By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
CORALVILLE — St. Thomas More Parish is ready to resume its capital campaign, now that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be in the rear view.
The fast-growing parish is hoping to expand its worship space to accommodate a membership that has nearly doubled since moving from Iowa City to Coralville in 2009. “This summer our parish membership surpassed the 1,500-household mark making our facility expansion more urgent,” said Father Chuck Adam, pastor. “Our goal is to enable more and more people from the growing family of faith to participate in our parish life and become a leaven for good within our greater community.” The current worship space seats 475 people.
He noted that inflation and supply chain issues have increased costs dramatically since the start of the campaign three years ago. The parish asked the architects at Emergent-Novak Design to revise the design in an effort to reduce costs. This new design utilizes more of the existing space. It cuts square footage from the future gathering space and provides seating capacity of 1,070 instead of 1,200. Even with these changes, the projected cost is $12 million. The initial projection was $7 million, Father Adam told parishioners at the end of August. Despite this challenge, “I know we have generous and faith-filled members of our community who will help us reach our goals,” he said.
To kick-start the renewed fundraising effort, the parish is hosting a Dance-More-a-Thon Oct. 8 from 6-10 p.m. at the parish. The event will include music and dancing, raffles, auctions, food and fellowship. Cost to attend is $20 per person or $50 for a family.
The Diocese of Davenport requires 60% of total funds to be collected prior to starting construction. That amount for the St. Thomas More project is $7.2 million. Total current pledges and expected income is $6 million.
Father Adam encouraged parishioners to “keep praying, keep doing what we can, and keep moving forward.”