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Though the Catholic Church is truly universal, we most often experience the Church at our local parish. It is at the parish level that the healing, teaching, reconciling, and sanctifying mission of Christ becomes most evident.
The physical needs of our parishes now and into the future are of great concern. It is projected that the parishes of the Archdiocese will need almost $125 million over the next ten years to ensure that the 1,100 church, school and rectory buildings, parish centers, ministry offices and other buildings within the Archdiocese where we engage in the work of the Church are kept in good condition.
Once a parish reaches its Works of Mercy target, then 50% of all funds raised return back to the parish while simultaneously funding additional case elements that both directly and indirectly benefit our parishes.
The Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Newark are faith-filled learning communities of parents, students, teachers, and administrators who foster the development of our children spiritually, morally and intellectually. Our students love, learn, and live their faith in service to others. The schools of the Archdiocese of Newark are committed to educational excellence within the tradition of the Roman Catholic faith.
One of the objectives of this campaign will be to establish a Tuition Assistance Endowment Fund of $18 million that will increase our ability to help more students attend our elementary schools. The earnings from this fund will be available to help defray the costs of tuition for financially deserving children. Through an application process that will include a need-based assessment, certification of good standing at the parish, and acceptance to the school, students will be able to apply for tuition assistance through their pastor. We must ensure that our schools are open to Catholic families of any income level so all have an opportunity for a Christ-centered educational experience.
As Christians, we are called to love our brothers and sisters in Christ by sharing the blessings entrusted to each one of us, trusting that the Lord will provide for our needs. We can do this by giving alms and contributing to programs, organizations and ministries committed to the spiritual and corporal Works of Mercy and thereby supporting the evangelical mission of the Church.
For the duration of the We Are Living Stones Capital Campaign, parishes will contribute the first share of their revenue to help instruct, advise, console, comfort and support those in need, both physically and spiritually.
Trusting that the Lord will continue to provide for all our needs, approximately $8.7 million of the We Are Living Stones Campaign will be used to fund the on-going operations of programs and ministries, including:
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark
- Youth and Young Adult Ministries (including spiritual outreach to university students and to young people discerning Vocations)
- Diocesan-wide programs to promote family life and a greater respect for all human life and social justice
- Multicultural ministry
- Chaplaincies that bring comfort and hope to those in hospitals and prisons
- Support of the spiritual center of the Archdiocese, the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Central to our lives as Catholics is the sacramental life of the Church. Our Priests pastor our parishes, baptize our children, anoint our sick, reconcile us as sinners, encourage us on the journey of faith and celebrate the Holy Eucharist, the Source and Summit of our life as believers.
The Church of Newark is committed to providing the necessary resources for our future Priests. The three seminaries operated by the Archdiocese of Newark continue to attract men answering the call to dedicate their lives to the Church.
With the costs with of their education on the rise, it is essential to fund this vital ministry that will ultimately benefit our spiritual lives.
In this campaign, the Archdiocese would like to add $8 million to the current endowment of $14 million to provide for the formation and education of seminarians preparing to serve in the Archdiocese of Newark.
While we work to strengthen our parish infrastructure, we must simultaneously provide opportunities for our parish leaders to spread the Gospel message and serve the people of our great Archdiocese. Evangelizing and educating our people in our rapidly changing world will require creative programs and initiatives that address our modern realities and challenges. These efforts are often outside of the ability of many of our parishes to address on their own. This new Parish Renewal fund will provide grants to parishes to aid in their evangelization and religious education efforts.
Through this fund of $8 million we will provide grants that will enable our Priests and laity to get the continuing education and training that today’s Church requires. It will also provide funding for evangelization and religious education programs.
Presently, there are nearly 200 retired Priests of the Archdiocese. These men have selflessly offered decades of service to the faithful. They have dedicated their lives to guiding us in our journey of faith. As our Priests age and retire, they often experience ongoing challenges that require our continuing care and attention.
The goal through We Are Living Stones is to add to the existing restricted endowment fund of $14.35 million to assist with the mounting healthcare costs of our aged and retired Priests.
With the growing number of retired clergy in our Archdiocese, we can anticipate that the number of priests who will have to rely in part on this fund will continue to increase.
An infusion of $6 million to this fund from our campaign will provide assistance to those Priests in need for the foreseeable future.