A Flourishing Parish Completes Its Master Plan

(February 2015)

StLRibbon CuttingWhen Monsignor Joseph Luca, Pastor of St. Louis Parish in Clarksville, arrived at St. Louis 18 years ago, there were 2,200 families registered in the parish. But as Howard County grew so did St. Louis, which is now the spiritual home of nearly 5,000 families. The ever-growing parish and its more than 65 organizations and committees prompted Msgr. Luca to call for a new master plan for the Clarksville campus. This past September, as a result of funds raised from the Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future capital campaign, the parish has a new Parish Activity Center.

Prior to the Center's completion, things at St. Louis were a bit cramped. Monsignor Luca said, "The big problem always was trying to find space." Mary Helfrich, Director of Development for St. Louis, said of the need for a new Center, "Previously, there were seven people in one room - Bookkeeper, Development Director, IT Staff Member, Assistant Principal, Receptionist, and two others. That was their space. Now everyone has an office. And there's a conference room."

The Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future capital campaign was the impetus that made the new Center possible. Monsignor Luca recounted, "We raised $5.8 million in the capital campaign and, of that, the parish received about $2.2 million toward this new facility.The Parish Activity Center provides a focal point and central entrance to school buildings at St. Louis with secure monitoring of all visitors, thus ensuring student safety."

Monsignor Luca described the feeling throughout the parish when the Center was completed, "When you talk about a plan over a multiple number of years, there's always this wonderment as to whether or not it's really going to be completed and come to life. So, it was a time of great rejoicing throughout the parish to finally complete it."

Home to all school administrative offices, the Center also houses a new gymnasium, named for St. Louis parishioner, John Evans, who died suddenly during his freshman year at Virginia Military Institute. Monsignor Luca noted the tremendous example of sportsmanship that John set during his time as a student at St. Louis and hopes that all who enter the gym will carry on John's spirit of joy and fairness.

Already the gym has played a key role in strengthening the St. Louis community. As Helfrich described, "We've started Family Friendly Fridays, which we've never done before. Once a month, we invite all families, with or without children, young or old, to come and use the facility for exercise. Another way we're able to build our sense of community is there's a stage and pull out bleachers. So, now, we can have school events in the gym. We used to use the hall across the street for some holiday Masses. Now we're able to stay on campus." Helfrich continued to explain, "Whenever there is a conflict with the main church or during Christmas and Easter when there are large crowds, we can now hold Mass in the gym."

Thanks to the Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future capital campaign, the new Parish Activity Center creates fresh possibilities for an already thriving parish. Helfrich concluded, "I think the Center will bring people together. We can take existing events and open them up to the entire parish. Before, that wasn't possible."

Embracing Our Mission and Endowment: Leaving a Lasting Legacy
(October 2014)

kinkopf 3"You're never too young to start thinking about what's important to you and to ask yourself, 'What do I want my legacy to be.'" Such thinking on the part of Kristen Kinkopf and her husband, David, led them to choose to establish an endowment fund, The Kinkopf Family Fund, in the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF) as their way of participating in the Embracing Our Mission – Shaping Our Future capital campaign.

As parishioners at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, the Kinkopfs' bonds to the Archdiocese of Baltimore are both personal and professional. David, an attorney and partner at Gallagher, Evelius & Jones, is primary counsel for the Archdiocese, and Kristen has worked with Catholic Charities for over 16 years.

They recalled that the capital campaign acted as a catalyst for them to discuss what was important to them in terms of their legacy. Both products of Catholic education from elementary school through college, the Kinkopfs knew that they wanted to support the Archdiocese of Baltimore's Catholic Schools. Kristen said, "We wanted to do our part to support Catholic education throughout the lives of our children and our grandchildren."

They also wanted to support Catholic Charities with the intent to help ensure a thriving future for years to come. "I think people feel good about the work that Catholic Charities does," David said. "It's rewarding to be a part of something larger than yourself that can have this kind of impact on the community."

