Saturday, May 2, 2015

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sunday, May 3

This weekend we have reason to celebrate! We have surpassed our “Faithful To Our Mission” capital campaign goal of $4,000,000.00. Currently we are at $4,287,108. WAY TO GO!
This was not an easy task, and it is quite a significant accomplishment. My sincerest gratitude to all who worked so hard on this campaign, to all who care enough about this parish to contribute so generously, and to all who kept the prayers coming for our success.  This is a great day for St. Austin Catholic Church.  THANKS!
On April 21st we had the final report of the professional fund-raisers, The Steier Group. They were impressed with our success. We spoke about the parish’s generosity, and how much money was raised (they were a little skeptical we would make our goal, which was ambitious). But we also talked about some of the other benefits of the campaign that are not measured in dollars. And they are significant too.
One benefit was updating of our database. By sending letters and calling all of our registered parishioners we found plenty of people who had moved, or moved away, or who changed their phone number, etc. This updated information is most valuable to us in staying in touch with our parishioners. So that was a big plus.
Another less tangible benefit was the interaction between parishioners. Several of the campaign workers spoke of how enjoyable it was to visit other parishioners who they knew only slightly, see their home, find out about them, put a face with a name. I know that Fr. René and I visited one of our parishioners who had been wanting to have us over but never got to it. This campaign provided the perfect opportunity for us to visit and we had a most enjoyable time. So that was certainly a benefit of the campaign.
Fr. Bob tells of another such story. An elderly gentleman who has been in the parish since the 1950’s, but no longer can attend, sort of fell off the radar of the parish. With all that goes on around here it is, unfortunately, the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. One of our campaign volunteers called this gentleman, found out about his situation, and passed it on to Fr. Bob. Fr Bob visited him bringing him Holy Communion and arranging for him to be visited regularly. The man had been receiving our bulleting weekly, but we never knew he was not attending church.  So now he is more fully connected to the parish. And that is a great benefit of the campaign. If you know of someone who has not been able to attend Mass here, please let us know. Better we hear about it three times than not at all.
Finally at the campaign workers meeting we addressed the issue of the light on the top of the tower. We are now at the point in the design process that some decisions need to be made. By overwhelming consent the campaign workers decided we should have the lantern top on the tower to give us greater visibility at night. Unless it causes huge problems with cost or permits, we will have it.
Thank you all!
God bless,

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