Town hall meetings to address proposed capital campaign

| March 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

calendar_redThe Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has announced it is conducting a comprehensive feasibility study to determine support for an archdiocesan capital campaign that would ensure ongoing support for key ministry efforts in parishes, schools and throughout the archdiocese.

The study, which runs through June, includes a series of town hall meetings open to all Catholics of the archdiocese. Attendees will hear a brief presentation about the proposed campaign and have an opportunity to share opinions and ask questions. (See list of meeting times and locations below.)

“I encourage parishioners to attend one of the town hall meetings taking place over the next few months to share their input and learn more about this historic opportunity for us to move forward as a local Church united in faith, hope and love,” Archbishop John Nienstedt said.

Mark your calendar:

Town Hall meeting dates and locations set

  • April 2, 7-8:30 p.m., St. John the Baptist, 835 2nd Ave. NW, New Brighton
  • April 4, 7-8:30 p.m., St. Mary of the Lake, 4690 Bald Eagle Ave., White Bear Lake
  • April 10, 7-8:30 p.m., St. Wenceslaus, 215 Main St E., New Prague
  • April 11, 7-8:30 p.m., Holy Name of Jesus, 155 County Rd 24, Wayzata
  • April 24, 7-8:30 p.m., Our Lady of Grace, 5071 Eden Ave., Edina
  • April 30, 7-8:30 p.m., Our Lady of Guadalupe, 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 South 8th St., Minneapolis
  • May 9, 5:30 -7 p.m., The 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 to ensure there is proper space to accommodate everyone and the necessary materials on hand. Please call Colleen Thuente at (651) 291-4531, or RSVP via email to:

Supporting vital ministries

The campaign proposes to raise $165 million to support six ministry areas:

Strengthening parishes: The campaign would help to revitalize and renew parish life as the center of our faith and community. Fifty percent of all funds raised up to the parish goal — and 100 percent of monies raised over the parish goal — would remain at the parish to fund current and future ministry efforts and provide potential financial resources to expand the ministries.

Preparing the next generation of Catholic leaders: The campaign would provide added support for the following areas:

  • Catholic school students and teachers: The archdiocese recently developed a comprehensive vision and plan that identified areas in which new investment is needed to strengthen local Catholic schools. The new Aim Higher marketing program and Aim Higher Foundation were established to address these areas of need. The campaign would help to build an endowment for the Aim Higher Foundation to increase the level of need-based financial support for families who desire a Catholic education for their children but cannot afford it. It would raise up new leaders and train current leaders to be visionary and skilled school managers, and make grants for new and innovative programs to enhance academic excellence.
  • Youth and young adults: The archdiocese is committed to helping youth grow in a vibrant faith that will bear fruit in their personal lives and their leadership. In turn, this will have a powerful influence in the Church and society both today and in the culture of tomorrow. The campaign would increase the funds available to support youth and young adult initiatives at the archdiocesan, regional and deanery levels.
  • College seminarian formation: The campaign would increase the amount of permanent scholarship assistance available to faithfully and fully prepare seminarians at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul.
  • Lay and clergy formation; vocations: The campaign would make possible the establishment of a permanent fund in the Center for Formation at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity that will train lay catechists, provide continuing education for priests in their first six years of ministry, increase formation programs for permanent deacons, and increase the Office of Vocations’ ability to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

 Supporting Catholic Charities: Catholic Charities cares for tens of thousands of people in need in the Twin Cities by providing safety and stability for children, food, housing and services for the homeless as well as support for immigrants, refugees and low-income seniors. The campaign would increase the level of archdiocesan support for these efforts, which would allow Catholic Charities to expand its reach and provide more opportunities for those most in need.

Preserving our co-cathedrals: The campaign would help complete restoration and repair projects for the 100-year-old Cathedral of St. Paul. It would provide a preservation fund for its future care and proper maintenance, so that it may continue to serve the people of the archdiocese for principal celebrations of the liturgical year as well as confirmations, ordinations and other major events.

The campaign would also help renovate and restore the Basilica of St. Mary, built more than 100 years ago. This beautiful and historic landmark is a place where all are welcome, and it also serves as a center for the arts and a place of refuge for the poor. The Basilica community continues its commitment to the growth and social well-being of the city of Minneapolis.

Caring for the elderly: The campaign would enhance the pension plan to care for retired priests of the archdiocese who have served the faithful during their active ministry, and it would guarantee future security for active priests. It would provide new funds to collaborate with parishes on providing solutions to chronic needs, like helping seniors pay for affordable housing, and provide for care coordinators to connect seniors to pastoral care and services so they can stay home longer and safer.

Fostering Latino ministries and programs: The campaign would increase the funds currently available to provide pastoral ministry and sacramental preparation (including new Latino biblical and catechetical institutes) to serve the spiritual and material needs of the growing Latino population.

Result of visioning process

The proposed goals are the result of a four-year visioning process, the archdiocese said. In 2009, Archbishop Nienstedt began a conversation with pastors and parish leaders to assess the vitality and sustainability of parishes and schools in the local Church, with the goal of ensuring the archdiocese has the firm foundation it needs to fulfill its mission of Christian discipleship for generations to come.

To that end, in 2010, a comprehensive strategic plan was developed to meet the needs and priorities that surfaced from planning meetings held with Catholics throughout the archdiocese.

Since that time, significant progress has been made toward the desired outcomes of the strategic plan, the archdiocese said.

Over the last few years, conversations with clergy and lay leadership have provided guidance about how to ensure ongoing support for key initiatives that are being implemented in parishes, schools and throughout the archdiocese.

This has led the archdiocese to consider a partnership capital campaign as a way to further invest in the core ways the local Church fulfills its mission of loving and serving God and neighbor.

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