By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — The greatest accomplishment that came out of the Cathedral Sunday campaign was education, said Father Rich Adam, pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Three articles that ran in The Catholic Messenger — the history of the cathedral, what is a cathedral and the vision for the future of Sacred Heart — led to people knowing about their diocesan parish, said Deacon Dan Huber, a pastoral associate at the cathedral.
What followed was $125,000 in donations from the first diocesan-wide Cathedral Sunday campaign (Feb. 14-15) for a new parish hall, restrooms, west entrance and other cathedral improvement projects.
“I thank all the people of the Diocese of Davenport for their support and to the priests of the diocese who helped promote our cathedral,” Fr. Adam said. “I am pleased with the response.”
So far, $3.5 million has been pledged toward the $5.5 million capital campaign. Around $1.5 million has been paid so far.
Fr. Adam said he hopes to break ground in spring 2016 for the addition. He said diocesan policy is to have 60 percent of the goal in hand before breaking ground. He would like to see at least another million raised before breaking ground.
Parishioners at Sacred Heart Cathedral have pledged most of the money accounted for so far. They will continue to pay for the everyday operations of the cathedral.
Sacred Heart Cathedral is the home parish of Bishop Martin Amos. It is the site of the annual Chrism Mass, ordinations to the priesthood and diaconate, the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion and to other diocesan-wide events.
Fr. Adam attended a cathedral rectors’ conference earlier this year and said many dioceses in the United States subsidizes their cathedrals. The Diocese of Davenport has not had a subsidy other than when the cathedral was first built. Cathedral Sunday will continue in the future, with no set amount required from diocesan parishes.
Committee member Frank Cincola said since the articles about the cathedral ran in the Messenger, many visitors have been calling and visiting the cathedral. “We welcome everyone to come see your cathedral.”
Deacon Huber has given several tours, including one last week to a family from the Diocese of Guadalajara, Mexico, visiting several cathedrals in the Midwest.
In 2013, Sacred Heart Cathedral dedicated its new east entrance, which allows for handicap-accessible entry and is a mini gathering space. Fr. Adam said the east entrance is “a taste of what is yet to come.” It is an example of old and new merging seamlessly.
Committee member Jim Collins encourages people to view the video on the cathedral and its future by visiting the Sacred Heart website at www.rc.net/davenport/shc/ and click on the cathedral video button or visit the diocesan website at www.davenportdiocese.org and click on the cathedral campaign link.
Donations are still being accepted for the cathedral campaign and can be made online by visiting the diocesan website and clicking on the button to the left of the cathedral campaign photo of Bishop Amos with the title “Sacred Heart Cathedral donate now!” or by contacting the cathedral at (563) 324-3257 or mailing to Sacred Heart Cathedral, 422 E 10th St., Davenport, Iowa, 52803-5499.