Archive for Thursday, October 10, 2002

Catholics poised to grow

October 10, 2002

A new coat of paint on the Sacred Heart Catholic Church sign signals greener pastures for the parish.

The sign, located between Victory Baptist Church and West Haven Baptist Church on U.S. Highway 24-40, is positioned on what will be Sacred Heart's future site.

Thanks to recent revenue builders, the church is poised to make its way from the longtime residence at 703 River St. to the highway site.

A major portion of fundraising has come from an eight-week capital campaign. Chris Donnelly, co-chairperson for the drive, said the initial pledge drive brought in $1.35 million in pledges. Currently, the church has collected $235,000 from the campaign.

"I was surprised originally," Donnelly said about the swift capital drive. "But we had such great help, it made it go so fast. It was easy because there were so many people helping in the campaign."

The drive involved seeking donors among the parish's 350 families from Tonganoxie and the surrounding communities. Rev. Mark Goldasich said various donors were targeted based on what they could give. Major donors were asked to contribute $10,000 through five years, while other donors were asked to provide $5,000 in that time frame. Not everyone could donate that much money, but Goldasich said every contribution was greatly appreciated.

"That's what we wanted a lot of people doing what they could," Goldasich said.

The funds will go toward the new church site's first phase, a $2.3 million project that will include a multi-purpose center and classrooms. Phase II will consist of building the actual church at a $2 million clip. Phase III, which probably wouldn't happen for some years, involves the building of a school.

For now, the parish will concentrate on Phase I. The church will do a follow-up pledge drive with new parishioners who might have come after the initial campaign. If all goes well, Goldasich said construction workers would be turning dirt next fall.

In order to work the dirt in a year, Sacred Heart has been working to raise funds through another source Kansas Speedway.

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