The Diocese of Oakland's Capital Campaign, a fundraising effort to support its ministries and parishes, has raised almost $32 million in gifts and pledges from about 8,000 donors, up from about $15 million and 5,490 donors in January.
Parishes in the first group are to be thanked and congratulated on their hard work, said Ken Hokenson, executive director of the diocesan Office for Mission Advancement.
"Special appreciation goes to the Cathedral Parish of Christ the Light in Oakland, St. John Vianney in Walnut Creek and St. Patrick Parish in Rodeo, who were the first to exceed their goals," Hokenson said.
Parishes can receive 25 percent of funds raised of their campaign goal, and 50 percent of funds raised in excess of goal.
In the second group of parishes, St. Anthony-Mary Help of Christians and St. Margaret Mary, both in Oakland, have met their goal, and St. Jarlath in Oakland and Queen of All Saints in Concord, should meet their goal very soon, reported Darren Moore, an executive with Guidance in Giving Inc., the firm helping conduct the Reclaiming Christ's Mission Together campaign.
The first group of parishes is moving into the pledge fulfillment phase, explained Hokenson. "A mailing was sent on June 1 to all parishioners who have not yet provided any indication of their participation in the campaign. If a parishioner has made a pledge, or formally declined to participate, the parishioner will not be contacted in this mailing."
Rev. Larry Young, pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Rodeo, explained how the campaign can directly help a parish:
St. Patrick had a campaign goal of $652,833, and raised $718,125. That equates to a parish share of about $196,000.
St. Patrick is a relatively new church built in 1997 that is in need of its first paint job inside and out, he said. Also, the campaign money can help pay for a feasibility study as the parish is in need of another building to service its school and growing parish.
Father Young attributes St. Patrick's success to dealing honestly with parishioners.
"You can't skirt the issues," he said. "Hit the questions straight on. I don't think that happens in a lot of places."
The parish campaign committee worked hard and developed a presentation that attacked all the negatives.
"People got proud. 'We're going to make this happen,' they said. They determined they were going to do it," said Father Young. "I was surprised. God is good."
Parishioners "bought into it."
At the parish school, every parent, Catholic or not, was given a letter asking for funds. Even one of the school classes held fundraisers and brought in $1,000, Father Young said.
Parishes in the second group are now going through commitment weekends, when their parishioners are asked for contributions.
In addition to helping parishes, the campaign will aid diocesan ministries that include Catholic Charities, education scholarships, aid to seminarians, priest retirement and debt restructuring.
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