Parishes begin receiving their share of proceeds from capital campaign

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PROVIDENCE — Parishes have started receiving the first of several quarterly checks for money they raised during the Grateful for God’s Providence Campaign.

In early October, Father Francis O’Loughlin, pastor of Jesus Savior Church in Newport, was given a check for more than $29,000, which he said will help replenish the savings that his parish dipped into in recent years to pay for several capital repairs.

“I’m thrilled,” Father O’Loughlin said, adding that Jesus Savior Church raised more than $245,000, which he said was 90 percent of the parish’s fundraising goal.

“We did really well,” Father O’Loughlin said.

St. Patrick’s Church in Providence exceeded its fundraising goal of $417,000, which will work out to the parish receiving back more than $166,000 in quarterly installments, said Father James Ruggieri, the pastor of St. Patrick’s Church.

“It’s a great thing. It really does help the parishes,” said Father Ruggieri, who added that $40,000 will be put in savings and the remainder will be used to pay for new windows that the parish is having installed this year and next.

“The windows were old. Some would open, some of them wouldn’t. They weren’t the most energy efficient. It was time, but the cost was an issue, so this campaign’s timing was great,” Father Ruggieri said.

The Grateful for God’s Providence Campaign is a two-year endeavor to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Providence in 2022 by raising $50 million to support the Church’s mission at the diocesan and parish levels.

Of the $30 million earmarked for the diocese, $8 million will be used to support seminarian education, $8 million will be used to support retired priests, $5 million will benefit Catholic school tuition assistance, $5 million will be used to bolster Catholic Charities and Social Services while $4 million is slated to help pay for renovations to the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

About $20 million of campaign funds will be given to local parishes. Each parish has a campaign fundraising goal, and receives back 40 percent of the money collected toward that goal. If a parish exceeds its goal, it receives 60 percent of those funds.

“I think the local benefit does motivate people to consider giving,” Father Ruggieri said.

As of Oct. 9, more than $16.63 million had been pledged to the Grateful for God’s Providence Campaign, said Robert Corcoran, the director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Providence.

“Things are tracking pretty well,” Corcoran said. “There’s a great momentum building and there’s a nice pledge amount already in place.”

Corcoran said he hopes to have around $25 million in total pledges by Christmas, which will be the halfway mark of the two-year campaign.

“All things being equal, things are going well,” Corcoran said. “We’re not encountering any real problems. People as always have been very generous when asked and when presented with the case, which is such that it benefits the wider Church in a number of areas and the local parish as well.”

For the campaign’s purposes, parishes are divided into four “blocks” over the course of 2018-2019. Each block has a target pledge amount. The 17 parishes in Block 1 had a collective goal of $5,629,563.

Corcoran said 92 percent of Block 1’s goal has been met, with six parishes achieving their goal, four coming within 10 percent of the target and the others doing “as well as they can.” The first quarterly checks — which are cut as monies are received — for those parishes were distributed at the beginning of October.

“I think it’s a good beginning,” Corcoran said.

The 28 parishes in Block 2, which is now underway, have a collective goal of just under $10.5 million. Through parish receptions and presentations during Masses, parishioners are learning about the campaign’s goals and how it is structured.

“We’re happy with the progress of the campaign and the work that’s been put in at all the parishes,” Corcoran said.

Blocks 3 and 4 of the campaign will be conducted in 2019 for the remaining parishes in the Diocese of Providence. Guidance in Giving, Inc., an organization that consults on fundraising initiatives to more than 60 Catholic dioceses, is overseeing the Grateful for God’s Providence Campaign.

The Grateful for God’s Providence Campaign has been established as a separate corporation. The monies raised through the Grateful for God’s Providence Campaign are restricted from being reallocated to fund lawsuits, settlements or any other areas. These campaign contributions will go directly to fund the case elements presented.

For more information, visit

https://dioceseofprovidence.org/grateful-for-gods-providence-capital-campaign, or call the Stewardship and Development Office at 401-277-2121.