CLIFTON Today, the essential work of the Catholic Church, rooted in faith and tradition, is needed more than ever in a world that is changing at a lightning-fast pace. Keeping faith traditions while meeting the ever-increasing needs of its people, the Paterson Diocese has worked tirelessly to plan for a better tomorrow by ensuring that the Church can continue its good and holy work. And with the help of Partners in Faith (PIF), the capital and endowment campaign of the Paterson Diocese, it is doing just that.
Through the generosity of faithful Catholics in the diocese, $61 million was pledged during the campaign’s active fundraising phase in 2012-13. Because of the overwhelming success of this campaign, the diocese is able to extend its reach even further to the poor; to foster important Catholic values to school children; to assist those priests with health care needs; and to repair and renovate both the inside and outside of the Mother Church of the Diocese, the Cathedral of St. John Baptist in Paterson.
“I want to say again how grateful I am to the thousands upon thousands of parishioners who pledged so generously to our Partners in Faith campaign,” said Bishop Serratelli. “During the phase of the campaign when parishes were actively involved in raising funds for the different needs in Partners in Faith, we could only dream about the impact these funds would have. Now, it is great to see the tangible results of this historic campaign.” Diocesan Catholic Charities agencies have already been making capital improvements on aging buildings; parishes have already received two annual checks representing their parish share of the funds received over their goal, and the historic restoration of the Cathedral of St. John is moving along at a brisk pace.
“These and other plans are under way as the faithful continue to support the campaign through the redemption of their pledges,” the bishop said.
Msgr. James Mahoney, diocesan vicar general and pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Chatham Township, said, “As campaign chairman for Partners in Faith as well as a pastor, I am well aware of the monumental effort taken by hundreds of parish volunteers, staff and pastors to make the campaign such a success. As the pledges are paid, it is exciting to see great things begin to happen in all parts of the diocese.”
Coordinated by the diocesan Development Office, with the assistance of Graham-Pelton Consulting, Partners in Faith took place in four phases beginning with five model parishes that kicked off the campaign in September 2012. As the campaign unfolded, parishioners were asked to make one-time gifts or pledges that could be paid over time through 2018. To make the campaign as successful as it was, pastors and lay teams in the parishes made extraordinary efforts to inspire parishioners to participate in the campaign based on its case elements. The campaign concluded in December 2013, exceeding its goal of $40 million by more than $20 million.
Tim Potter, diocesan director of development, said, “As a development director, it is great to work so hard on a campaign with so many other committed people and see such a successful result. However, what is even better is to see all the good work that begins to take place as a result of the fundraising effort. That is what makes all the planning and energy worthwhile. The pledge totals that were tallied each week in parishes during the active phase of the campaign become more than just passive numbers on a sheet of paper. With the funds now beginning to be used for the various campaign case elements, they are becoming a concrete expression of what we believe as Catholics. They become a visible sign to all that our faith is alive and well throughout Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties.”