Catholic Charities Drive Tops $17 Million

The parish phase of Catholic Charities’ “Mission of Hope: Changing Lives with Love” capital campaign exceeded its $5 million goal by nearly $1 million the weekend of April 21-22, which pushed the overall goal to $16.78 million as of April 27.

Groundbreaking for the 77,000-square-foot building could come in late summer or early fall, and Catholic Charities hopes to move most of its ministries into the centralized campus at Harvard Avenue and Apache Street by Christmas 2008.

“We are elated over the response of the parishes to the final phase of the campaign,” said Deacon Tim Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities. “The support of the pastors, the enthusiasm of the many volunteers and the generosity of the people were overwhelming.”

At most parishes in the Diocese, volunteers button-holed their fellow parishioners and asked them to make a multi-year commitment to provide adequate facilities for the many ministries that serve the poor of Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma. Of those personally contacted either by phone or face to face, the participation rate was 73 percent.

Each parish had a campaign executive committee that recruited additional volunteers (650 in all) and led the campaign effort.

As of April 27, 2,767 gifts had been made; average gift was $2,646. Twenty-nine parishes topped their goal, and people who did not make a monetary gift were asked to participate by offering their prayers for “Mission of Hope: Changing Lives with Love.”

Many parishioners toured Catholic Charities’ existing facilities to get a better understanding of the services provided – mostly to non-Catholics – and the need for a new campus.

Father Jack Gleason and Father Matt Gerlach served as clergy co-chairs for the parish phase, and the Presbyteral Council served as the advisory committee.
In earlier phases of the campaign, launched in the spring of 2006, a total of $10.9 million was pledged by generous individuals, foundations and corporations within and outside the Catholic community.

Richard and Sally Minshall served as co-chairs; Robert J. LaFortune is the honorary chair, and Kathy Kenney is the foundation and corporate chair.

“We are especially grateful for the fact that the campaign gave us an opportunity to inform the entire Diocese about the work that is done on their behalf at Catholic Charities,” Deacon Sullivan said.

“We have made hundreds if not thousands of new friends. Many people not only made financial pledges but wanted to talk about volunteer opportunities at Catholic Charities.”

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