The State of Our Capital Campaign

08-30-2019This Week in Vidi DominumFr. Chris Axline

1. What is the For the Glory of the Risen Lord Campaign?

When this campaign was launched in March of 2017 it was laid out as the first of three phases designed to help us meet the current and future needs of St. Mary Magdalene.

Phase one (the current phase) is focused on the construction of a social hall providing additional gathering space for various programs, PLC's, social events, and other needs as they arise. We are currently in phase one, focusing on the social hall. Once this is done, then we can begin phase two and turn our attention towards the beautification/renovation of the church building.

Phase two (to begin after phase one) turns our attention towards the current church or multi-purpose building and worship space. For this endeavor, after consulting with many groups and individuals within the parish, and based on finances, the decision was made to renovate the current space rather than build a new church. Doing this will save us millions of dollars and will still meet the needs of St. Mary Magdalene. The need for a larger church building is no longer present as the Diocese has already opened one parish near us and have plans for another parish to the east.

Phase three of the campaign then invites us as a parish to work with the diocese and hopefully construct a school. This is many, many years out and still has yet to be determined what type of school we would build (i.e. elementary or high school).

2. What was the final ‘pledge’ number for our Capital Campaign?

The final pledge number is $2,210,000. This number includes the $95.5k that we had to write off for a variety of reasons including (but not limited to): persons who moved away from the Parish, or had a change in their economic status.

3. What has been collected to date?

As of June 2019, we have collected (between pledges and donations) $2,480,632. Fr. Chris would like to add that yes, this number is not the $3.5 million dollars as we were originally hoping to raise. However, that does not mean that we failed. On the contrary, we pushed ourselves and together, were able to raise enough to begin the construction of a hall! Congratulations and thank you!

4. Is that enough to start the building?

Yes, I (Fr. Chris) met with the Diocese and the architect and both feel we have enough to begin the building. We have enough to at least put up a shell (exterior) of the building. However, as we continue to collect funds, we hope that we can then begin to fill in some of the fixtures and furnishings of the building. Since we will have enough through pledges and donations, construction can begin once the necessary approvals and studies have been completed.

5. Is that enough to finish the building?

Yes, the building itself (see above question). However, what we can build will still give us an increase in usable space and is sufficient to meet the needs of St. Mary Magdalene.

6. What is still expected to be collected?

As of June 30, 2019, we are still waiting for $607,842 (of the ~$2.4 million total mentioned earlier) in pledges to be redeemed (remember that these pledges are coming from the generosity of our families who are still making their payments faithfully; thank you to all of you who have and are still fulfilling your pledges!). This total is being collected between now and March 2020.

7. Does the campaign end this year?

The redemption part of the campaign ends March 2020. We pray that construction can begin shortly after that. However, we will continue to accept donations to the capital campaign should you still desire to support St. Mary Magdalene’s building endeavors.

8. What percent of parishioners participated?

That is a more difficult question to answer as we had more parishioners when the campaign began. However, we had 363 families/parishioners generously make pledges. We are aware that many families have been contributing regularly through the Sunday offerings and through Faith Direct. These families donations are part of our funds raised but, for record keeping purposes, are not counted as “pledges” thus making the overall number difficult to calculate.

9. What is the status of actually starting construction?

“The architectural agreement has been signed and processed with the Diocese. Now the drawings go to the Diocese board to be approved. Engineering will also get involved with soil samples, etc. Then the plans go to the Town of Gilbert for approval. I suspect this will take at least 6 months depending if they ask for changes. Then a construction company is hired, and permits are purchased from the Town.” Fr. Chris believes, although cannot guarantee, that construction could start in approximately one year. Construction, from what I’ve been told by the Diocese and the architect will take several months (but hopefully less than a year), meaning that if all goes according to plan, we could have our hall open and ready for use by late 2022/early 2023.

10. Will this add more debt to St. Mary Magdalene?

No. This campaign has been designed to fully fund any and all construction costs. What this does mean though is that it will take longer for construction to begin because we need between 85-100% of the total cost of the entire project up-front. While this does prolong our acquisition of funds, it also means that we will not take on additional debt. This is crucial because, in 2010 we took out a 4.1 million-dollar loan (at a 7% interest rate) to fund construction of the multi-purpose building. In 2015 we refinanced 3 million dollars (having paid off 1.1 of the original 4.1 million-dollar loan) and received our current interest rate of 4.1%. We are still making payments on this debt which has a balance of $2,686,906 (as of June 30, 2019). This 2015 refinance is saving St. Mary Magdalene approximately $100,000 each year. However, because we still have a rather large sum to pay off, taking on more debt (in order to build a hall or renovate the current worship space) before paying this off is fiscally irresponsible.

11. Is the design of the hall, the same as when we originally started this campaign?

The design of the hall has changed slightly but will still meet our needs. Once the final plans are available, and before construction begins, Fr. Chris will make the plans available.

12. How long will the fixtures inside the shell building take to complete?

This, unfortunately, we cannot answer concretely as it is contingent upon having the funding available to complete furnishings as well as what type of furnishings are being put in.

13. Will there still be classrooms in the new building?

At minimum, the walls for the classrooms will be up, but furnishings (i.e. tables, chairs, projectors, screens, etc.) can be acquired later.

14. Once the hall is built, do you have an estimate as to when the modifications to the worship space begin?

Beautification/renovation of the worship space can occur as funds (and any necessary permissions) become available. We cannot begin major renovations before completion of the hall due to the need of preserving sufficient space for weekend masses and program offerings.

15. Can I still make a contribution to this campaign?

Yes, you can still donate online (through Faith Direct) for either one-time or recurring gifts, in person, in the office, or even during the offertory in Mass (labeled “Capital Campaign”). Additionally, we will continue to have our monthly Capital Campaign second collections. Thank you for discerning making a gift, or for fulfilling your pledge/donation if you have already made one!

Thank you all for your generosity regarding this campaign. I know I have said this a lot, but thank you for your patience. Building projects of this magnitude require massive investments of resources, time, and prayers. I am, however, very excited at how this project has progressed and how it will benefit the Parish of St. Mary Magdalene.

Our Building Prayer

All-powerful and all-merciful Father, You have created all things through Your Son, and have made Him the unshakeable foundation of Your Kingdom. Through the gift of your eternal wisdom, grant that our efforts to build the parish of Saint Mary Magdalene, for Your glory and our own well-being, may progress day by day to its successful completion. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us!