By KATIE BORKOWSKI
FORT DODGE – The Holy Trinity “Living Our Faith, Building Our Future” capital campaign has raised pledges in excess of $8 million and has more than 50 percent of the pledged funds as cash on hand.
“The capital campaign resulted from a feasibility study that was done in the spring of 2016, which identified a realistic goal of $7.5 (million) and we set a stretch goal of $10 million,” said Msgr. Kevin McCoy, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish. “We began the silent phase of the fundraising in June 2016 having hired the assistance of Community Counseling Service (CCS) a fundraising firm. The professional counsel left at the end of January 2017, and we had pledges of $8 million identified at that time.”
As a parish, the pastor said they are continuing to follow up with those parishioners who indicated they would “make a gift, but circumstances demanded that they be contacted at a later date. So at present, the pledged amount is approximately $8.2 million.”
“The parishioners have been very generous in response to this appeal for a new church,” said Msgr. McCoy. “Their commitment to providing for a new sanctuary for divine worship is a real testament to the strength of their faith as believers, and their support for this particular community of faith at Holy Trinity.”
Of the pledged funds to date, the parish is holding over $4.5 million as cash on hand.
“We are re-engaging the architects who assisted with the master plan design and the conceptual design of the new church,” said Msgr. McCoy. “This will involve engaging a smaller design team to bring the conceptual design to schematic designs that can be used to bid and build the project. We have reached out to the architects in an effort to develop a probable ‘timeline’ for phase one of the project.”
Msgr. McCoy expressed his gratitude for the generosity of the parishioners who have contributed “financially and spiritually to the project. We all are hopeful that folks will be able to redeem their pledges as they planned at the time of making them.”
“As pastor of Holy Trinity, I am just so grateful for the leadership efforts given by our leadership chairs, but also to all of the chairpersons at the multiple phases of the campaign,” he added. “Countless were the hours that these volunteers gave to this campaign, and continue to give as we follow up with calls in these days.”
In a letter to the parishioners of Holy Trinity Parish, Bishop Walker Nickless wrote the amount of pledges and cash on hand “is a testament to the Christian faith and hope that motivates your community of faith.”
“I joyfully commend your faithfulness to the church and your ongoing efforts in building up your community of believers,” the bishop wrote. “I am particularly grateful for your vision to build a new sanctuary for divine worship, along with our master plan that provides for social and administrative needs of Holy Trinity Parish. This is a necessary step toward the future for all Catholics in Webster County.”
Bishop Nickless acknowledged the past 20 years have been defined by the pastoral planning encompassing both Holy Trinity Parish and St. Edmond Catholic School.
“In many regards, your planning efforts model aspects of the pastoral planning currently being employed across the entire Diocese of Sioux City,” he said. “You know well the challenges and disappointments that accompany change, but you also know the vitality that can be garnered from the collaboration of the many to build up the one community of believers.”
On March 15, members of Knights of Columbus Council 613 presented a check to Msgr. McCoy for $30,000 to be used for the capital campaign. There are currently more than 300 Knights in this council.
Msgr. McCoy pointed out the Knights of Columbus are an “energetic group who value their fraternal order as one rooted in the Catholic faith and in support of the Catholic community and our broader civic community in Webster County.”
“The Knights, in presenting this gift, reflected their support for this project, and their gratitude to the parish for providing meeting space for the Knights’ council meetings and for their social outreach events,” said the pastor.
Past Grand Knight Mike Lawler noted the council had Columbian Hall, which was used for parish and Knights of Columbus events.
“We were having problems,” he said. “All the money we were making was going into the hall. We made a business decision to sell the building and we invested the money.”
When this happened, the council knew the parish was headed in the direction of eventually having one church building, so the money was earmarked to be donated to the parish when the time came.
“As a council with us moving to the parish, it has united the Knights of Columbus better with the parish,” said Lawler. “It has allowed us to do a lot more for the parish. We feel it is our way of contributing and giving back to the parish for the good of both the parish and the council.”
Msgr. McCoy told the Knights they were welcome to have a “new home” at the Corpus Christi Center, which provides ample space to host their ever-growing Lenten fish dinners, which just this past Friday night served more than 600 meals.
“Their former ‘hall’ never would have had the space to provide for such a crowd, so it has been advantageous for all concerned, I think,” said the pastor. “This council is very important for our parish life, and Holy Trinity Parish is grateful for all that they do in promotion of the faith life in our community.”