By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Archdiocese’s capital and endowment campaign, “Heritage of Faith – Vision of Hope,” recently reached another milestone: $66.1 million, or one-third of its $200 million goal, has been raised.
In May, the 43 parishes that comprise the campaign’s second track began early visits of parishioners and recruitment of volunteers, and are currently actively raising funds. To date, the track two parishes have raised a total of $5.4 million.
Among the parishes in the second track of the campaign is St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish in Jamison, Bucks County. At press time, the parish had raised $369,760 toward its $1,085,000 goal.
The parish’s campaign case statement calls for the renovation of its current social hall, which is the former church building.
St. Cyril’s hopes to transform the hall by creating a large room for parish events and three large meeting rooms for parish organizations and religious education programs. A new kitchen and an upgrade to the restroom facilities in the parish hall are also planned.
Msgr. Robert J. Powell is the pastor of St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s 2,300 registered families, or 7,200 registered inspaniduals.
As a former priest secretary of the late Cardinal John Krol, Msgr. Powell is finding helpful the fundraising know-how Cardinal Krol taught him.
“He always said what you need to do when raising money for the needs of the Church is to show them the need and show them that you can be trusted to do good with what they give you.”
The end result, Cardinal Krol told Msgr. Powell at the time, was that “people will always be as generous as they can when they see the need and they know they can trust you.”
Additional fundraising advice from Cardinal Krol that Msgr. Powell keeps in mind today is, “When you’re out asking people to help in raising funds, it’s important to remember that you’re not begging for yourself and you’re not begging for your own agenda, but you’re begging for Christ and for the needs of the people of God.”
The campaign, which runs through June 2010 and supports all aspects of the local Church, began with a planning phase in April 2008 as the Archdiocese concluded its Bicentennial celebration.
Cardinal Krol’s philosophy about fundraising is still applicable today, Msgr. Powell said. “The diocese can be trusted to use most effectively what we gather for the good of the people.”
Msgr. Powell personally believes that “everything we have in our faith comes to us through our family and through our parish,” he said. Because of this, “the only way we can have vibrant parishes is to have a solid diocese.”
All 269 of the Archdiocese’s parishes participate in the campaign on a track schedule in four-month increments.
Last September, 12 parishes tested the campaign in a pilot phase. All exceeded their combined goal by more than $2,383,733, raising a total of $9,823,733. This past January, the first track of parishes officially embarked on the endeavor. The 51 parishes in the first track are concluding active fundraising this month. The final track of parishes begins the campaign in January 2010.
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.
Msgr. Francis W. Beach, chairman of the campaign’s priests’ advisory committee and pastor of SS. Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester, Chester County, was elated about the Archdiocese reaching the one-third mark. “The pride and the love that our people have for the Church of Philadelphia” is apparent, he said.
He added that the faithful understand the immediate needs of the Church and their financial gifts, at whatever level according to their means, are going to make a difference.
Msgr. Beach also commended the priests’ participation in helping their respective parish communities reach their campaign goals. “I am very grateful to our priests for the hard work they are doing,” he said.
For more information about the capital campaign, visit the web site www.heritageoffaithvisionofhope.com or call the campaign office at (610) 896-7312.
CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at (215) 587-2468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.