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Open Wide The Doors to Christ (2002 Capital Campaign)

Parish History

St. Gertrude is a Eucharist-centered Roman Catholic parish committed to the Word of God through the Dominican heritage of prayer, preaching and teaching. Founded on the feast of St. Gertrude, Nov. 16, 1923, our parish today serves the spiritual needs of more than 2,100 families.

The Dominican presence defines and inspires St. Gertrude and makes the parish a unique faith community. The Dominican Friars of the Eastern Province have a priory at St. Gertrude. In addition to parish ministry, the friars provide instruction and guidance to brothers who are preparing for the Dominican vocation. Additionally, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia have provided religious education to the children of our parish for more than 60 years.

Parish Future

St. Gertrude Parish has a 78-year legacy of faith and fellowship. Since 1998, our parish family has been working on a plan to continue that legacy for generations. In 1999, the parish purchased the two properties adjacent to the priory to expand parking. As part of the celebration of the Jubilee Year 2000, our planning process took a decisive step forward with the development of a long-range facilities vision for St. Gertrude’s. The parish also purchased the new convent on Miami Avenue.

St. Gertrude Parish’s vision includes restoring our church to its original beauty; building a new Dominican Catholic elementary school to enhance the caliber of our parish school and our religious education programs; renovating our parish center to provide more meeting and office space; and improving access to our church, school and parish center to care for the safety of parishioners, children and visitors. In addition, contributions will be made to the capital campaigns being conducted by the Dominican friars and sisters.

Based on today’s dollars, this ambitious plan will cost $14 million to $16 million. This plan for the future addresses the spiritual and facility needs of our parish. It ensures a vibrant Catholic community at St. Gertrude Parish for generations to come.

Achieving Our Goal

Parish families and leaders have suggested that St. Gertrude move forward on the master plan in phases, guided by the prayers and pledges of the entire parish. Achieving the ultimate vision for our parish will take several years. In working toward the larger goal, we will concentrate on the more immediate needs through a $9.8 million first phase of the project.

Phase One will include the cleaning and restoration of our church, construction of a new school to replace the original building that has served the parish since 1934, expanding parking facilities and improving traffic access and safety.

Phase Two of the master plan — the time line for which has not been determined — will include the construction of a new school chapel and gym, and an increase in office and meeting space in the parish center. It also will include a ceremonial drive and covered gathering spaces between the church and parish center.

Combined, Phase One and Phase Two create a vision that is true to our heritage, faithful to our mission and committed to our future.

Stewardship

St. Gertrude Parish and our faith community are gifts from God. As His stewards, it is our gift and our responsibility to tend to our parish family, to ensure its future, its growth and its heritage.

A capital campaign, “Open Wide the Doors to Christ,” is part of that process.

In 2002, parishioners will ask and be asked to commit time, talent and treasure to ensure the vitality of St. Gertrude Parish in the future. The “Open Wide the Doors to Christ” capital campaign hopes to raise more than $7 million toward the $9.8 million Phase One
of our parish’s master vision.

Parishioners will ask and be asked to “Open Wide the Doors to Christ” with prayers and financial pledges over a four-year period. All of us — young and young at heart, new families and familiar friends, parents and grandparents, singles and married couples — are called to prayerfully consider the gifts we have been given and the sacrifices we must make to “Open Wide the Doors to Christ.”

Timetable

The “Open Wide the Doors to Christ” capital campaign will begin in January 2002. The gift-gathering portion of the campaign is expected to conclude in June 2002, with pledges committed from 2002 to 2005. Additional money needed to complete Phase One of the master vision will be raised through loans, grants, special events and the immediate investment of capital given to the campaign.

Work on Phase One is expected to begin in May. The two houses on Shawnee Run will be demolished to expand parking. The additional parking spaces should be available this summer. Other portions of Phase One, along with the approximate timetable, include:

  • Church restoration is expected to begin in August, with anticipated completion in early December. The restoration will include repairing and refinishing pews and kneelers; evaluating and improving the confessionals, sound and lighting systems; upgrading the vestibule to better address needs of parents with young children and repairing and thoroughly cleaning all interior and exterior surfaces — including the statue of Jesus. Additionally, a much-needed first-floor restroom will be added.
  • Construction of the school is expected to begin in December 2002, with anticipated completion by summer 2004. The existing school building is nearly 70 years old and serves 500 people daily. It needs air conditioning, a quality ventilation system, handicapped accessibility, dedicated art and music classrooms and adequately sized classrooms. Refurbishing and adding to our current school would cost just 8 percent less than building a new facility that will meet the needs of our children for generations to come.
  • For more information about St. Gertrude’s plan for the future, please contact Kathy Reising at 561.5954, x136

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