PROVIDENCE — As we begin 2020, the latest group of parishes conducting the Grateful for God’s Providence Campaign is wrapping up and a final group of parishes will conduct the campaign this spring.
Approximately $6 million has been distributed to parishes that have participated in the campaign. The most recent checks were mailed out in early October, and the next checks are set to be distributed in January.
Daryl Thomas, the executive director of Guidance in Giving, the stewardship and development firm overseeing the campaign, said the parishes in Block 4 of the campaign raised more than $10 million in pledges, which is 77 percent of its goal; the 37 parishes in that block had a collective fundraising goal of around $13 million.
Thomas said the remaining few parishes that were not able to participate in the campaign’s four main blocks will begin preparations for their pledge drives this month.
The Grateful for God’s Providence Campaign is an initiative 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.
Father Stephen Amaral, pastor of St. Mark Church in Jamestown, said his parish, which was in Block 4, will use its rebate money to help pay for a new HVac system.
“That’s a big-ticket item, and we’ve been saving for that for awhile. This will certainly make it much more feasible for us to be able to move forward with that project,” said Father Amaral, whose parish exceeded its $283,871 goal by more than $71,000.
“I was surprised by that, for various reasons,” Father Amaral said. “But the people here are very generous. This is a sign that they care about the future of our faith in Jamestown and in the diocese.”
Father Paul Grenon, pastor of St. Joseph Church in North Scituate, said his Block 4 parish also exceeded its goal, which was $384,709.
“The last I checked, we were at $483,091,” said Father Grenon, who added that the rebate money the parish receives will go towards installing a new roof and replacing an antiquated telephone system.
“The system we have here is 30 years old and can’t keep up with the high volume,” Father Grenon said. “It gets very confusing sometimes with the buttons. Some buttons work and some don’t.”
Father Grenon said his parishioners have been “very responsive” to appeals in the past. In the last 20 years, the parish had two major campaigns where parishioners helped to fund the building of a new parish hall, and to acquire and renovate a house across the street that now serves as the rectory.
“Both those debts, about $5.5 million in total, are already paid off,” Father Grenon said. “Even when we have diocesan collections, we go over goal. I’m very impressed with the way our people just seem to come through all the time.”
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.
Click here for more information or call the Stewardship and Development Office at 401-277-2121.