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From the Pastor's Desk - June 8, 2014

Dear Parishioners,

As I announced last weekend at the Masses, the third wave of the archdiocesan capital campaign "Ignite the Faith" will be conducted this fall in the parishes of the South-Suburban deanery. Already the silent phase has taken place where the priests have made their pledges and major gifts have been solicited in all of the parishes. Each parish has been given a goal by the Archdiocese for what will be utilized for meeting archdiocesan needs. For St. Joseph Parish, due to the generous pledges of some of our parishioners and my pledge, our parish goal of $307,000 has already been met. The Archbishop still requires us to conduct the "Ignite the Faith" campaign even though we have reached the goal assigned for archdiocesan needs. Because of this, the Archdiocesan Development Office has encouraged us to piggyback onto the "Ignite the Faith" archdiocesan campaign a formal parish campaign portion to raise funds to pay down the construction loan ($550,000) for our new religious education building. This gives us the opportunity to do a more formal fundraising effort for the building fund than the casual way by which we are doing it currently through the yellow envelopes provided in your parish envelope packets. If we tack on a formal parish campaign portion, then, anything that is raised through our parishioners' pledges above this amount of $307,000 that goes to the Archdiocese, the parish will get to keep. If we do not do a formal parish campaign portion, then the parish only receives back 10% of the total raised. As I already stated in a previous column, the finance and parish councils agreed that it makes sense to do a formal parish portion, if there is the likelihood that the remaining majority of parishioners are willing to make pledges that will add up to a substantial amount. Therefore, to determine what a reasonable additional goal could be for a formal parish portion, a survey of parishioners is being conducted with the help of the fundraising company called the Steier Group, which the Archdiocese is utilizing for running the "Ignite the Faith" campaign. You might have already received or will this week receive a letter from me inviting you to take part in this survey either by being interviewed by a representative of the Steier Group in person or by doing the survey by mail-in or online. I encourage each and every St. Joseph’s household to participate. Your input is most important and valuable. I thank you in advance for your participation in this survey.

So, what does this all mean? For example, to give a scenario, let's say, when the "Ignite the Faith" campaign takes place in our deanery, we would end up with the remainder of St. Joseph parishioners pledging $200,000 more for an overall total of $507,000 raised. If we do a formal parish campaign portion, $200,000 comes back to the parish, out of which we would pay the cost of hiring the Steier Group to conduct the formal parish campaign portion (a fixed cost of approximately $60,000) and the parish would net approximately $140,000 to pay down the loan. But, if we do not do a formal parish campaign portion, only $50,700 comes back to the parish to go towards paying down the loan and an extra $180,000 goes to the Archdiocese. Obviously the survey will have to show that there is the strong likelihood that by doing a formal parish campaign that the parish can net substantially more then if it just settled for receiving 10% back from the Archdiocese. The bottom line is that a formal parish campaign portion will only be done and the Steier Group will only be hired to conduct it if your responses to the survey indicate that your pledges will add up to a net amount that is more advantageous then just settling for the 10% archdiocesan rebate.

Regardless of whether or not we end up doing a formal parish campaign portion, let us understand that I and those parishioners who have already made pledges during the silent phase and those who will yet make pledges that all of us together proportionately are participating in responding to providing financially for both the needs of the Archdiocese and the specific parish need of paying down the cost of the construction of our new religious education center. This exercise of stewardship obviously involves sacrifice but, in the end, is all for the greater glory and honor of God and, being such, will only bring blessings for our generosity. Let whatever we pledge be for the gifts that we have received from God a demonstrative "thank you" to our Lord who is never outdone in generosity.

Have a blessed and grace-filled week.
God Bless You, Fr. Gutowski

This Week

Prayer Intention for the Week
For the sick: Joyce Cockerill, Kathy Ewing, Harriet Green, Ted Riha, Duane Poser, Sally Leyden, Chrissy Skinner, Jerry Martin, Dorothy Foged.

ACTIVITIES IN THE PARISH
Sat., Dec. 9, Springfielder at Heart Dinner
Sun., Dec. 10, Christmas Open House 3 – 5 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 13, RE, 6:15 P.M.