The Kinkopfs chose the gifting vehicle of creating an endowment fund within CCF because it affords them the opportunity of providing long-term support for two causes about which they are passionate.Additionally, they hope their action will encourage others to consider establishing endowments within the CCF. David, who serves on the Board of the Catholic Community Foundation, said, "To have an endowment fund that will live on in perpetuity is not out of reach. It sounds like something that takes enormous amounts of money to fund, but it actually does not."St Athanasius pic

Father Patrick Carrion, Pastor of Catholic Community of South Baltimore, which encompasses the parishes of Holy Cross, Our Lady of Good Counsel, and St Mary, Star of the Sea, who was instrumental in establishing endowments benefitting these parishes, echoed this sentiment."Our endowment," he said, "established from donations that came from many parishioners, most of modest means, is a story of the power of everyone working together.Truly built on the widow's mite, its success is due to the fact that pledges are taken seriously and that we can rely on consistent monthly giving from so many."

Likewise, St. Athanasius Parish in the Curtis Bay area offers an example of a community coming together, through the Embracing Our Mission – Shaping Our Future capital campaign, in pursuit of a common goal.There, the accrual of multiple capital campaign gifts is being used to create an endowment to preserve the parish chapel. Father Rob DiMattei, Pastor, said, "The capital campaign has allowed us to pool gifts from many parishioners to begin an endowment that is destined to preserve the historical and sentimental value of our chapel for many future generations."

Through combining "smaller" Embracing Our Mission contributions from many donors, St. Athanasius has successfully harnessed the collective power of its parishioners into something far greater than what could have been achieved from these same individuals acting alone.

Clearly, the Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future capital campaign is making a profound impact on the Community of Faith within the Archdiocese. Whether funding purposes of importance to individuals like the Kinkopfs or parishes, like St. Athanasius, this historic campaign's positive effects will be felt for both the immediate and distant future.

Martha Wentz Kendall, Development Director for the Catholic Community Foundation, expanded on the potential benefit of establishing endowment."Creating endowment funds fulfills donors' intentions to support, in perpetuity, those traditions and institutions that represent their Catholic beliefs and faith.It is about leaving a legacy. "

(For more information on the Catholic Community Foundation, 501(C)3, please contact Martha Wentz Kendall, Director of Development for the Catholic Community Foundation at 410-547-5356.)

Campaign Enables Buckeystown Parish to Build New Church
(May 2014)

st joe buckeystown 2The history of St. Joseph-on-Carrollton Manor dates to 1814 when Charles Carroll, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, agreed to provide two acres of land for a church on Carrollton Manor. The original church was built in 1822, but was replaced by the "new church" in 1871. That church remains in use to this day. Yet much has changed at St. Joseph's.

Located in Buckeystown, as the population of Frederick County has grown, so too has that of the parish. For more than 10 years, the parish has had to use its Parish Center for Masses. This is about to change.

Thanks to the generosity of its parishioners and the Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future campaign, St. Joseph's is about to get a new church. Carol Sepe, chair of the Building Committee at St. Joseph's said, "We've been working on this for the past 10 years. The entire community wanted a new church. The Parish Center didn't feel like a church. And, after every Mass, we had to move chairs and rearrange the furniture for other parish activities. It has been a struggle."st joe buckeystown 1

With the dedication of the new building scheduled for May, its construction has been a momentous occasion. St. Joseph's Pastor, Fr. Lawrence Frazier, is extremely grateful for all those who have made this possible. He said, "I want to acknowledge the parishioners themselves who have sacrificed to bring the church to completion. The parishioners are the backbone of this and the Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future campaign helped it all come together. Also, I'd like to thank Archbishop Lori, who took an immediate interest in our situation shortly after his installation. Thanks to the efforts of so many, we will now have a more sacred place in which to worship."

Ultimately, the new church will bring the close-knit community of St. Joseph's even closer. Fr. Frazier added, "We'll definitely be able to get together on a more regular basis and get to know each other better. Our Mission Advisory Council's primary message is about building relationships and building the community. The new church will give us the physical space that we need so desperately to accomplish that."

Campaign Visit Unites Parishioners in Marriage

(March 2014)hartka wedding photo

Karol Mowl and Ted Hartka, both long-time parishioners of St. John the Evangelist, Long Green Valley, are pictured on their wedding day, December 7, 2013. Each had been St. John's parishioners for over 45 years and, for the longest time, attended the same Mass – without ever meeting. Then, in the spring of 2012, Ted, Major Gifts Chair for St. John's capital campaign, tried several times to reach Karol by phone in order to schedule a campaign visit. After this meeting came to pass (and after Karol made a generous campaign pledge!) they greeted each other after Mass on Sundays and chatted briefly. In the fall of 2012, Ted invited Karol to lunch, thus beginning a courtship that brought them to the altar this past December.

