A capital campaign to raise $125 million for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland to fund programs in ministry, education and social services has exceeded its goal by nearly 37 percent.
The Rooted in Faith — Forward in Hope campaign was launched in early 2010 by the Catholic Community Foundation. It concluded in December, raising just under $171 million and making it the largest fundraising effort conducted in the diocese to support the needs of Catholics and non-Catholics.
Cleveland Bishop Richard G. Lennon and foundation leaders are expected to publicly announce the campaign’s results and discuss how the money will be distributed during news conferences today: 10 a.m. at St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish in Cleveland and 1 p.m. at St. Mary Parish in Akron.
“The results of the Rooted in Faith — Forward in Hope campaign are truly inspiring,” Lennon said in a prepared statement. “As Catholics, it is our responsibility to grow our faith, and because of the generosity of thousands of Catholics in our diocese, we also will be able to strengthen our community for years to come.”
When the initiative was introduced, it called for funds to be distributed in five areas:
• Catholic education, $40 million.
• Revitalizing parishes, $37.5 million.
• Clergy formation and care for retired priests, $25 million.
• Evangelization and lay faith formation, $15 million.
• Charitable works, $7.5 million.
As of March 31, those five areas have received almost $28 million: $1.6 million to charitable works, $3.3 million to evangelization, $5.5 million to retired priests and seminarians, $8.5 million to strengthening parishes and $8.8 million to education.
Funding set aside for education will be used to increase the tuition endowment to help families with the cost of Catholic education, with the potential to assist an additional 2,000 students annually. Allocations also will be made to programs designed to enhance curriculum, facilities and technology.
Each parish in the diocese was given a goal and will receive 30 percent of the funds raised within the parish community up to its goal. For every dollar raised over the original goal, the parish will receive 70 cents. Each parish will determine how funds are used. Parishes participated in the campaign as part of a pilot program or in subsequent blocks.
At the end of the campaign’s timeline in December, 103 of 174 parishes had achieved or surpassed their goals. Parishes are scheduled to receive their share of the money in quarterly installments. The 11 parishes that recently were reopened did not participate in the campaign.
Locally, Akron’s St. Vincent Parish, which was one of nine pilot parishes, has received enough of its $500,000 to complete renovations on the church’s 100-year-old organ and update its playground. The parish also plans to use the funds it will receive for surpassing its $1,008,000 goal to complete repairs to its school.
After exceeding its $2,623,000 goal, St. Hilary Parish in Fairlawn is planning to use its nearly $800,000 to support an endowment fund for its school and for an evangelization endowment for outreach.
The campaign’s allocation for clergy and clergy formation will go to educate seminarians, to train priests and deacons and to the diocesan retirement plan for priests.
Funds earmarked for evangelization and faith formation will be used for multimedia outreach, sacramental preparation and religious education and faith formation of youth and adults. A portion of the funds will go to help parishes with limited financial resources.
The money set aside for charitable works will be used for needs beyond those covered by the Catholic Charities Annual Appeal, which funds operating expenses for ongoing ministries and services. The annual Catholic Charities appeal typically raises more than $10 million to fund nearly 150 programs and services.
This year’s appeal already has raised $8 million toward its $10.5 million goal.
Funds from the Rooted in Faith capital campaign will be used to expand programs, acquire sites and renovate facilities.
Camp Christopher, in Bath Township, will be among the beneficiaries of the charitable works portion of the campaign. Plans for the funds at the camp include renovation and modernization of facilities, like camper cabins, some of which have crumbling foundations.
The camp, the only Catholic camp in Ohio, consists of 165 acres with hiking trails, four lakes, sandstone ledges and natural caves. It offers summer day and residence camps and year-round programming for campers, including adults and children with disabilities.
The Rooted in Faith — Forward in Hope campaign is administered and managed by the Catholic Community Foundation, which is a separate 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the fundraising arm of the diocese.
Information released by the foundation shows that 45,179 people donated to the campaign, which allows for pledges to be paid over three to five years. New pledges also are being received.
“This is a time for celebration, not only for Catholics, but Northeast Ohioans as well,” Patrick Grace, executive director of the foundation, said in a prepared statement. “The success of the Rooted in Faith — Forward in Hope campaign demonstrates that we are united and stronger than ever. The generosity and tenacity of Northeast Ohio’s Catholics is a testament to our faith in Christ and community.”
The Cleveland diocese includes more than 700,000 Catholics in 185 parishes in Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne counties.
More information about the diocese can be found at www.dioceseofcleveland.org. For additional information about the foundation and campaign, including a complete list of individual parish goals and amounts raised, go to www.catholiccommunity.org.
Colette Jenkins can be reached at 330-996-3731 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She can be followed at https://twitter.com/ColetteMJenkins.