IGNITE: ‘Our Faith, Our Mission’ capital campaign set to relaunch this fall

April 10, 2018

St. Mary's Seminary is one of many organizations supported by the upcoming Ignite: "Our Faith, Our Mission" capital campaign. Photo by James Ramos/Herald.

HOUSTON — IGNITE: “Our Faith, Our Mission,” the capital campaign for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, was suspended last fall due to the widespread devastation caused from Hurricane Harvey.

After consulting with the IGNITE Priest Advisory Council (PAC), Daniel Cardinal DiNardo determined that IGNITE will relaunch in Fall 2018 and include two new case elements: An ongoing Disaster Recovery Fund in order to prepare for future disaster assistance ($20 million) and a fund for Rebuilding our Parishes and Schools in Light of Harvey ($20 million).

The $150 million goal of the campaign will remain unchanged. The three original case elements will remain as those needs are still present, but have been reduced in order to accommodate the new realities of the Archdiocese:
• St. Mary’s Seminary ($30 million)
• Catholic Education ($20 million)
• Faith Formation ($10 million)
The parish share of the campaign remains $50 million.

Below is an overview of the IGNITE case elements. Each of the case elements will be highlighted in upcoming issues of the Texas Catholic Herald.

Individual Parish Needs — $50 million
Every parish within the Archdiocese has its own needs, unique challenges and goals.
Some parishes may require new construction or building renovations while others need to reduce debt or establish endowments for parish and school staff. In the end, these investments will enable parishes to better proclaim to parish families the teachings of Christ and the mission of the Church. Once a parish reaches its goal in the IGNITE campaign, 67 percent of the funds collected over goal are returned to the parish (with 33 percent funding the Archdiocesan case elements).

St. Mary’s Seminary — $30 million
For more than 100 years, St. Mary’s Seminary has provided a vitally important ministry by helping thousands of men answer their call to the priesthood and ultimately enabling these young men to follow in the steps of the first disciples.
In addition, St. Mary’s Seminary also serves as home to the Archdiocese’s Diaconate formation program and hosts the University of St. Thomas School of Theology, which serves the seminarians and the greater community at large. An excellent theology and formation program, combined with renovated and up-to-date facilities will give the Seminary a strong foundation to continue to be one of the most well-respected seminaries in the country.

Future Disaster Recovery Fund — $20 million
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Archdiocese and impacted 81 parishes, schools, communities and chancery locations. As of January 2018, the total losses are in excess of $26 million. This figure may continue to rise as the rebuilding process unfolds. As a result, the Future Disaster Recovery Fund built up following Ike will be used in its entirety to assist our parishes in their recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

Rebuilding Our Parishes and Schools In Light of Harvey — $20 million
Many parishes sustained damage from Hurricane Harvey and a disruption of their ability to minister to the people. These funds will allow parishes to apply for grants to assist in their Harvey related damages and repair costs. Additionally, parishes may apply for grants to address deferred maintenance issues in preparation of future storms. The survey of Harvey related damage demonstrated that in many cases, deferred maintenance led to greater damage in our facilities.

Catholic School Education Endowments — $20 million
The Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston are committed to having high-quality Catholic elementary schools that are constantly working toward academic excellence, evangelization and financial stability. The Archdiocese considers Catholic schools vitally important to our future since these schools produce much of the lay leadership as well as vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

▪ Inner City Catholic Schools Tuition Assistance: $12 million
Two endowment funds, the Macrini Scholarship Fund and the Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Endowment Fund help meet the tuition assistance needs of our Inner City Catholic Schools. Through the IGNITE campaign, additional funds will be infused into the Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza Endowment Fund and will increase the amount available for tuition assistance by 63 percent.

▪ Non Inner-City Catholic Schools Tuition Assistance: $8 million
In addition to the Inner City Catholic Schools, the Archdiocese recognizes that children with financial needs extend to all of our schools. Primary schools located throughout the ten counties of the Archdiocese provide a Catholic education to all communities. This fund will be available to all children with financial need throughout the Archdiocese.

Faith Formation Endowment Funds — $10 million
Forming and educating our people in a rapidly changing world requires creative programs and initiatives that address modern realities and challenges. These efforts are often outside of the financial ability of many parishes. This new Faith Formation Endowment Fund will provide grants to parishes to aid in their religious education, faith formation and evangelization efforts. We must ensure that parishes have access to the best training for lay leaders, catechetical leaders and volunteers.

Providing a Lasting Legacy of Faith
A successful campaign will allow each of the faithful of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to “join our gifts with those who made the parishes and programs of this Archdiocese a reality in years past and will ensure that we remain a strong, vibrant and faithful Church in the years to come,” Cardinal DiNardo said.

“We know that our greatest strength is our Catholic faith and the faith of our people. This campaign is centered primarily on the spiritual growth and development of our people’s faith. We are relying on your generosity to create a legacy for this generation—a legacy of faith that will pass on to those who will cherish and take it into a new time, gratefully adding their own gifts to what you have so generously given.”

For more information about IGNITE: “Our Faith, Our Mission,” visit www.archgh.org/ignite.