Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going?
In March of this year, our two parishes conducted a joint feasibility study in light of a possible capital campaign that would begin the in the Fall of 2015. The primary purpose and goal of the capital campaign would be centered on eliminating the overall current debt for our two parishes and school.
You may remember from previous financial reports given at Sunday Mass we noted that if we raised $4 million in a capital campaign, the Archdiocese of Chicago would relieve another $8 million of our debt as sign of their generosity and support. The Archdiocese offered us a “$2 match for every $1 raised” in our capital campaign.
Partners for Sacred Places conducted the Feasibility Study for us. Forty-one parishioners were personally interviewed for about an hour sharing their history, connection, thoughts and perceptions about Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish and School.
You can read the Summary Report from those interviews here.
In short, Partners for Sacred Places recommend that a capital campaign not be conducted at this time. Their two biggest reasons were:
1.) There were no significant donors that were identified to make a major gift if a campaign started this year. Several major donors are needed to lay the foundation for a successful capital campaign.
2.) Also, there does not seem to be a collective enthusiasm and a united interest among parishioners to support a capital campaign.
Therefore, for now, we are putting on hold any planning for a capital campaign.
So now what?
The members of our Parish Staff, Parish Council and Finance Committee have been meeting this month to review the findings from the Feasibility Report and are currently in the process of discerning what immediate steps need to be taken in the coming months. From the Feasibility Study, it is apparent that there is a need for ongoing information, enhanced communication and stronger connections between our two parishes and school community. Moreover, our parish leadership needs to look at creating opportunities to engage parishioners in helpful dialogue and constructive conversations that will enable us to create a strategic plan for the future that will reflect a clear mission and vision for our two parishes and school. (See update, below.*)
We will keep you informed as the process and planning unfolds for us. Please keep us in your prayers as we ask the important questions: Where are we now? Where do we want to be in the future?
– Fr. Larry
*August '15 Update: Please read about our Parish Transformation Program that will begin September 2015.
If you have questions about the Feasibility Study or Summary Report, please contact Fr. Larry Lisowski.