By Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, diocesan vicar for development
“I wasn’t eager; I just wanted to get it over with,” he said.
After further consideration of his somewhat short time at the parish – four years this June – Father Andy and St. Clare were included in Block 2 of the campaign with a goal of $475,000.
In immediate response to this goal, Father Andy thought, “How are we going to raise $475,000?! I was hoping to go at least 15 percent over goal,” but he never expected for his parish to go 180 percent over goal, raising over $850,000 for restoration and refurbishment in the parish and other diocesan efforts for priests and youth programming.
“I was overwhelmed,” Father Andy shared, at the “openness and generosity of parishioners; their eagerness to sit down with parish priests and have a conversation; and their love for one another and the place we worship.
“The very first couple that I spoke to said ‘no,’” Father Andy recalled, “but I gave them the information and I told them I would be in touch.
He says he was slightly nervous about how the rest of his one-on-one meetings would go with parishioners.
“The next day that first couple called me. They had read through the brochures and they said, ‘Because we were able to incorporate our Annual Catholic Appeal payment into our campaign pledge, we want to give!’ They said yes and they came in with a pledge of $14,000!”
The campaign “turned out to be a beautiful experience. I enjoyed all of the one-on-one meetings and I couldn’t believe the response of our people! We really do want the future of the diocese to be deeply rooted and secure.”
Father Andy’s words of encouragement to other priests and parishes involved in and beginning the campaign include, “Don’t be afraid – it’s going to be a very positive experience! Make sure whatever your parish goals are that you have your parish council and finance committee behind you. Take risks and follow them.”