By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA – The archdiocesan capital and endowment campaign, “Heritage of Faith – Vision of Hope” surpassed $50 million on Palm Sunday weekend, April 4-5.

At press time, $50,532,946 toward the $200 million goal had been raised in gifts and pledges through parish campaigns and leadership gifts.

Cardinal Justin Rigali said, “I am very encouraged that we have reached this significant benchmark so early in the initial stages of “Heritage of Faith – Vision of Hope.” This gives us promise and great hope for the future of the campaign. I continue to be grateful for the inspiring charity from parishioners, especially when everyone is anxious about the economy. It shows the great love the faithful have for the Church and their desire to contribute to this most important endeavor.”

J. Eustace Wolfington, a co-chair of the Cardinal’s leadership gifts task force, said, “Of all the things we can give to, this campaign is foundational. It is the basis of everything we as Catholics care about.”

Wolfington is the president of Cabrini Asset Management Inc. in King of Prussia and a member of St. John Baptist Vianney Parish in Gladwyne.

“Generations ago, people who had money contributed to build the parishes and schools for those who did not have the resources,” Wolfington said. “Now, a generation later, families who didn’t have it then became successful and now it is our turn.”

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.

Cardinal Rigali has called on all Catholics of the Archdiocese to join him in making a sacrificial commitment to the campaign.

According to campaign coordinators, approximately $1.5 million in gifts and pledges has been received weekly since the new year.

All 269 of the Archdiocese’s parishes participate in the campaign on a track schedule in four-month increments.

Parishes in the first track officially embarked on the effort this past January. The final track of parishes begins the campaign in January 2010.

As the 55 parishes in the campaign’s first track conclude active fundraising efforts through the first weeks of May, parishes in the second track will begin to develop their case statements, recruit executive committee members and begin to approach parishioners to consider a sacrificial pledge.

Last September, 12 parishes tested the campaign in a pilot phase. All 12 exceeded their combined goal by more than $2 million, raising a total of $9.8 million. From the poorer parishes to the more affluent parishes, the pilot parishes represent a cross-section of the Archdiocese.

The campaign will support 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.

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.

For more information about the capital campaign, visit the web site or call the campaign office at (610) 896-7312.


CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at (215) 587-2468 or