Caring for Our Priests in Their Time of Need

(February 2014)

Priests are spiritual guides for their parishioners from Baptism and through the many joys and challenges that life brings thereafter. They give their lives to their communities and seldom ask much in return. Yet, now is a time when the priests themselves are in great need; as they approach retirement they need a helping hand.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore established the Priest Pension Plan and the Priest Post-Retirement Medical Plan in 1972 and 2001, respectively. The pension plan provides a monthly benefit and the post-retirement plan helps to pay for other benefits like health care and housing. Priests are not compensated at rates competitive with laity and these funds were created partially to address this discrepancy.Father Breighner

The Archdiocese of Baltimore, like many dioceses throughout the United States, currently faces the challenge of an aging presbyterate. During the 1960s and 1970s there were large numbers of priests ordained. Now, 40 years later, there is a large number of priests retired (75), old enough to retire (15), or nearing retirement age (at least 23).

Father William Foley, Coordinator of Pastoral Care for Retired Priests for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, points out, "The retirement age for archdiocesan priests is 70, though many are staying on beyond that because of our great need. There are currently 15 priests who are eligible for retirement but are still running parishes. A quarter of them are already 80 or older. Over the next four years, another 23 priests will celebrate their 70th birthdays. We're going to be seeing a lot of retirements for a while. Because of this, there is a great need to fortify the priests' pension funds, to ensure that our priests live out the remainder of their lives with the dignity and care they deserve."

The Priest Pension Plan is currently underfunded and will be negatively impacted by the pending wave of retirements. The Archdiocese has also been trying to build the Priest Post-Retirement Medical Plan to support the medical needs of retired and senior priests.Approximately 40% of the Archdiocese's retired priests reside in assisted or long-term care facilities. These costs have averaged $2 million annually and, with the aging of the clergy, will increase exponentially in the coming years.

The success of the Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future capital campaign has begun to address many of these needs. In the spring of this year, $1.1 million was allocated from the campaign to the Priest Post-Retirement Medical Plan. It is hoped that continued support of the capital campaign will fully fund the Priest Pension Plan and that the Priest Post-Retirement Medical Plan will grow as well.

Many people throughout the Archdiocese have generously given to ensure that priests who have served communities for generations, like Father Joe Breighner pictured above, will be able to live their retirement with dignity. "These are kindhearted gestures that demonstrate their appreciation for the spiritual work that our priests have done over the years. I see giving back to them now as a gesture of love. The priests certainly are appreciative of what is given to them. They are very grateful," Father Foley adds.

Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future Capital Campaign Surpasses $100 Million Goal, New Goal of $130M Set

(January 2014)

With several months remaining in the Archdiocese of Baltimore's first capital fundraising campaign in 15 years, Archbishop William E. Lori announced on December 30th that the campaign's $100 million goal has already been surpassed and a new goal of $130 million has been set.111 Million

The Embracing our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future campaign, announced in September 2012, will provide financial support for the Catholic Church's mission of educating children of all faiths and economic backgrounds, serving the poor through more than 80 programs of Catholic Charities, and bringing people closer to Jesus Christ through the Archdiocese's 153 parishes.

"This archdiocese is blessed with extraordinarily generous parishioners and philanthropic partners who believe deeply in the Church's mission and who eagerly share their own gifts to advance that mission for the benefit of others," Archbishop Lori said. "Because we have surpassed our goal we will be able to serve even more of God's people in our schools, our parishes, and our Catholic Charities programs."

Fifty million dollars will be used to fund endowment, tuition assistance, and capital needs of Catholic schools, $20 million will be returned to parishes to fund programs and capital needs, and $10 million will go to support the work of Catholic Charities, the largest private provider of human services in Maryland.

Mr. Frank Bramble, Chair of the Embracing our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future campaign, noted that the campaign's success is "especially gratifying because it comes during the toughest economic times of this generation." He also thanked supporters of the campaign whose generosity demonstrates their "commitment to the Archdiocese and to Catholic schools. They have risen to the occasion and exceeded all expectations."

