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Schools, other ministries reap campaign’s benefits

Archbishop Bergan Catholic School in Fremont is among schools and other ministries still benefiting from the archdiocese’s $53 million Ignite the Faith capital campaign, which began as a $40 million effort in 2012 but surpassed that goal, and continues to collect donations and distribute funds.

With help from the campaign in the form of school excellence grants, Archbishop Bergan this year hired a director of alumni relations, Sarah Monk, and expanded its outreach to the Latino community by hiring a bilingual paraprofessional, Krystal Morales, for its kindergarten classes.

Over the last few years, excellence grants have helped the pre-school through high school increase its marketing and communication efforts, broadened the capabilities of its database for tracking graduates and donors and expanded its early childhood education center.

"We’ve seen increases in enrollment over the last several years," thanks to efforts Ignite the Faith has made possible, said Bonnie Nebuda, director of advancement for the school.

Assistance to Archbishop Bergan is just part of more than $6 million in Ignite the Faith money awarded through excellence grants to Catholic schools across the archdiocese, said Shannan Brommer, director of the archdiocese’s Office of Stewardship and Development.

Money from the campaign also has fueled a major marketing campaign, scholarships for teachers, the School of Faith formation program for educators and other initiatives, Brommer said. The campaign also has boosted the priests’ retirement and seminary funds, and helped parish religious education programs, she said.

Already, $45 million has been collected, Brommer said.

"It’s been a momentum-builder," Brommer said of the campaign’s impact on schools. "It has really given school leadership the chance to dream about their futures in ways they had not before."