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Campaign boosts parish projects

The archdiocese’s $52 million Ignite the Faith capital campaign just keeps on giving – not only by helping the archdiocese’s schools, ministries and programs, but its 140 parishes.

St. Isidore Parish in Columbus, for example, is purchasing new stained glass windows for the upper level of the church with some of the $137,000 it retains from its 10 percent share of $1.37 million parishioners pledged to the campaign – $70,000 over the parish goal.

As a rural parish, St. Isidore also retains 40 percent of funds raised for education needs, or more than $540,000. Among other things, that means having $61,000 to help pay for a new roof on the west side of St. Isidore School, $64,000 for property to expand the playground and $27,000 to purchase 40 iPads and their protective covers for students at the school.

And as pledges come in over the next three years, the parish plans to devote about $200,000 to debt reduction in a project that involved renovating the old church into a gym for the elementary school, and $60,000 to paying down debt for a new heating and cooling system at Scotus Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Columbus.

It also means pitching in with Columbus’ other two parishes – St. Anthony and St. Bonaventure – to hire a youth ministry coordinator for the three parishes.

That kind of impact has been seen across the archdiocese, thanks to the generosity of pastors, church leaders and parishioners who helped carry Ignite the Faith 30 percent over the campaign’s $40 million goal when it wrapped up two years of fundraising last December, said Shannan Brommer, director of the archdiocese’s Stewardship and Development Office.

"They really stood behind the campaign and took it as an opportunity to make an impact on their own parishes, as well as the entire archdiocese," Brommer said.

The campaign certainly has been a boost to St. Isidore, Father Miksch said. While many of the parish and school projects would have been tackled at some point, the campaign brought focus and immediacy, he said.

And it was easy to get people enthused about other aspects of Ignite the Faith – particularly boosting the priest retirement and seminary funds, Father Miksch said.

Other examples of parish benefits include:

Christ the King, Omaha: Parishioners pledged $2.3 million – 35 percent more than the parish’s $1.7 million goal – bringing about $230,000 to Christ the King, said Rick Kucirek, the parish’s business and finance director. About half of that – $115,000 – will reduce debt on a geothermal heating and cooling system installed several years ago at Christ the King School. The other $115,000 is going into a fund for future church and school capital projects, such as $20,000 already used to replace carpeting in the parish center.

St. Leo the Great Parish, Omaha: Parishioners pledged $1.2 million, nearly reaching the parish’s $1.6 million goal and bringing about $120,000 to St. Leo. The money covered about half the cost of resurfacing the church parking lot last October, said Father Craig Loecker, pastor. "It looks brand new," Father Loecker said. "People love it."

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