Last week was an anniversary; so is this one. We are one year from the announcement at parish Masses of our Capital Campaign to repair, restore, and improve the church.
Honestly, your response to the Campaign was remarkable and more than encouraging. Clearly, I am not the only one excited by the real promise of this community’s commitment to care for and improve the splendid church that is provided to us by the sacrifices of our forebears, the founders of Saint Bernadette.
One of the evidences of this shared excitement has been the frequency with which I am asked, When does work start? Probably more people are wondering than have asked, and a lot of you have asked; so, it is time for me to give an update.
You pledged $1,040,242 to this great work. As of this writing, you have given a total of $607,466.07, almost three-fifths of the total in the first year! We have accrued $3,695.03 in interest since investing the funds in late January, a satisfactory return on an intentionally conservative investment.
Let me remind you at this point that when we undertook the Campaign, the goal was to raise between $600,000 and 800,000, so we already have in hand what was our target minimum for the three-year campaign. That is a very good sign for the prospects of the project.
But this does not mean that we can start work sooner; rather, it means we can plan to accomplish more. Thepledgedamount allows us to undertake the more ambitious vision for improvement, especially of the church entrance. Even so, your fidelity in fulfilling your pledges will give us the confidence to start work before allthe money is in hand, knowing we can count on the full amount to arrive on schedule.
The timeline to raise the full amount pledged is three years, which technically means by January 2021 (don’t let that scary date fool you; that’s just over two years away!). But we should not have to wait THAT long to start the work; I would hope that we could begin a year or even more before that, provided the continued, faithful fulfillment of the pledges.
That means this coming year will be spent on planning and preparing what the project will accomplish. You won’t see much of that work, but we should have some drawings to share with you. Now that will be exciting!
The recent restoration of our beautiful windows revealed several things to everybody. First, that the people who built this church endowed it with beautiful features of high quality that are meant to enlighten hearts and minds for generations to come. Secondly, that these features require care and maintenance for preservation of their full beauty. And thirdly, when parishioners provide generously of their resources, that is their financial resources, beauty erupts anew in our church for all to see.
She is a big church, and her beauty is great too. The window project cost almost $200,000, provided by one big gift. This is a big project, but I am confident that your love for Our Lord and your parish is big enough to provide. This is all good news to provide on this anniversary of the launch of our Capital Campaign, and gives us good ground for joyful anticipation, confident perseverance in sacrificial giving, and, just in time: Thanksgiving!
I hope to see you here Thursday. God bless you in abundance!