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St. Patrick Church launches capital campaign

submitted photos Members of the Altar Egos include, front from left, Sheila Pelzel and Keven Pelzel; back, Terry Bogenhage, John Knutson, Kari Weiss, Matt Heldstab, Theresa Douglas, Jim Schrock and Tim Caruso.

Saint Patrick Church is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise $2.5 million over the next three years. The goal of the campaign, entitled, "Foundation for Our Future" is to significantly reduce parish debt as well as support the Diocese of Superior.

The first 1.5 million raised will stay at Saint Patrick's; any money raised beyond 1.5 million will be split 50/50 with the Diocese of Superior, to support the diocesan wide capital campaign that is currently under way.

Walsh and Associates, a firm that specializes in church fundraising campaigns, is guiding and providing their expertise to the legions of parishioners who are helping with the campaign.

Pastor John Gerritts and Associate Pastor Patrick McConnell have been very pleased with the initial response to the campaign. When asked specifically about the campaign, Fr. Gerritts said:

"Currently over a $1 million has been raised which will help us financially in a substantial way. With much of our debt paid, we will be able to again engage in some ministries that we as a parish had to previously put on hold. Our next big goal in relation to the campaign is to have over 500 households pledge toward the campaign. Currently nearly 300 households have pledged."

Parishioners seem to recognize the necessity of the campaign and the possibilities that will open up once the burden of debt is lifted from the parish. To that end, many Saint Patrick parishioners have come up with creative ways to help the campaign.

Members of the Altar Egos, a band made up of musicians, cantors and choir members from the parish, recently performed at the American Sky Beer Tap Room in Hudson. Proceeds from that well-attended event were then donated to the Capital Campaign Fund.

Fourth-grade students at Saint Patrick School did extra chores around the house to raise capital campaign funds.

A group of freshmen in the faith formation program put together soup and cookie mixes in jars that they then sold after Masses to raise money for the campaign.

Parishioners gave money to the campaign in lieu of Christmas gifts to the church's pastors.

Students in each classroom at Saint Patrick School and students in the Saint Patrick Faith Formation program all contributed to campaign jars in their classrooms.

Catholic Schools Week

Saint Patrick School has many activities planned to celebrate Catholic Schools Week Jan. 27-Feb. 2. An open house/soup and pie social is Sunday, Jan. 27, from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The soup and pie social begins at 11:30. Classrooms staffed with teachers will be open for tours.