Dear parishioners of St. Mary Magdalene,
First, I want to start out saying a few thank you's to the many of you whom I have met with over these past several months. This includes: Pastoral and Finance Council members, Capital Campaign Committee members, and many other individuals who have shared with me your thoughts, prayers, and desires regarding St. Mary Magdalene's "For the Glory of the Risen Lord" Capital Campaign. Your insights are greatly appreciated and have been most beneficial in continuing to guide the campaign; which is still progressing.
When the campaign was launched in March of 2017 it had a three year trajectory; which we are currently about half-way through. Things are progressing in terms of our efforts to bring in the pledged monies. Remember that the information on the website includes what has been pledged over this three year time-frame and DOES NOT reflect the actual dollars in the bank.
To that end, those of you who have made a pledge, thank you for your investment in our parish! Those of you who read this but have not yet made a pledge (perhaps because you're new to the parish, a hearty welcome if that's the case!, or for some other reason), I would ask that you prayerfully consider making a donation. Regarding the amount to donate, the actual amount is less important than the whole community participating to foster our parish community and provide for ours and future generations of parishioners at St. Mary Magdalene.
Give your donation over to Christ and He will show you the way. The sacrificial offerings you all provide are valued, and help keep this parish the incredible blessing that it is.
As of January 31, 2019 the current value of pledges and donations (again, not monies in the bank) is: $2,457,910.61.
I know many of you are noticing and aware of some attrition that has occurred at St. Mary Magdalene, however, the number I just shared above, reflects all of the pledges that have had to be written off from families and individuals moving or unable to continue their pledges. On a positive note too, we have also had families continue to donate after fulfilling their pledge, and families who donated generously, and regularly throughout this campaign.
As a reminder, the current efforts are for our parish hall. This hall will serve a variety of functions including (but not limited to): community building and social events (i.e. coffee and donuts, pancake breakfasts, receptions, fish fries, trivia night, etc.), additional classrooms, overflow Mass/worship space, youth ministry facilities, faith formation, book studies, etc. That is still the goal, and, when we reach a specific dollar amount in the bank (not only pledged) then construction can begin.
In my conversations with the groups mentioned at the start of this letter, the consensus was to complete this project without taking on more debt, which means that we need the full cost of the project in our accounts before we can begin construction. This way we do not have to take on additional loans, especially since we are still paying off the loan we received for construction of the main church building (the office and adoration chapel were built without an additional loan). Taking on more debt would be fiscally irresponsible and would leave the parish with a burden of paying it off for many more years. Hence, I ask for your continued patience. I know that we are all eagerly awaiting the construction of our new facilities, but we want to make sure that we do it with prayer, patience, and diligence so that the building can meet the needs of our parish while also staying within our means.
Please know that this article, and my homily that accompanied all the Masses this weekend, is the first of many updates which I will provide regularly, and as details become solidified (such as any revisions to the building, overall/final cost, monies collected, and much more). Details will be slow as there are many moving parts that need to work together so that "our effort to build the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, may progress day by day to its successful completion." These details will also include updates from my meetings with, the architect, the Diocese of Phoenix, the town of Gilbert, parish committees, etc. The website as well will be updated so make sure to check that regularly! Currently, the thermometer indicating our progress will remain on the website, however, I and my staff, are updating and reconstructing the capital campaign page on our website. Thank you for your patience as we update and provide information about our progress.
Please continue to pray for me, Fr. Ishaya, Fr. Steve, our deacons, staff members, and all our parishioners and their families!