By Barb Arland-Fye
Priests and parishioners who attended a mid-point meeting for the Diocese of Davenport’s $22 million Capital Campaign shared optimism about fundraising efforts in their individual parishes.
“We’re looking forward to a successful campaign,” said Father Mike Phillips, pastor of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Iowa City, which will kick off its effort on behalf of the diocese in the coming weeks.
St. Wenceslaus is one of the Block 2 parishes whose representatives attended the March 18 meeting at St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City to hear about the progress of “Block 1” and pilot parishes’ campaigns. About 80 people attended the event, including Bishop Martin Amos and other campaign leaders.
More than $10.5 million has been pledged so far to the diocese’s “Moving Forward in Faith and Hope” campaign, said Patrick Moughan, executive vice president of Community Counseling Services, which is directing the capital campaign. Proceeds from the campaign will benefit the ministries of the diocese, 80 parishes, and schools and other entities that are a part of it.
Some parishes have exceeded their goals, others are closing in on their goals and still others have more work to do. Winter storms earlier this year interrupted some parish efforts, Moughan said. But even parishes that are behind have expressed optimism about being able to do better.
“It’s encouraging to hear the parishes and their optimistic reports,” Moughan said. And he marveled at the generosity of the diocese’s more than 100 priests — who have pledged just over $1 million.
St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport is among the parishes that kept plugging away until it reached and exceeded its goal. The parish has pledged to date $1.16 million, or 101 percent of its goal. John Neuberger, the parish’s campaign chairman, credited Father Mike Spiekermeier for his efforts. “Father is amazing,” Neuberger said.
Twenty percent of funds received up to a parish’s target goal and 50 percent of any overage is returned to the parish. Representatives of numerous parishes have said that is a big incentive.
St. Peter Parish in Cosgrove could definitely use those extra funds for renovation projects. The parish has achieved terrific success in its fundraising to date and anticipates a successful commitment weekend March 20-21. “The people have been very generous,” said parishioner and campaign co-chair Rose Marie Ruth.
Mike Bauer, the diocese’s capital campaign chairman, said: “I’m looking forward to a big celebration this summer when we announce we’re over goal.”
Bishop Amos expressed appreciation for the efforts of those gathered. “The response has just been phenomenal.”