By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

The fourth and final track of parishes participating in the archdiocesan capital and endowment campaign, “Heritage of Faith, Vision of Hope” began the endeavor this month, as more than half started to hold organizational, planning and leadership meetings the week of Jan. 18.

Track 4 consists of 103 parishes. Of those, 62 have officially started the campaign; the remaining 41 will follow six months from now.

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

The campaign, which supports all aspects of the local Church, began with a planning phase in April 2008 as the Archdiocese concluded its bicentennial celebration.

More than $127 million in gifts and pledges has been raised to date.

All 267 parishes of the Archdiocese participate in the campaign on a track schedule in four-month increments.

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, who assists Cardinal Justin Rigali in overseeing the campaign, recently notified the 41 parishes that now make up the second tier of Track 4 that they would be permitted to conduct their respective campaigns later in the year under an extended timetable because some of those parishes have new pastors and others are still collecting funds from a previous campaign unrelated to “Heritage of Faith, Vision of Hope.”

Officials from the campaign office had surveyed a number of the parishes to assess whether an extension would be helpful to them. Those who are now part of the second tier agreed it would be beneficial.

Those parishes will begin organizational, planning and leadership meetings in July, announce the campaign within their respective communities after Labor Day, Sept. 6, and end by Christmas.

In September 2008, 12 of the 267 parishes tested the campaign in a pilot phase. From poorer parishes to more affluent parishes, all six vicariates were represented in a cross-section of the Archdiocese.

In January 2009, the first track of parishes officially began the campaign. The second and third tracks, and now a sector of the fourth track, followed accordingly.

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, including how to contribute to the campaign online, visit the web site or call the campaign office at 215-690-0702 or 610-896-7312.

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