“Who is asked to participate in the Home Campaign?”
In order to provide the renovations and major maintenance that our facilities need to keep them functional, welcoming, safe and secure, we need each and every household in the parish to participate.
“How much is each household expected to contribute to the Home Campaign?”
While our parish goal is 1.4X annual offertory giving, there is no particular amount expected of individual households. A good rule of thumb is 3X your annual offertory giving, spread out over three years. This amount allows us to meet our goal even if 1/3 of households do not participate. On average, 1/3 of active parish households do not help with capital campaigns, leaving other households to cover for them.
“How were our parish capital priorities chosen for the Home Campaign?”
First, each parish organization was asked for suggestions. Then, the whole parish was asked to participate in two Open Forums and one facilities “walk-through”. This was complemented by four articles in the bulletin requesting parishioner input, with one article listing the projects recommended by the parish Pastoral Council, whose members are elected by parishioners. The Pastoral Council voted unanimously in favor of our present capital priorities, which Father Shelton approved in January.
“Is it possible to change any of our parish priorities for the Home Campaign?”
Since our parish priorities were finalized after an extensive, open process of research, consultation, and discernment, and since these priorities are now being publicized in final form, it is prudent to keep them as they are. Other capital needs can be addressed a few decades from now during the next capital campaign.
“What happens if we do not meet our goal for the Home Campaign?”
If we do not meet our goal, then we will need to make some drastic cuts to regular spending in order to address our pressing capital needs. Some of these needs concern the general appearance of our facilities, which is crucial to attracting new members and thereby halting our declining numbers, while other needs concern the safety, security and structural integrity of our buildings.
“Why can’t we address the facility issues through the regular weekly collections, rather than depending upon the Home Campaign?”
The weekly collections are barely enough to cover our recurring monthly expenses, and some months we even operate at a deficit. Therefore, there is no money available in the weekly collections for moderate or major capital improvements, nor is this situation likely to improve until we begin attracting new members.
“Is it possible to support the capital needs of the parish without supporting our Home Campaign?”
Since the parish depends heavily upon the combined resources of the diocese, we have both a moral and a practical obligation to support both the parish and the diocese. The reason it costs less to run a Catholic parish than it does to run a typical Protestant faith community is because our parishes pool their resources via the diocese, which increases efficiency and broadens our options.
“Why did I receive a signed letter asking me to give more money to the Home Campaign than I can afford?”
The suggestion (not to be confused with an “expectation”) is an amount generated automatically based on your donations last fiscal year, and taking into account our goal of 1.4 times annual giving, while assuming that 1/3 of households will not give anything. This automatic process has no way of considering, for example, whether you usually give one percent or ten percent of your income, and so leaves it up to you to determine what you can reasonably be expected to give to the campaign On average in other parishes, donors pledge 40% of the suggested amount, which is considered a good response.
“Why are we building a cathedral with the Home Campaign?”
Ever since we became a diocese in the late ‘80’s, we’ve been using a church designed in the ‘50’s for a suburban parish community. We’ve put off building a purpose-designed cathedral for too long, and now it’s time to get the job done, and get it done right. This one needs to last for many centuries, as do other cathedrals.
“Is now really the right time in our diocese for the Home Campaign?”
Since our diocese is growing very rapidly, it is necessary to invest in our future here in East Tennessee. Now is the time to make this prophetic investment. Our world is changing fast, for better and for worse, and we want to make sure that the Church has a voice in these changes, even here in East Tennessee. A strong diocese with vibrant parishes speaks volumes.
“Is now the right time in our parish for the Home Campaign?”
Our parish has an unusual beginning, rooted in the military and scientific goals of the ‘40’s and ‘50’s. So, we are a problem-solving, goal-oriented community here in Oak Ridge. Today, our parish, faced with declining membership, declining donations and declining buildings, is an oddity in our growing diocese. But our unique ability to problem-solve and to achieve goals allows us to look at our present situation and make the right decisions for our future.
“Is the future of the Catholic Church here worth the investment of the Home Campaign?”
This is a question for you to answer.