Celebrations planned as Alive in Christ tops $150 million

 

Marion, Lake and Sumter residents: Register here for the celebration at St. Timothy in Lady Lake on October 2nd.

Brevard County residents: Register here for the celebration at Holy Name of Jesus in Indialantic on October 15th.

Congratulations! You have declared the work of the Lord to be worthy of our shared sacrifice.

Allan Keen, Chair of the Board of Directors for The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, announced the Alive in Christ Campaign, the first-ever capital campaign for the Diocese of Orlando, has surpassed its goal, thanks to the stewardship of 36,000 individuals and families who raised $151 million in pledges giving glory and praise to our God.

The Diocese of Orlando launched the Alive in Christ Campaign in Fall 2007 with the ambitious goal of raising $150 million to fund the capital and endowment needs of its 92 parishes and missions as well as the broader diocesan community. If the goal was bold, the timing was even more so: the campaign began in earnest as the nation teetered on the edge of an economic precipice.

"Reaching this goal is a tremendous accomplishment," said Bishop John Noonan. "I am most grateful for the outpouring of faithfulness during this time."

The campaign was conducted over time in a series of “waves,” beginning with a pilot wave of 10 parishes and eventually expanding to include all parishes and missions in the Diocese of Orlando.

Bishop Noonan described the campaign as “very much a parish-based effort,” with a strong focus on strengthening local communities.

The campaign proved to be a winning partnership between parishes and the larger Diocese of Orlando. As cash is collected on pledges, the majority is returned to the parishes to fund critical projects. A smaller portion is set aside for diocesan priorities, including tuition assistance, clergy formation, and the ministries of Catholic Charities.

“The fruit of this tremendous effort is still ripening,” said Bishop John Noonan. “There are challenges of which we are aware and some which will surprise us. Yet, the Lord is good. His mercy endures forever.”

Although pledge collection is expected to continue through 2017, the impact of the campaign can already been seen and felt throughout the nine counties of the Diocese of Orlando. The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, which managed the campaign for the Diocese of Orlando, reports that more than 70% of parishes have moved forward with long-awaited projects ranging from new church construction to ministry expansion.

“The campaign has been a blessing to our parish and to the people we serve,” said Charlie Ponitz, a parishioner at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Lady Lake. Using proceeds from Alive in Christ, the parish was able to expand a building where the St. Vincent de Paul Society operates a neighborhood food pantry. “We essentially tripled our space,” said Ponitz. “We’re serving one hundred families a week. I don’t know how we ever ran the pantry before.”

At the larger Diocesan level, support for Catholic education remains the highest priority. When all pledges are fulfilled, approximately $11 million will be earmarked for a tuition assistance endowment enkindling a deeper faith as more families are able to participate in a Catholic education.

In thanksgiving, Bishop Noonan will celebrate with donors throughout the Diocese this Fall. Families who made a gift to the Alive in Christ Campaign should watch for the invitation.

Parishioners who have not yet made a gift to the Alive in Christ Campaign still have time to do so. New pledges as well as payments on existing pledges can be made through the Catholic Foundation’s secure website at www.cfocf.org/AIC/give.

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