificial commitment to a capital and endowment campaign to benefit the entire Archdiocese.
“Our combined gift will make a lasting contribution to the future of the Church of Philadelphia,” the Cardinal said in announcing the campaign, “Heritage of Faith – Vision of Hope,” at an early afternoon press conference Monday, Feb. 23, in the parish hall of St. Barnabas in Southwest Philadelphia.
Acknowledging the country’s economic recession, the Cardinal said some may deem now is not the time to conduct such a campaign, which has a goal of $200 million. However, “the needs of the Archdiocese cannot wait,” he said. “They require our response today.”
The campaign, which runs through June 2010 and supports all aspects of the local Church, began with a planning phase last April as the Archdiocese concluded its Bicentennial celebration.
At press time, $43 million in pledges and gifts had been received.
The campaign will charter the local Church by allocating resources in six areas: the 269 parishes; Catholic education; the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul; St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood; clergy retirement; and to the three branches of the Archdiocese’s Catholic Human Services: Catholic Social Services, Catholic Health Care Services and Nutritional Development Services.
In detailing the specifics of the campaign, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph P. McFadden assured the campaign would be conducted with transparency. All money will be deposited into a separately incorporated 501 (c) (3) charitable fund. In addition, an archdiocesan financial report is scheduled to be issued in the near future, he said.
Forty percent of the total money raised, or $80 million, will be distributed to the parishes of the Archdiocese. Of that amount, $10 million will support the Interparochial Cooperation Commission, an archdiocesan endowment fund for needy parishes.
At least 35 cents of every dollar raised in a parish will remain with it. As cash payments are received on pledges up to the parish’s established goal, proceeds will be shared: 35 percent to the parish and 65 percent to the Archdiocese. Money raised above a parish’s goal will be shared 65 percent to the parish and 35 percent to the Archdiocese.
Parishes participate in the campaign on a track schedule in four-month increments. After a pilot group of 12 parishes started their respective campaigns last September, parishes in the first track officially embarked on the effort this past January. The final track of parishes begins the campaign in January 2010.
The campaign is currently under way in more than 50 parishes.
St. Barnabas, under the direction of Father John F. Babowitch, the pastor, was one of 12 parishes that tested the campaign in a pilot phase last fall. All 12 exceeded their combined goal by more than $2 million, raising a total of $9.5 million.
The 12 pilot parishes are a cross-section of the Archdiocese. From the poorer parishes to the more affluent parishes, all vicariates were represented, said the chair of the priests’ advisory committee, Msgr. Francis W. Beach, pastor of SS. Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester.
Numerous lay leaders are assisting with the campaign. Present at the press conference were two of them: Jim Delaney and his wife, Jackie, members of St. John Baptist Vianney Parish in Gladwyne.
Jim Delaney has served as a member of the feasibility study committee, the case statement task force and, currently, as co-chair of the Cardinal’s leadership gifts task force.
“I urge every Catholic in the Archdiocese to stand up [and] support the campaign,” Jim Delaney said at the press conference.
For more information, visit the web site www.heritageoffaithvisionofhope.com or call the campaign office at (610) 896-7312.
To access the The CS&T’s capital campaign issue published Feb. 19, 2009, visit the web site www.cst-phl.com.
CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at (215) 587-2468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.