By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

GLENOLDEN – “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (Luke 12:48).

The Scripture passage from St. Luke is an apt depiction of what is anticipated of the parish campaign executive committee members of the Archdiocese’s $200 million capital and endowment campaign, “Heritage of Faith, Vision of Hope.” Collectively, parish campaign executive committee members across the Archdiocese have contributed nearly $18 million to the initiative.

The capital campaign executive committee members of St. George Parish in Glenolden, Delaware County, have exhibited good stewardship from the get-go.{{more}}

St. George Parish has raised $366,200 toward a goal of $605,000, or 61 percent, since it began the major gifts phase of its campaign in July and the advanced gifts phase in September.

Of that amount, committee members have pledged $100,000 from their own pockets.

“You can see just through their hard work their great love for the Church and for the parish in particular,” said Father Christopher J. Papa, pastor of St. George.

“Every one of them has pledged substantial gifts,” he said. “Some of them have made substantial sacrifices.”

Mary Ann Zeller, the parish business manager, is the general chair.

“We don’t do anything without prayer,” said Zeller. “We may be small, but we’re large of heart.”

St. George Parish has 1,055 registered families, or 2,712 inspaniduals on its roster.

In describing her duties, Zeller said, “I’m just an instrument. The Lord drives the bus.”

Zeller recalled that when she first heard about the campaign, she was skeptical. Then she watched the “Heritage of Faith, Vision of Hope” DVD. Cardinal Justin Rigali’s words about the necessity of the campaign resonated with her. “I hung on every word he said. I then became a very willing participant.”

Through her work on the committee and financial contribution to the campaign, Zeller continues to thank God for helping her during a major health scare last year. She survived what she called a “Triple A: abdominal aortic aneurysm,” which caused kidney failure. She said doctors told her she was five to 10 minutes from death.

“By God’s grace, I’m blessed to be here and to be able to give something back,” she said.

Brian Lester, one of the major gifts co-chairs and a member St. George’s parish pastoral council, was also motivated, in part, by the capital campaign DVD he viewed at a council meeting.

“We’re the Body of Christ and our mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ,” he said. “This is really, truly about proclaiming Jesus Christ. (Our family) just felt we needed to be as generous as we could.”

“The campaign as a whole is an opportunity for our generation to step up and support the Church sacrificially and substantially, in a way that allows that mission to continue,” he added.

St. George’s capital campaign case statement includes plans to repave the parking lot, address unforeseen maintenance issues and, within the next year, replace the boiler in the former parish elementary school building. (The parish has rented the building to the Upper Darby School District since the school closed in 2005).

Also on the docket: establish a parish endowment fund for students from St. George Parish who attend Catholic elementary schools in the area.

St. George is one of 47 parishes participating in the final track of “Heritage of Faith, Vision of Hope.”

The Church of Philadelphia is conducting a $200 million capital and endowment campaign to support the charitable, educational and pastoral needs of the Archdiocese. All 267 parishes of the Archdiocese participate in the campaign on a track schedule in four-month increments.

For more information, go to the web site or call 610-896-7312 or 215-587-3654.

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