September 21, 2015 - The Office of Development and Stewardship
As we anticipate the autumn season, 62 of our parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Newark are busy preparing for their participation in the historic Capital Campaign, We Are Living Stones. The main purpose of the We Are Living Stones Campaign is to strengthen our parish communities; while at the same time building a brighter future for the Archdiocese through indirect support to the Parishes. It is projected that the parishes of the Archdiocese will need almost $125 million over the next ten years to ensure that our 1,100 church, school, rectory buildings, parish centers and other buildings where we engage in the work of the Church are kept in good condition. Through the parish share component of the We Are Living Stones Campaign, we hope to realize at least $40 million in funding for parish needs.
Our Block I parishes, many of whom spent January through May engaging their parishioners in the We Are Living Stones Campaign, received their first re-distribution of funds. Collectively, the parishes who participated in Block I raised over $12.7 million, which is approximately 74% of its target goal.
In August 2015, a total of $553,407 was distributed to parishes to fund the specific needs of their communities. The distribution of these funds will take place each quarter for the next several years.
Amongst the largest recipients of these funds were St. Bartholomew Parish in Scotch Plains, receiving $103,313, Our Lady of Peace in New Providence, receiving $85,374, and St. Genevieve Parish in Elizabeth, receiving $23,667.
Fr. George Gillen, pastor of St. Genevieve Parish, shared that “the money received by our parish will enable us to restore an unusable convent on our property to accommodate our flourishing youth ministry and senior activities.” The parish has already begun the process of bringing this dream to fruition.
Fr. John Paladino, pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish, stated that “the parishioners of St. Bartholomew’s are extremely enthusiastic about making the outside of our Church as beautiful as the inside.” A large portion of their parish share funds will go towards renovations to the outside property, mainly the erection of a bell tower in honor of the founding members of the parish. The bell was sent to the parish from Montazzoli, Italy, the native city of the founding members. This bell tower will stand near the street to declare the presence of the parish amongst the community.
Fr. Robert McBride is pastor of St. John the Apostle in Linden which is in Block II of the Campaign. Fr. McBride said that his parishioners “were enthusiastic, and very happy to attend the We Are Living Stones receptions.” Their parish is rallying around the goal of building an elevator with their funds raised. This will eliminate the issue of climbing the many steps at parish, which many parishioners struggle to do.
The quarterly distribution of funds to the parishes has already proven to be an effective and positive way for parishioners to invest in the future of their parishes. We would like to thank all the parishioners who have helped these parishes to already realize the distribution of funds and who have participated in this monumental campaign.