Thank you, again, to the more than 270 parish families who have made their pledge to our capital campaign. We have surpassed our first goal and are more than 75% toward our second (“Challenge”) goal. We need only $800,000 more to reach that goal! I encourage all families to join in this important campaign for our parish. We have more than 5300 registered families, yet less than 300 have made a pledge. Please pray about how you can participate and make your pledge as soon as possible.
On a related note, some have asked if their campaign pledge takes the place of their regular Sunday giving, or tithe. The short answer is “no.” To embark on a capital campaign is an extra-ordinary effort, meant to address extra-ordinary parish needs. Our weekend offertory can only support basic, budgeted parish needs (and even that has to be supplemented by the Parish Bazaar each year). This is why we ask you to discern what your family can afford to pledge and why we say it is a “sacrificial” gift.
In light of this, any pledge amount—no matter how big or small—is greatly appreciated, and we can only reach our next goal through the combined sacrifice of many families. Remember, too, that providing for the material needs of the church is one of our primary responsibilities as members of the Christian faithful (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2043). We give not just to keep ourselves comfortable for an hour or so on Sunday while “the professionals” bring others to Jesus, but out of our own need to imitate and participate in the outpouring of Christ on the Cross—so that other may meet Jesus through us. Supporting the parish financially is just one aspect of this, of course, but it is an integral one.
Thank you, once again, for your continued support for Saint Theresa Catholic Church and this capital campaign. Praying that the Lord in his providence will strengthen you as you seek to heed his commandments, I am Sincerely yours in Christ,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Eurel Manzano
Frequently Asked Questions about Our Capital Campaign
During our recent planning study, several questions about the idea of a capital campaign arose. As our campaign has now begun, you can find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions here:
1. What projects will we address in this campaign?
Based upon feedback received in the planning study, our campaign goals are to reduce or eliminate the parish debt and do our part to support the archdiocesan capital campaign, Ignite, which all parishes must participate in. Funds received over these goals will be directed toward a building fund for future needs.
2. What are our financial goals?
Success will be recognized at these levels:
- $2.2 million Celebration Goal – At this level, St. Theresa meets its obligation to support the capital campaign for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and eliminates $1 million in debt.
- $3.2 million Challenge Goal – When this goal is achieved, St. Theresa decreases its debt by $2 million
- $5 million Victory Goal – At this milestone, St. Theresa eliminates its debt and establishes a fund for the construction of future campus projects.
3. How does the campaign for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston affect our fundraising effort?
As you know, we have a commitment to support the archdiocese and our assessment for that campaign is $1.2 million. This commitment is included in our campaign total, and we will fulfill this obligation first before any funds are applied to our campaign projects.
4. How will funding be applied to reduce our parish debt?
Reducing our debt received the highest support in the planning study. We plan on addressing that by allocating the remaining campaign dollars (i.e. – any funds over our $1.2M assessment) toward the debt until it is eliminated. We look forward to the day when we are debt-free, but please remember the current debt is not crippling St. Theresa. The rate on our loan is low and is something we can easily manage.
5. When can I be expected to be asked for a commitment?
By now, you should have received a personalized campaign letter and can expect to receive a call from one of our volunteers soon! We have completed the initial preparation phase, which included drafting and printing communication pieces, recruiting leadership and volunteer teams, and training those who will be asking for support. Our appeals will occur in phases with some being asked before others, but please know each family listed as supporters of St. Theresa parish and school has received, or will soon receive, a letter from me asking for support.
6. What about the new building that was in the planning study?
The response in the planning study clearly showed that the first thing we need to do is pay off the debt. That, coupled with the archdiocesan campaign to which we have a commitment, means that we need to put the construction of a new building on hold temporarily.
The truth is we need a building and more space. Space for our children, our parish and our staff. Over the past several years many of our buildings have outlived their lifespan. They are falling apart and the band-aid approach we’ve used to keep them functional is no longer effective. It’s time for us to update and expand our campus with a new structure that will benefit parishioners and students while eliminating the financial drain we face regularly with frequent repairs. We need to take this on as soon as possible – once we eliminate the current debt.
7. How can I help?
We ask that you pray for the success of the campaign. Pray for God to provide direction for our campaign leaders and volunteers. Pray for the courage and willingness to join our effort as a volunteer. Please understand we need your help! A handful of parishioners and I cannot be expected to carry all the weight. Finally, pray for guidance on how you may offer financial support for our campaign. Ask the Lord to assist in defining your sacrificial and meaningful donation. We will need every household to participate in the campaign in some way.
8. How can I participate? Can I pledge over time?
Our campaign offers a wide range of gift opportunities to participate at all levels. You may choose a plan that provides you with flexibility and time to complete the payment of your pledge. Because our needs are urgent, we encourage you to complete your pledge within three years.
9. Is my pledge legally binding? Will it be confidential?
No, a pledge is a gift – one you consider to be meaningful. All we ask is that you do your best and advise us of any financial changes that will impact your pledge. All pledges will be kept as confidential as possible. Only the employees and professionals responsible for maintaining the records will have access to your pledge.
10. How are pledge requests determined?
We base our gift request amounts on giving history and answers given in the planning study. Note that we are asking that you consider a gift above your normal support.
11. Who will be asked to support the campaign?
Every registered household of St. Theresa, along with staff and non-parish school families, will be asked for their consideration of a gift to the campaign.
12. How will our campaign affect parish offertory?
In the short term, offertory giving is expected to remain constant. Through the effort, volunteers will ask parishioners to make pledges above and beyond regular giving. Parishioners are not asked to diminish giving to the parish but, rather, to consider a commitment above their normal tithe. In the long term, similar campaigns have caused increases in parish offertory by raising the sights of parishioners and their commitment to the church.
13. Why emphasize personal visits?
Personal, face-to-face contact remains the single, best way to ask for support. It emphasizes the personal nature of giving, allows for a thorough presentation of the campaign case, gives potential donors the opportunity ask questions and allows volunteers to express their own enthusiasm.
14. Why emphasize pledges?
Pledges allow donors to consider giving more than is possible through one-time gifts. This is important in a campaign of this magnitude.
15. Is a pledge, fulfilled through check or cash payments, the only type of gifts accepted?
While commitments as such are typical to most campaigns, other types of donations, such as gifts of stock, are also options.
16. Can trust and estate gifts be made to the campaign?
Because the needs of the campaign require immediate funding, gifts of cash and securities are generally sought. If you decide to offer a planned gift, please contact the campaign office to discuss the options available in making such a gift.
17. To what extent are campaign commitments tax deductible?
Gifts to the campaign are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The application of such laws varies with individual circumstances. Donors with specific questions regarding tax deductibility should contact their attorneys.
18. Can I change my pledge payment time frame?
Yes; all we ask is that you notify the parish business office.
I look forward to celebrating the success of this campaign with you in the near future. May this time be one of heroic charity and palpable spiritual renewal in our parish. With gratitude for your kind consideration, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Eurel Manzano
Pastor, Saint Theresa Catholic Church