Centennial campaign receipts positive
By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
February 19, 2004
Diocesan officials are impressed by the commitment of parishioners in the
Diocese of Sioux City as they fulfill pledges of the Centennial Campaign for
"We are very pleased with the way people in the Diocese of Sioux City
have responded to their pledges," said Jim Wharton, director of stewardship
and planned giving. "The pledges have been coming in at a very consistent
According to Wharton, as of Feb. 13 the diocese has received more than $5.5
million in cash receipts out of the just under $14 million that was pledged. The
campaign is presently in year two of the five-year campaign.
Julie Luft, controller of the diocese, pointed out that the month of December
itself was tremendous for campaign cash receipts with that month alone yielding
"I am just so impressed with people's commitment - the fact that we
already have $5.5 million in on the five-year campaign is wonderful," she
Through her work in the Office of Finance, Luft has seen the commitment of
the people in the diocese firsthand. She is awed by all givers - the person who
made a $25,000 pledge and pays $5,000 a year as well as the individuals who
commit to $5 a month.
The Centennial Campaign for Excellence was set up to raise money for four
specific areas: Catholic schools (for teacher salaries and benefits),
multi-cultural ministries, Catholic Charities and adult faith
formation/religious education/youth ministry.
"When the diocese completed a feasibility study prior to the campaign,
these four initiatives were consistently identified as the greatest needs facing
the diocese over the course of the next decade," said Wharton.
Set up as an endowed fund, investment income is distributed to the various
diocesan entities once a year. The first distributions were made last August.
Luft pointed out that the distributions are expected to go up this coming
year as more cash has come in from pledges and there has been positive
investment earnings. She added that the corporate board of the diocese and the
Catholic School Foundation has made the decision to distribute 75 percent of the
While the schools receive money directly, the parishes benefit from the
campaign via diocesan programs and services.
Wharton commended priests of the diocese for their support of the campaign.
"We are so appreciative of the role that the priests continue to
play," he stressed. "I know there are a few of them that continue to
bring it up and thank people in their church for being so good about paying the
With any campaign, Wharton acknowledged, there are going to be times when
circumstances change for some people and this is particularly true with
"We have gotten notes from people where there may be an illness in the
family or someone may have lost a job," he said. "Obviously, we
understand this and will work out whatever arrangements they need. Most of them
are regretful that they can't continue the pledge in its current form."
While very few have opted to cancel their pledge completely, a number of
people have had to change the amount of the pledge or delay their contribution.
The Office of Development will continue to seek new donations to the
centennial campaign. For more information about making or changing a pledge,
contact Wharton at (712) 233-7556.