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From the Pastor 02/18/18

This weekend we are beginning the public phase of the Archdiocesan Capital Campaign One Faith, One Hope, One Love. As I had explained to you several times before, Archbishop Schnurr allowed St. Gertrude Parish to delay the capital campaign to pay off the debt of the parish. Due to your generosity, we were very blessed to achieve this goal almost 13 months ago. Now St. Gertrude Parish is being asked by Archbishop Schnurr to do our part and support all the good that is being accomplished throughout our archdiocese.

St. Gertrude Parish is being asked to raise $2.6M for this campaign. The campaign is a five-year pledge commitment which will result in 20% returning to St. Gertrude — this represents a half million dollars back to our parish! But there is more ... St. Gertrude will receive an additional 60% of every dollar we raise over our goal. As you can see, this campaign is an excellent opportunity for our parish!

As we begin this public phase, I also have excellent news for all of you regarding the quiet phase of this campaign. Due to the generosity of a number of St. Gertrude families, we have raised almost $1.3M or 50% of the campaign goal already. This is amazing. I am grateful to the families and their willingness to support the Archbishop and St. Gertrude.

Not since Archbishop Karl Altar’s 1955 capital campaign have we been asked to respond so generously to the needs of our archdiocese. This comprehensive, far-reaching campaign is designed to foster strong parish communities, ensure the continued availability and strength of our Catholic schools, help our brothers and sisters in need, welcome and promote the rising number of priestly vocations, and provide for our retired and aging priests. The One Faith, One Hope, One Love Capital Campaign is crucial as we work together to build up a vibrant Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The minimum goal of the 130M Campaign:

  • 50%: $65M for Catholic Education
  • 20%: $26M for Local Parish Priorities
  • 12%: $16M for Fostering Vocations
  • 10%: $13M for the care of our Retired Diocesan Priests
  • 8%: $10M for Catholic Charities and Social Services

Where do I as your pastor see our parish priorities?

  • Replace our original, inefficient and failing heating system for the church: $125,000
  • Replace all corroding church and Parish Center doors, frames, and thresholds: $100,000
  • Increase our Education Scholarship Fund so more parents can send their children to our parochial school and religious education: $200,000
  • Implement the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for all of our children, Pre-K to 4th Grade: $50,000
  • Establish a 2023 Centennial Anniversary Fund for our Centenary Celebration: $25,000

The Public Phase of the Campaign will run during March and April. Many parishioners this week will receive a personal invitation from me to attend one of three socials in March. The socials are a way in which you can learn more about the importance of this campaign in a relaxed atmosphere. You will be able to ask questions and take home a prepared packet of information along with a personalized letter from our Archbishop asking you to consider a five-year gift to the campaign. I would ask those who are invited to this first public phase to please, please, please, register to attend one of the socials by going to the internet address or calling the parish number that will be provided in my personal invite to you.

I wish to emphasize the importance of attending one of these socials. If you cannot attend one of the socials, you will be contacted by a parish visitor who will ask to meet with you to explain the campaign. It will be much easier for you and for our volunteers to attend one of the three socials.

The second part of the Public Phase will be in the month of April in which the rest of the parish will be contacted as we move forward with the campaign. We hope to have all of this accomplished by the end of April. In the next two months when you receive a phone call from the parish I would ask that you please in your kindness respond to that phone call, so that parish volunteers do not have to continue to call you. I am grateful to the many volunteers who have agreed to make calls, and I thank you for promptly responding to those calls.

Finally, in closing, I know that St. Gertrude’s has been asked to give multiple times in the past 20 years. Due to your generosity, we have a beautiful church, grounds, convent, parish center, and a new school. And we continue to improve our campus with capital improvements every year. Most recently we retired our parish debt, of which I am so grateful to each of you. Thank you.

One of the things that I am proudest of as your pastor is the impeccable reputation and good name associated with St. Gertrude Parish, the Dominicans, and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. It is because of the support from families like yours that St. Gertrude is looked upon so favorably. I am convinced that once again St. Gertrude’s will do its part and support our archbishop so that we can share in the many blessings of our archdiocese.

May God bless each of your families. Please pray for and support the Capital Campaign of the Archdiocese. And may God bless our beloved St. Gertrude Parish.

A blessed week to all,

Rev. André-Joseph LaCasse, O.P., Pastor