Catholics invited to offer input for capital campaign feasibility study

| April 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

Campaign would differ in scope from annual Catholic Services Appeal

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is encouraging local Catholics to respond to an online survey as part of its ongoing feasibility study to determine support for a proposed archdiocesan capital campaign.

The survey, available at, is in addition to a series of town hall meetings on the topic being held across the archdiocese (see box for a list of remaining meetings.) Four remaining meetings are scheduled between April 30 and May 9.

The feasibility study is being directed by the Steier Group, a Catholic development consulting firm seeking feedback from representatives from every parish in the archdiocese.

“All the voices are important, and we need to hear from as many voices as possible,” said Father Peter Laird, vicar general of the archdiocese, who encourages participation in the meetings and survey. “This is a true feasibility study in which we’re testing whether or not we can, or should, do a capital campaign.”

The Steier Group is scheduled to collect data through the end of May and present its final report and recommendations to the archdiocese in June.

Upcoming town hall meetings

  • April 30, 7-8:30 p.m., Our Lady of Guadalupe (town hall meeting in Spanish,) 401 Concord St., St. Paul
  • May 1, 7-8:30 p.m., St. John Neumann, 4030 Pilot Knob Rd., Eagan
  • May 8, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., St. Olaf, 215 S. 8th St., Minneapolis
  • May 9, 5:30-7 p.m., Hayden Center, 328 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul

Each town hall meeting will include a brief presentation, followed by questions and answers. Attendees will be asked to complete a survey at the end of the evening. Those who would like to attend should RSVP. Please call Colleen Thuente at (651) 291-4531, or RSVP via email to:

The capital campaign would ensure ongoing support for key ministry efforts in parishes, schools and throughout the archdiocese that flow from the archdiocesan strategic plan announced in 2010. The campaign proposes to raise $165 million to support six ministry areas:

  • Strengthening parishes ($60 million);
  • Preparing the next generation of Catholic leaders through support of Catholic schools, youth and young adult programs, college seminarian formation and lay and clergy formation ($50 million);
  • Supporting Catholic Charities ($20 million);
  • Preserving the Cathedral of St. Paul and Basilica of St. Mary ($20 million);
  • Caring for the elderly ($10 million);
  • Fostering Latino ministries and programs ($5 million).

Different from CSA

Father Laird said reaction to the proposed capital campaign was generally supportive at the four town hall meetings held as of April 19. The question has arisen at each of the meetings, however, about how a campaign would differ from the Catholic Services Appeal, the annual collection that helps to fund the general operating and program expenses of archdiocesan programs, some of which focus on the same ministry areas as the proposed campaign.

While the CSA collects funds to support ongoing ministries and then distributes those monies directly to ministries, Father Laird said, those funds have remained relatively flat over the last several years while the needs have increased.

A capital campaign like the one the archdiocese is considering moves beyond maintaining current programs to expanding ministries that are growing and need additional support, such as care for the elderly and Latino ministry, Father Laird said. A campaign would allow the creation of endowments to provide the funding needed to catch up with the need.

Father Laird said people can also think about the campaign in terms of how they maintain their house. While homeowners pay for ongoing, “ordinary” expenses such as groceries and utility bills from their regular paycheck, they need to tap additional funds — perhaps every 10 years or so — to pay for “extra-ordinary” needs that inevitably arise, such as fixing a leaky roof or replacing a furnace.

In the same way, an archdiocesan capital campaign can help to fund additional ministry needs that the CSA isn’t able to fund, he said.

Father Laird noted that an interim resourcing plan has been put in place by the archdiocese to provide support for the feasibility study phase of the potential campaign until a replacement is hired for Michael Halloran, director of the archdiocesan Development and Stewardship Office who is taking a new position at the end of the month at the University of Minnesota.

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