Basilica surpasses $1 million in campaignSaint James Basilica’s Building Community in God’s Kingdom Capital Campaign has surpassed $1 million in gifts and commitments, church officials said. In less than one month of active solicitation, parishioners have earmarked $1,072,669 toward the basilica’s $1.6 million goal needed to make improvements and additions to the church facilities.
Saint James Basilica’s Building Community in God’s Kingdom Capital Campaign has surpassed $1 million in gifts and commitments, church officials said. In less than one month of active solicitation, parishioners have earmarked $1,072,669 toward the basilica’s $1.6 million goal needed to make improvements and additions to the church facilities.
“I am extremely proud and pleased over how well the campaign’s been received by our parishioners,” said the Rev. Al Bitz, pastor of St. James Basilica. “This includes not only active members at the basilica, but parishioners with our sister parishes in Buchanan, Pingree and Windsor. Those families, who’ve made a sacrificial commitment, understand the needs are genuine. They realize that, as members of our church family, it’s their responsibility to ensure our campaign goal is met.”
Bitz praised campaign lay leadership for its role in the effort. Fifty-five parish households are represented as volunteers with the majority responsible for meeting with fellow parishioners to discuss the campaign and seek support.
“Every campaign needs strong leadership and we have it,” Bitz said. “Our volunteers have taken ownership of the drive. They’ve been willing to sacrifice their time to make the phone calls, set the appointments and meet parishioners to discuss the effort. This is the type of commitment it takes to raise the funds we need to meet our goals.”
Another month remains in the active solicitation period of the fundraising campaign.
“It’s important that we take time to celebrate reaching $1 million, but at the same time we can’t afford to lose sight of our ultimate goal of $1.6 million,” Bitz said. “We need to use the remaining weeks to continue to spread the word throughout our parishes and to be in contact with those folks who’ve yet to make a decision. I’m confident that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our volunteers will continue to do their job and our parishioners will respond to the challenge.”
Funds raised in the Building Community in God’s Kingdom Capital Campaign will be used to build new living quarters for the priests, a new community room,address some office renovation, create space for a new maintenance garage and add a new church parking area.
St. James Basilica was established in 1883 and the current church building was built in 1914. It was elevated to a minor basilica in 1989 and is one of 66 minor basilicas in the United States. With the outlying parishes in Buchanan, Pingree, Windsor and St. James Basilica, almost 1300 households are served.