As we prepare for the beginning of our Living Our Faith, Building Our Home Capital Campaign, our goal is to answer questions that surfaced during the campaign assessment through frequently asked questions.

What is the relationship between the Parish of St. Benedict and St. John Bosco Catholic School?  As part of the Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s Leaders diocesan campaign in the late 1990s, Catholic leaders built two new elementary schools, including St. John Bosco. It opened in 2001 as an interparish school, with financial and pastoral support provided by the parishes of St. Andrew the Apostle, St. Benedict, Corpus Christi, and Holy Spirit. In 2008, with enrollment growing, and at the direction of Bishop Thomas Olmsted, the school incorporated with the Parish of St. Benedict and changed its name to St. John Bosco Catholic School.

How large is St. John Bosco Catholic School?  St. John Bosco is a preschool through 8th grade with an average class size of 20 students. There are more than 390 students enrolled.

Will St. John Bosco students and their families be involved in the campaign?  Children of parishioners and students attending SJB are an important part of our entire parish community, and we remain committed to helping them celebrate this important milestone in the parish’s history. We recognize that participating in the sacramental life of the school and parish is a foundation memory for children and will last a lifetime. Over the coming months, children — from toddlers to young adults who participate in religious education activities or attend SJB — will learn about, and prepare for, the transition to a new church.

Why are we conducting a capital campaign?  During our campaign assessment, conducted in January 2018, more than 85 percent of respondents said they would financially support a capital campaign for a new church. The pastoral and finance councils then voted in favor of conducting a fundraising effort for the project.

What is the cost of construction for the new church?  The projected cost is $7 million for the building, and $1 million for the interior features such as pews, stained glass, ADA-accessibility features, and other liturgical and sanctuary beautification. We will be addressing efforts to streamline construction costs and eliminate non-essential expenses or design.

What is our campaign goal?  In a perfect world, we’d raise the entire amount necessary for this project immediately. We have set an ambitious, yet attainable, goal of $3.5 million to build the church as currently designed. If we fall short of our goal, we will have to compromise on the church design. Should the campaign exceed its goal, this will reduce the amount of borrowing needed.

Does the parish currently have debt?  In October 2016, we celebrated the retirement of our debt from the construction of our current worship space. Through the leadership of our pastors and finance council, we accelerated mortgage payments which resulted in retiring the debt 11 years early!

How much will the Diocese of Phoenix contribute?  Will the diocese take any of the funds raised?  The diocese will not contribute any money to our project. Every dollar raised in the capital campaign will remain with St. Benedict.

What is the timeline for construction?  Fr. Bob would like to have our first Mass in the new building for Christmas 2019. After groundbreaking in the fall of 2018, construction should take 12 months.

What are the phases of the strategic plan?  The new church is the only item for Phase 1 and funds raised during this campaign will be applied solely to this initiative. The following phases include:

Phase 2a:  Modify the existing building into a parish hall. This will include a dedicated kitchen for parish events and additional storage space for St. Vincent de Paul.

Phase 2b:  Construction of a new administration building.

Phase 3:  Construction of new early childhood classrooms.

Phase 4:  Construction of a new gymnasium.

(Phases 3 and 4 can be switched, based on need or funding.)

Will we have to move Masses and activities during construction?  No, but parking in dirt lots will be limited or unavailable during the time of construction due to staging and supply storage. Your journey from the car to the doors may be new and take a little longer, but signage about walkways and ADA access will be updated regularly. Based on availability of funding, the parking lot on the east side is scheduled to be completed during Phase 1.

Will the new church have a narthex?  A narthex is included with the new church, and will be separated from the nave (main body) of the church. Interior doors will provide noise reduction between this gathering space and the worship area.

Will there be worship spaces for children’s liturgy and RCIA dismissal?  Yes, in a large room south of the narthex that can be divided into two rooms. They will serve the same functions as the meeting room in the rear of our current building.

How did you come up with my request amount?  The amounts are based on a number of factors, including giving history and answers shared in the campaign assessment. Our goal is to challenge everyone to consider supporting St. Benedict in a meaningful and sacrificial way, in a manner that works for each family.

Who is being asked to support the campaign?  Every registered, active church family will be asked to participate in the campaign.

Why should I/we consider supporting the campaign?  Throughout the Bible we are reminded that we have been called by the Lord to build His kingdom. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58). This project doesn’t fall on the shoulders of one family or a few. It is the responsibility of everyone at St. Benedict to hear God’s call and to continue to grow His ministry. The obligation rests with everyone to do their part to raise the necessary funding. We all need to identify and make sacrificial and meaningful donations to ensure the campaign is a success.

Will my pledge be legally binding? Will it be confidential?  A pledge is not legally binding, but it is a gift which you consider to be meaningful. We ask that you do your best to fulfill your pledge and advise the church of any financial changes that will impact your commitment. All pledges will be kept confidential.

What method do you use to determine each Ask Amount?  The Ask Amount is determined using a formula created by the Steier Group, our campaign counsel, that looks at a parishioner’s annual offertory, donations to past campaigns, self-reported gifts from the campaign assessment conducted in January 2018, and a review by campaign leadership with respect to the needs of building a new church. We ask you to prayerfully consider the amount listed in the letter you received from Fr. Bob. We are thankful for any gift in any amount.