By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

The archdiocesan capital and endowment campaign, “Heritage of Faith, Vision of Hope” surpassed $140 million Feb. 23 – officially, the campaign’s first birthday.

“We are very pleased with the continuing generosity of the faithful of the Archdiocese in their support of the ‘Heritage of Faith, Vision of Hope’ campaign,” said Auxiliary Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, who assists Cardinal Justin Rigali in overseeing the campaign.

“In very challenging economic times, the momentum of the campaign continues to move toward the achievement of the goal of $200 million.

“We are confident that with the help of the grace of God and the support of the parishes that are now entering into the campaign that this historic effort will cross the goal line.

“Having achieved the benchmark of $140 million, we push forward with great hope and determination,” added Bishop McFadden.

One week later, March 2, a total of $142,172,835 had been raised in gifts and pledges.

To date, $23 million of the more than $142 million has already been collected.

Of the more than 30,000 pledges recorded, more than 70 total $100,000 or more.

Funds are raised through two major phases: the Cardinal’s leadership gifts phase, through which the Cardinal and his auxiliary bishops seek pledges totaling $100,000 or more, and the parish phase. The parish phase consists either of a standard campaign or a combined campaign, the latter of which addresses archdiocesan needs as well as a parish’s extraordinary local needs.

More than 3,000 lay volunteers are assisting their pastors, the auxiliary bishops and Cardinal Justin Rigali in “Heritage of Faith, Vision of Hope.”

The campaign, which runs through December 2010 and supports all aspects of the local Church, began with a planning phase in April 2008 as the Archdiocese concluded its bicentennial celebration.

Before the Feb. 23, 2009, press conference officially opened the campaign, $43 million had been raised in gifts and pledges.

The figure included funds raised during the campaign’s silent phase in the summer of 2008 and $9.5 million from 12 pilot parishes that tested the campaign in September 2008.

The 12 pilot parishes represented a cross-section of the Archdiocese. From poorer to more affluent parishes, all vicariates were represented. All 12 exceeded their combined goal by more than $2 million by the time the campaign was officially launched in February. The 12 pilot parishes have raised, to date, a total of $9.9 million. Of that amount, $3.5 million, or more than one-third of the funds, has been collected in the first of the five-year redemption cycle.

Through the public portion of the campaign, Catholics across the Archdiocese have collectively raised more than $100 million in one year.

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

In January 2009, the first track of parishes officially embarked on the endeavor. The second and third tracks and part of the fourth track followed.

The second tier of Track 4 parishes will begin leadership and planning meetings in July, announce the campaign within their respective communities in September and conclude in December.

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 610-896-7312 or 215-587-3654.

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