The capital campaign, Together for God’s Good Work, has already passed the half-way mark in pledges. More than $12.6 million has been pledged putting the campaign well on its way to the $25 million goal only two months after resuming from more than a year-long hiatus due to Hurricane Ike.
“This campaign is vital to the long term fiscal stability of our diocese, parishes and ministries. We as people bear responsibility to steward well all that God has given us and to show our gratitude by coming together to carry out the Gospel mission,” Bishop Curtis Guillory, SVD, said.
Of the $25 million $4 million will benefit the infirm priests’ fund endowment, $4 million will assist the local parishes and missions for their projects, $1.75 million to the Holy Family Retreat Center development fund, $4.25 million toward the new Catholic Pastoral Center, $1 million to Campus Ministry at Lamar University, Beaumont, $1 million toward the Catholic Charities endowment, $7 million toward an endowment for Catholic school scholarships, parish youth ministry and parish religious education, and $2 million is allocated to the 2010 Bishop’s Faith Appeal for the operations of diocesan ministries and Catholic Charities. A separate BFA for 2010 will not be held. The BFA will resume in 2011.
The diocese has hired Guidance in Giving to assist in raising the funds for the campaign. The company has temporarily relocated four consultants to Southeast Texas.
Dan Inman, executive director, said, “The campaign directors, Ricardo Lujan, Joseph Dunworth, Charles Recznik and myself, bring 50 years of combined fund raising experience to the diocese. We’ve already held more than 40 parish receptions and met with more than 800 families about the importance of the campaign.”
“The needs of the diocese have been well received, and the message has been positive,” Inman said.
“Through the process of the receptions, the Catholics of Southeast Texas have grown in their appreciation and understanding of the needs of the diocese as a whole,” Recznik said.
The receptions have also been used to educate the attendees about the diocese. For example, some parishioners may not know 21 of 51 diocesan priests in the diocese are 65 or older. The potential for more priests becoming dependent on the infirm priests’ fund in the near future is continuing to grow.
Reception attendees have also learned that more than 1,700 students attend diocesan Catholic schools every year, many of whom are only able to attend because of tuition assistance. More than $2.3 million is allocated from the campaign specifically to assist students with scholarships.
Some have also been surprised that studies have shown young adults are at the highest risk for leaving the Catholic faith if they’re not nurtured. Statistics also demonstrate that strong campus ministry is a pool for vocations to the Church. The $1 million allocated for Campus Ministry will help by addressing the Catholic Student Center’s physical plant needs and funding programs and ministries.
“The success of our Together for God’s Good Work campaign calls for each of us to give of our time, talent and treasure in proportion to the way we have been blessed. I ask that you listen with your heart, consider prayerfully your resources, and ask for God’s guidance in making a gift to these efforts in order to assure their success. Our goal will be measured in our ability to provide for the future. I have every confidence that we will achieve our goal. Together as a diocesan family, we can accomplish God’s good work,” Bishop Guillory said.