The campaign is expected to conclude in the fall when the Archdiocese will celebrate 225 years since its founding.

Capital Campaign Impacts Education from the Chesapeake Bay to the Allegheny Mountains

(Photos courtesy of Bishop Walsh School and Catholic Review Media, Tom McCarthy, Jr. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)
(November 2013)

For over two centuries the Archdiocese of Baltimore has been educating children across the societal borders of ethnicity, faith and economic background. As “one holy, catholic and apostolic church,” we are called to make quality education, rooted in the teachings of Jesus, available across these boundaries. Responding to this call requires an investment of resources in new programs, capitalbishop-walsh-1 improvements, and financial assistance. This need is the reason half of the proceeds of the Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future capital campaign are being allocated towards Catholic education.

From funds collected on campaign pledges to date, over $6 million dollars have been disbursed for projects at Catholic schools from one end of our archdiocese to the other. At Bishop Walsh School, the only Catholic school serving Allegheny and Garrett County students, the 50-year old school building was showing the wear and tear of many years of use. The science labs were run down and the locker rooms were shabby. Moreover, there was no access to school restrooms during sporting events, causing the school to incur the additional expense of renting portable facilities. Fortunately, generous donors from across the state enabled the Archdiocese to allocate $800,000, funded from the $15 million designated for capital improvements at Archdiocesan schools, for these necessary upgrades

Shelby Webb, Principal, describes the major change as, “a complete renovation of our chemistry and biology labs. This included all new workstations, as well as all new tile, flooring and paint. The cabinetry is brand new too. The students love having a fresh, new and bright environment where they can do their science work.” The improvements also included a complete gutting of the locker room facilities and added access to restrooms for fans attending activities.

The students at Archbishop Borders School, located in Highlandtown on the east side of Baltimore City, have also benefitted tremendously from the capital campaign. The school building, the former parish school of Sacred Heart of Jesus, had been abandoned for two years before it was tapped to be the home of the Archdiocese’s first dual language school. Prior to its opening in the fall of 2012, almost $1.7 million were spent refurbishing the entire building and establishing the dual language program. The roof was fixed; water damage was repaired; the electrical system was updated; state-of-the-art technology was installed; and dual language materials were purchased.

As Cathy Marshall, principal at Borders, says “Ninety percent of our students have such financial need that they qualify for free and reduced lunches. Their exposure to the beauty of this building makes them feel good about themselves, raises their self-confidence and sets them on a path of achievement.”

Cardinal Shehan School, led by Sr. Rita Michelle Proctor, O.S.P., Shehan36was another blessed beneficiary of the capital campaign. With its recent $400,000 allocation, the school was able to replace 252 old windows with new ones that were energy-efficient, low-emissivity, low-glare and insulated. The windows are doubly beneficial, reducing energy costs and improving student comfort in the classroom.

These school improvements are just some of the many positive impacts that have been realized so far through the generosity of parishioners throughout the Archdiocese and their support of the Embracing Our Mission~Shaping Our Future capital campaign…all the way from the bay to the mountains.

A Swing and a Hit for Embracing Our Mission

Parish of St. Mark in Fallston surpasses parish capital campaign goal with the help of Orioles Announcer, Jim Hunter.
(February 2013)

Orioles Announcer, Jim Hunter, and his wife, Bonnie, have always believed in giving back to the community.  That is why, after a quick meeting with Father Jerry Francik, Pastor of St. Mark Parish in Fallston, Mr. Hunter not only agreed to act as Parish Campaign Co-Chair for the Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future capital campaign; he committed his wife, Bonnie, to a role of Co-Chair as well.HunterJ_Caption

No strangers to community service, having served on the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology Friends Committee, the Hunters have always been interested in philanthropy that benefits children.  Thus, when told by Father Francik that half of the funds raised by Embracing Our Mission would benefit children attending Catholic Schools and the schools themselves, the Hunters were quick to become involved.

Father Francik says, "I loved working with the Hunters and the other volunteers.  Everyone had a different gift.  I looked for positive parishioners who were already involved in and liked the parish...When things were slow, or I was feeling overwhelmed, they became the cheerleaders."  Clearly, this partnering relationship was a successful one as St. Mark's exceeded its Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future campaign goal in 2012.

