By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA – The 12 pilot parishes of the Archdiocese’s capital and endowment campaign, “Heritage of Faith – Vision of Hope,” can officially begin to reap what they have generously sown.

Each of the 12 parishes is eligible to apply toward their campaign case statements 35 percent of the total pledge payments they have received as of June 30.

The first quarterly disbursement is based on pledges that have been paid to their campaigns throughout the past six months.

Msgr. Francis W. Beach, chair of the campaign’s Priests’ Advisory Committee and pastor of SS. Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester, Chester County, applauded the pilot parishes for reaching a pivotal benchmark in the campaign.

“When a parish finishes its campaign, six months later it is eligible to receive 35 percent of the money that comes in for the capital campaign,” Msgr. Beach said. “The pilot parishes are now able to request 35 percent of the money that has come in so far be used for their particular parish case statement.

“I am grateful that the process has worked as we have planned it,” the chairman added. “I commend the pilot parishes who are now beginning to reap the benefits of their hard work for their own parish.”

The Church of Philadelphia is conducting a $200 million capital and endowment campaign to support the charitable, educational and pastoral needs of the Archdiocese as it begins its third century as a diocese.

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.

Last September, 12 parishes tested the campaign in a pilot phase. All 12 exceeded their combined goal of $7,440,000 by 133 percent or $2,472,969, raising to date in gifts and pledges a total of $9,912,969. The 12 pilot parishes are a cross-section of the Archdiocese.

From the poorer parishes to the more affluent parishes, all vicariates are represented. All 269 parishes of the Archdiocese participate in the campaign on a track schedule in four-month increments. This past January, the first track of parishes officially embarked on the endeavor.

The 51 parishes in the first track concluded active fundraising in June. The 44 parishes in the second track are currently in the active fundraising phase.

The 68 parishes that comprise the third track are currently developing their case statements and recruiting lay volunteers as they prepare to embark on their respective campaigns in September. The final track of parishes begins the campaign in January 2010.

More than $75 million in gifts and pledges has been raised in the campaign to date.

“Throughout the campaign, we’ve established benchmarks or milestones that we strive to reach,” said Msgr. Beach. “As we reach that milestone, it is an indication that we are on the right track and will succeed in exceeding the archdiocesan goal of $200 million dollars,” he added.

“July 15 was one of those benchmarks,” he said of the more than $75 million that had been raised by that date.

He commended the pastors and lay leaders of the parishes that have already begun their campaigns for their hard work and collaboration within their respective parish communities.

“So many of those parishes have exceeded their goals and others are working hard to do so,” the chairman added.

Of the $200 million goal, 40 percent, 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