November, 20th 2017
Father Peter would like to provide an update on Phase I and II of our building projects and the Building the Way to Heaven Capital Campaign. It is important that our parish family be kept informed and involved as we move forward with these important phases in the life of our parish. If you have any questions after this presentation, there are several channels by which you can contact us. Contact information with phone number are in the bulletin. There is a box in the Narthex where you can place questions on cards. Each question will receive a timely response. Phase I of our strategic plan included land acquisition, additional parking, the construction of a new rectory and maintenance building and landscaping. Phase I is scheduled to be completed by November 2017. The total cost of this work has been paid for using available surplus funds, and it is important to note that the Parish has no long-term debt. Phase II or our strategic plan is in direct response to the Parish-wide survey that was conducted. The results of the survey clearly indicated that parishioners recognized the need for an environment that will enable the parish to provide space for religious education for children and adults, space for our many ministry activities, space for social and other fellowship activities with a catering kitchen as well as administrative offices. The space in our current Social Hall does not satisfy the growing needs of our Parish. In addition, our current Social Hall does not meet current building codes, and it will be cost prohibitive to update.
Since our church was dedicated in August 2014, over 2,300 new parishioners have joined. Each week more join to become a part of our parish family. Thus, our new church needs to expand and will add seating for 800. The Building the Way to Heaven capital campaign was developed to provide financial resources to complete Phase II of our strategic plan. The campaign kick-off was in January of this year. and to date, pledges of more than 3.25 million dollars have been made. On behalf of a grateful parish family, Father Peter would like to thank the more than 1,700 parishioners who have made a pledge. Many of you have asked, “When will the project begin?” The tentative timeline for Phase II is as follows:
May 2018 - request approval from the Diocese to hire an architect;
May 2019 - construction of the Family Life Center to begin;
June 2020 - construction of the church expansion to begin.
It is estimated that each construction project will take one year to complete. It is important to emphasize that the tentative plan has been outlined is contingent upon Diocesan approval, appropriate governmental permitting and funding.
Our plan works best if everyone participates. To help ensure that our legacy is preserved, a “Book of Blessings” will list those parishioners who have participated in this milestone project. Our capital campaign has been deeply rooted in prayer. Each week we pray our campaign prayer at Mass. There are pledge envelopes in the pews to donate to the Capital Campaign. You may place the envelope in the collection basket or turn it into the office.
We thank you for your prayerful considerations.
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
Capital Campaign 2017
Reasons for a Capital Campaign
We are a vibrant, expanding parish that has seen growth in membership, church attendance, religious education attendance, ministries to serve and know God more fully, and outreach programs to help others in our surrounding community. New families continue to join the parish. The church is needed today more than ever to serve as a beacon of God’s love for us. It is needed to bring God’s love and grace into the lives of the people of Wildwood and The Villages. It is needed to help our senior community, as well as the youth of today and the future leaders of tomorrow, to learn God’s word and to appreciate the need for daily bringing God into their lives. Our facilities support everything we do as we strive to fulfill St. Vincent de Paul Parish’s mission: "We are a welcoming, loving, growing family called by Christ to share, experience, and celebrate God’s presence and loving redemption."
1. Q: What is the impact of the Capital Campaign on our mission? How will it allow us to accomplish our mission?
A: Our parish buildings support everything we do at St. Vincent de Paul. They provide a place for our parishioners to come together to pray and be nourished by the Body and Blood of the Lord. They provide space for our parishioners – adults, teens, and children – to deepen their knowledge of Jesus and His Gospel values. Also, the buildings provide a place for our parishioners to gather and work with each other in the numerous ministries and outreach programs serving the needs of our church community and the local community at large. During the past five years, St. Vincent de Paul Parish has significantly grown in the number of parishioners and programs. Responses from our 2016 Parish Survey validated that our present buildings have become limited as we respond to this growth, the increase of ministries, and the needs of our parish family. Thus, the parish campus now needs to expand to continue to serve our needs into the future.
2. Q: What will happen to the existing Parish Hall?
A: The new Family Life Center will be constructed at the same location of the existing Parish Hall. Aspects of the existing building (for example, stained glass windows) will be integrated into the new building to represent our spiritual roots. We will continue to build up the Body of Christ in this new structure, but more importantly, use our spiritual gifts and celebrate the gift of community.
Our hope is to begin construction of the new Family Life Center and the Church expansion in 2018/2019. This timeline will be dependent upon the success of the capital campaign, working with the architect on detailed plans for both projects, and obtaining the necessary approvals from the diocese and county. The sooner the funds are raised, the sooner the proposed project(s) can start.
Structure of the Capital Campaign
1. Q: Who are the members of the Capital Campaign Committee?
A: The Capital Campaign Committee members are: Bruce Conners, Rich & Barbara Cole, Steve & Connie Accurso, Sharon Klein, Bill & Linda Sirak, Cindi Van Nostrand, Fr. Peter Puntal, Fr. John McCracken, and Brittany Heidemann.
2. Q: Who have been consulted in making these campaign plans?
A: We have hired and consulted with professional organizations to survey the current Parish Hall and develop a strategic plan. More professionals will be included once the funds have been raised and we are ready to start construction. Parishioners and Ministry Leaders have also been consulted regarding the campaign as well as the needs of the parish. Feedback from the 2016 Parish Survey was also taken into consideration.
Giving to the Capital Campaign
1. Q: This is a three-year campaign, correct? I may not live that long. How can I pledge for something over three years?
A: First, prayerfully consider what God wants you to do now. None of us knows when we will be called to go home to be with our Lord. However, ask yourself in prayer whether God would want us to not participate in any long-term project because we may die before it is over. Let us remember our past. In 1973, Father Killion, Pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Leesburg, Florida called a meeting in Wildwood to explore the possibility of celebrating Mass in Catholic homes in the area. The attendance at these Masses was so great that Father Andrew, Pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Bushnell, announced in a letter to Wildwood Catholics that a trial Mass would be held at the Page-Theus Funeral Home Chapel in December 1981. Because of the overwhelming response, Sunday and Holy Day Masses were celebrated there for the next 13 years. Over the years parishioners have been raising the funds that enabled the building of the first church, as well as our present church. They passed on a legacy of planning for the growth of St. Vincent de Paul Parish. Now it is our turn to take up that legacy for future parishioners and generations.
2. Q: How do I make payments?
A: On your pledge card you will able to determine how many years (one, two, or three) you want to pay it off and how often you want to make that payment (annually, bi-annually, monthly, weekly, etc.). Reminders will be customized to your preference. You can then send in the payments with the reminder you receive or arrange to have the payments automatically deducted from your Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover card or a checking account.
3. Q: Why do you talk about "sacrificial" giving and what does it mean?
A: Generosity is not measured by the size of a gift, but rather by the sacrifice that goes into the gift. Jesus specifically points this out while observing people donating to the temple. He identifies the widow’s gift as more than all the rest, because it was not given from her surplus, but from her own need (Luke 21: 1-4). Not everyone will be able to contribute the same amount of time, talent, and treasure. What is hoped for is that all are making a sacrifice in the spirit of faithful generosity for what God has given to them.
4. Q: What should I be praying about in terms of what to give? Is there a mathematical formula which may help?
A: There is no mathematical formula for what you should give. Pray about it. Think about the gifts that God has given to you. Think about what you could sacrifice to make your contribution toward the needs of St. Vincent de Paul’s community. Through prayer, answers will come to you.
5. Q: Will there be another capital campaign in the future?
A: With the successful conclusion of this capital campaign and continued financial support in the ongoing years, there will be no need for another capital campaign in our planning process at this time.