In a campaign such as this, there are always challenges.  "Though there is always a challenge in asking people for money," Mr. Hunter states, "asking for their involvement is a bit easier.  This is how we were able to grow the Embracing Our Mission Parish Campaign Committee."  The Committee then reached out to other parishioners to become involved, and the parish was on its way to success.  "A constant theme that we heard again and again," Mr. Hunter says, "was that people give to the Church because the Church has been there for them in their lives, and they want to give back to it."

Additional incentive for parishioners to become involved came with the knowledge that a portion of the funds raised would benefit the parish of St. Mark directly.  "I looked at the needs we had at St. Mark's," Father Francik says, "and said, 'This is an opportunity to ask people to step up to the plate and commit themselves to projects and causes that are very worthy.'"

Indeed, as Mr. Hunter puts it, the fact that funds were being allocated to the parish was a significant draw.  "The refurbishment of the parish made possible with the Embracing Our Mission money was amazing.  The renovation of the church, possible due to capital campaign dollars, was so impressive that many parishioners remarked it doesn't even seem the same parish.  Almost an entirely new church."  Seeing such a positive and very real result such as this encouraged more parishioner involvement, inspiring additional gifts of both time and treasure, and both Mr. Hunter and Father Francik stress the importance of communicating the Capital Campaign's parish components to prospective donors.

Mr. Hunter encourages as many people as possible to get involved with the capital campaign.  "Be open-minded and agreeable to help," he says.  "I found the experience extremely rewarding for the opportunity it provided of meeting people from all walks of life that I would not have met before."  He also advises prospective volunteers to remember that a parish campaign lasts a good six months and to treat it "as one would a baseball season, like a marathon not a sprint.  Know that every bit helps and that involvement in a campaign such as this will bring you closer to your parish community and perhaps even greater involvement in your parish."

Indeed, subsequent to that initial meeting with Father Francik and his involvement with the Embracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future capital campaign, Mr. Hunter started the habit of attending daily mass for Lent, a practice that has stuck with him to this day.  "Faith has been the one constant in my life," Mr. Hunter says.  "We all have things that don't go so well, but, as long, as one appreciates how understanding God is, and as long as one's faith is real, our Lord will always be there for us."

Archbishop Lori Announces $100 Million Campaign to Further Church's Mission in Baltimore

One-third of way into campaign, Archdiocese already two-thirds to goal in first such campaign in 15 years
(September 2012)

On Wednesday, September 5th, Archbishop William E. Lori, 16th Archbishop of Baltimore announced the kickoff of theEmbracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future capital campaign.  He made the announcement from the new location of Archbishop Borders School in Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood.

Archbishop Lori at LaunchEmbracing Our Mission ~ Shaping Our Future is the first capital campaign in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 15 years.  The goal of this historic initiative is to provide the financial support needed to further the Church's mission of educating children of all faiths and economic backgrounds through its Catholic schools, serving the poor through more than 80 programs of Catholic Charities, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through more than 150 parishes in Baltimore City and nine counties in Maryland.

Archbishop Lori announced that $64 million has been pledged through the campaign already, with only one-third of the Archdiocese's parishes having participated.

"Today, we stand on the broad shoulders of those who have gone before us to re-dedicate and recommit ourselves to the Catholic Church's generous and loving mission," Archbishop Lori said.  He thanked his predecessor, Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, for initiating the campaign and the people in the parishes, whom he called "the heart and soul of our archdiocese...who inspire me daily with their goodness and their unwavering faith."

Money raised through the campaign will fund key programs in the areas of education, charitable outreach, and parish needs:

  • Half of the projected minimum goal has been earmarked for Catholic education as $50 million will be used to fund endowment, tuition assistance, and the capital needs of schools;
  • $20 million will be returned to parishes to fund programs and capital needs; and
  • $10 million will go to support the work of Catholic Charities, the largest private provider of human services in Maryland.

The campaign also targets programs and initiatives that seek to increase priestly vocations and provide care for our retired priests, preserve the Archdiocese's two cathedrals and help the Church in its overall mission of evangelization in today's world.