Effort will fund priests’ retirement, seminarians’ education and parish projects
DAVENPORT – The Diocese of Davenport is kicking off the public phase of a $28 million capital campaign at 16 parishes April 23-24 and April 30-May 1.
Titled, “Upon This Rock,” the campaign is raising money for the retirement and health care costs of priests, the educational costs of seminarians and for projects determined by each parish. As of April 14, the campaign had raised just under $7 million or nearly 25% of the goal, in early gifts and pledges. That includes nearly $1.4 million from the priests of the diocese.
“This campaign is an opportunity for us to come together as a local church, as a diocese, to do something that is positive, lasting and important,” Bishop Thomas Zinkula said. He noted that the diocese is preparing for a wave of priest retirements over the next 10-plus years. “We are called at this pivotal time to address the pressing financial costs in providing for our retired and elderly priests, to secure stable funding to form and educate tomorrow’s priests and to address the many needs our parishes face.”
Sixty percent of the funds raised will go toward the retirement and health care needs of the priests, and about 20 % each to the seminarians and parishes. The 16-parish “Pilot Wave” of the campaign will last into July, followed by two additional waves covering the remaining 58 parishes. Campaign organizers say the campaign is scheduled to run until fall 2023.
The Diocese of Davenport includes 85,000 Catholics, covers 22 counties in southeast Iowa and has more than 90 priests, active and retired. About 7,500 students are served by 13 elementary schools, five high schools and one university. Parish-based faith formation programs serve about 5,400 other students.