Dear St. Catherine Parish Family,
Those of you who have been parishioners here at St. Catherine’s for any significant length of time are aware that we have had a substantial debt that we have been servicing for many years. When I first arrived here as pastor in 2016 about seven years ago, the balance on the debt was a little over $2 million. This debt was due to several large upgrades we had undertaken over the years including the building of our facility adjacent to the church which houses our parish offices and our preschool, the building of our grade school, and acquiring the property across the street where our rectory for our priests and convent for our sisters are located.
Even though servicing the debt had been quite a burden on our parish over the years, in 2017, recognizing the growth and increasing vibrancy of our parish, I discerned the need to also build our parish hall, which would end up costing about $2 million as well. At that point, I formed a capital planning committee consisting of several parishioners, and we decided to embark upon a five-year $4 million capital campaign to pay for the parish hall, retire our previous debt, and also build a healthy capital reserve for future major capital improvements.
We kicked off the campaign in April of 2018 (we had already been making payments on the previous debt from our operating income prior to this and had reduced the balance to approximately $1.6 million). And now, five years later, I am extremely excited to be able to report that we have achieved our $4 million goal, and we have a very healthy capital reserve, and as of this past Friday, our parish is completely debt free!
This is an incredible achievement for our parish and a testament to God’s faithfulness and the generosity and faithfulness of our parishioners, and I want to take the opportunity to sincerely thank all of you who have been so generous in contributing to the capital campaign over the years. This weekend will be our last official campaign collection weekend, but if you have not yet fulfilled your pledge, you can still certainly do so after this weekend.
To celebrate this tremendous milestone in the history of our parish, we will be celebrating a special Mass on Friday, April 28 (vigil of the feast of our patron, St. Catherine of Siena) at 7:00pm, and then we will have a cake and punch reception on the parish hall patio, and we will also have a special “note burning” ceremony to celebrate the retirement of our debt. I hope you will be able to join us that evening.
Please know, again, of my gratitude to all of you for your support of our parish and of me, personally. And please know of my prayers for you each day. I look forward to celebrating the Lord’s blessings with you on April 28 and for many more years to come!
Sincerely in Christ,