By Celine Klosterman
The finish line is in sight.
The Davenport Diocese has received pledges totaling $19.5 million toward its $22 million capital campaign goal and will be wrapping up over the next several weeks. More than 7,000 families have donated so far in the campaign, whose funds will benefit the ministries of the diocese, 80 parishes, schools, other entities and priests and seminarians.
Many parishes in bloc 2, such as St. Anthony in Knoxville and Sacred Heart in Melcher, completed their efforts last month. Both of those parishes had exceeded their goals by at least $10,000 as of late last week, when final numbers were still coming in, said Father Stephen Ebel, the parishes’ pastor.
“The generosity of parishioners was the primary reason” for the parishes’ success, he said. Also vital was the dedication and generosity of parish volunteers for the fundraising effort, he added.
Fr. Ebel said visits to Catholics’ homes proved valuable, too, both for the campaign and pastorally. “When you make home visits, you find people who say, ‘A priest has never been to our house before.’ So it was a good opportunity.”
Both the Melcher and Knoxville parishes have uses planned for money they’ll get back from fundraising. Twenty percent of funds received up to a parish’s target goal and 50 percent of any overage is returned to the parish. St. Anthony’s is building a storage shed at that parish and Sacred Heart will put money aside for future projects.
Like Fr. Ebel’s parishes, St. Andrew in Blue Grass exceeded its fundraising goal. It has raised about $175,000 of its $147,573 target.
“I think the generosity of the people is what did it,” said Deacon Don Frericks, St. Andrew’s parish life administrator. Also, “the people we had on the campaign did a terrific job.”
The parish will use funds coming back from the campaign to repair a blacktop, buy new tables for the parish center and for other purposes.
People may still make a decision about participating in the campaign. Contact your parish or the diocese’s Development Office at (563) 324-1911.