PROVIDENCE — The latest batch of quarterly rebate checks from the Grateful for God’s Providence Campaign is being finalized and will be sent out soon to parishes that have already completed their pledge drives.
To date, just under $3 million has been given out to local parishes in the last four quarters since the capital campaign began.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to make some long-needed repairs at the local level and support the diocesan Church as well,” said Robert Corcoran, the director of Stewardship and Development for the Diocese of Providence.
Corcoran said the parishes in Block 4 of the four-block campaign are in the early stages of planning for their weekend pledge drives later this fall. About 43 parishes are in the final block, and together they have a collective fundraising goal of around $16 million.
To date, the diocese has received slightly more than $37 million in total pledges. The campaign’s total goal is $50 million. Corcoran hopes the diocese will have $40 million in pledges by September, just as the Block 4 parishes begin the fundraising part of their block.
“Our goal is to reach $40 million by early fall and then collect another $10 million or more from the final block,” Corcoran said. “It’s been a very rewarding experience to date. The people of Rhode Island have been very generous.”
The Grateful for God’s Providence Campaign is a two-year initiative, with a four-year redemption period, to commemorate the Diocese of Providence’s 150th anniversary in 2022 by raising $50 million to support the Church’s mission at the diocesan and parish levels.
Of the campaign goal, $30 million is earmarked for the diocese:
∙ $8 million for an endowment for seminarian education
∙ $8 million for an endowment to support retired priests
∙ $5 million for an endowment to benefit Catholic school tuition assistance
∙ $5 million to bolster the Catholic Charities and Social Services endowment and operations
∙ $4 million to help pay for renovations to the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul.
The remaining $20 million in campaign funds will be given to local parishes. Each parish has a campaign goal, and receives back 40 percent of money that is collected toward that goal. Of any money that is collected over that amount, the parish will receive 60 percent.
St. Francis of Assisi Church in Wakefield received $93,000 in its first quarterly rebate check. Father Henry Bodah, the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church, said the money has gone toward repairs inside the church and the parking lot at St. Romuald Chapel.
“We extended the parking area so that it’s now four levels of permeable gravel and filler, so we don’t have big mud puddles in the winter,” said Father Bodah, who added that the money has also gone to installing new ceiling panels.
Father Bodah said his parish’s goal was slightly more than $626,000, and that the last report he received from the diocese, the parish had exceeded that goal by more than $200,000.
“I credit the lay people who staffed the telephones, organized the receptions and spoke at the Masses,” Father Bodah said. “I think some people are worried about the future of the Church because the younger generations are not necessarily supporting us financially the way their parents did.”
Each block is six months long, with the first half of each block consisting of planning and receptions, and the second half including the pledge drives and follow-up. The 28 parishes in Block 2 had a collective goal of just under $10.5 million. The 30 parishes in Block 3 had a collective goal of $8.7 million.
The goals are a formula based on the parish’s offertory numbers.
“People do their best to try to reach that number,” Corcoran said. “They’re not required numbers to reach. They’re goals you set your sights on and you do your best to reach them.”
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 and campaign expenses.
For more information, visit dioceseofprovidence.org/grateful-for-gods-providence-capital-campaign, or call the Stewardship and Development Office