Parishes planning uses for capital campaign funds raised


By Barb Arland-Fye

The 80 parishes of the Davenport Diocese envision a myriad of plans for funds they’ll get back as part of their contribution to the diocesan capital campaign. Each parish will receive 20 percent of the funds it raises toward its target goal and 50 percent of any overage.

The campaign has reached $18 million of its $22 million goal to date and will be wrapping up in July, said Melissa Watkins of Community Counseling Services (CCS), which is overseeing the diocese’s fundraising effort. By the end of June, parishes that piloted the campaign will begin receiving proceeds from funds that have been received; the other parishes will begin receiving their 20 percent share in December, she said.

Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine plans to spend its share to hire a parish nurse and implement a wellness ministry, said Father Jason Crossen, who is pastor of both the Muscatine parish and St. Joseph Parish in Columbus Junction.

 “We have a larger elderly population … we thought this would be a nice ministry for not just the homebound, but anyone with a medical need.” He said the parish has formed a wellness committee to develop the new ministry. In addition to hiring a parish nurse who could work with the parish and Bishop Hayes Catholic School, the ministry’s goals include visiting elderly parishioners and coordinating programs where members provide meals, transportation and fellowship. The ministry hopes to provide information and activities to promote nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles as well. The Muscatine parish anticipates receiving $92,449 of the $462,248 it raised toward its $643,570 campaign goal, Fr. Crossen added. He’s pleased with the parish’s response to the campaign during challenging economic times and recent completion of the parish’s own capital campaign.


At Ss. Joseph & Cabrini Parish in Richland, “We’ve got a big expense of recoating our parking lots. That’s where the biggest share will go,” said Parish Life Administrator Shirley Van Dee. “And then we’ve got new sewer lines coming through … we’ve got unforeseen expenses that are coming up. It’s just a blessing we can use (campaign funds) for this.”

The campaign has been an affirming experience for Van Dee and the parish. “I was absolutely amazed at the cooperation we had,” she said. “I felt like it was an opportunity for me to get out and explain things … I think people really got to know what the diocese was all about by the time our campaign was over.”  The parish raised $142,710 in pledges, or 151 percent of its $94,502 goal, and anticipates getting back $43,000 for its projects.

St. Peter Parish in Cosgrove will use the $89,203 it expects to receive for basic maintenance, church repairs, painting projects, a self-sustaining cemetery fund and other things as needed, said Father Edmond Dunn, pastor of both the Cosgrove parish and St. Mary Parish in Oxford. The Cosgrove parish pledged $212,200 — a whopping 376.8 percent of its $56,322 goal. “They were just very generous,” Fr. Dunn said.

The Oxford parish pledged $160,960, or 173 percent of its $93,019 goal, which Fr. Dunn also described as very generous. The Oxford parish anticipates receiving $52,574 from its campaign contribution. Among the projects to be funded is refinishing of the pews. “And we’ll continue dreaming about a possible religious education center and gathering space next to the church.” Enhancements to the religious education programs at both parishes also will benefit from campaign funds, Fr. Dunn said.

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