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Diocese of Des Moines Surpasses Capital Campaign Goal

Many thanks go to all the volunteers and donors

The Diocese of Des Moines has completed its most successful capital campaign ever, raising more than $41.7 million, or 39 percent more than the ambitious $30 million goal. Funds will be shared 50/50 with parishes in the 23 counties of the diocese in central and southwest Iowa. The campaign, Sharing God's Gifts, will enable the diocese to address long-term needs of a growing seminarian program, outreach efforts and the needs of both the young and the old. The effort will inject resources into parishes for local needs.

Bishop Richard Pates is grateful for the generosity of both time and financial gifts of the diocese.

"I want to thank everyone from the lay advisory and the priest advisory boards to the 1,000 volunteers in our parishes who exceeded expectations to help us reach our goal," he said. "We worked together. It was a Diocese of Des Moines team effort. Catholics of southwest Iowa are congratulated for the spirit of strength and our unity."

"Clearly, the case resonated with the people around the diocese," said Sharon Krause, co-chair of the lay advisory committee and owner of Dalla Terra Ranch LLC. The funds on a diocesan level will be used for a growing seminarian program (21 seminarians currently in the program and 26 expected by fall 2014), priest retirement and health care, programs for the young, housing for senior citizens and outreach efforts of Catholic Charities. Parishes will use this boost in resources to address local needs for capital improvements, debt reduction or endowments.

Among the most admirable achievements: One of the parishes with the least resources, Our Lady of the Americas, skyrocketed to 330 percent of its goal.

"I am very proud for their wonderful accomplishment and the effort of the Hispanic parish," Bishop Pates said.

Another notable effort was that of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines, which raised the most dollars. Its goal was $2.7 million and it raised $4 million.

Also impressive was the priest phase, said Jim Wallace, co-chair of the lay advisory committee and president and chief executive officer of GuideOne Insurance. More than 70 priests pledged well over $400,000. A close look at the numbers shows the average gift per priest was more than $5,000. An 11-member priest advisory group assisted with the planning and execution of the effort.

"The clergy was a big reason for this success," Wallace said.

This is the fourth capital campaign conducted by the Diocese of Des Moines in its 102-year history. Each campaign was successful in surpassing its goal. The first campaign, under Bishop Edward C. Daly, O.P. was launched in 1955 with a goal of $1.25 million for long-term needs of parishes, financial aid for seminarians, post-graduate work for priests, and a new wing at Dowling Catholic High School. The second campaign began in 1986 by Bishop Maurice Dingman in conjunction with the diocese's 75th anniversary, was intended to boost priest pension and health insurance programs plus assist St. Albert Schools in Council Bluffs. In 2000, Bishop Joseph Charron, C.PP.S. initiated a $20 million campaign for long-term endowment funds for clergy retirement, seminarian support, Catholic Charities and Catholic education.

While the pledge phase of the effort is completed, the fulfillment of pledges will continue for five years. Joan Bindel, the diocesan Development director, is grateful for those who "gave very generously, always had faith in the effort and the many people who shared the gifts God has provided enabling the diocese to enhance its service."

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The Diocese of Des Moines includes 81 parishes in 23 counties in central and southwest Iowa.

Anne Marie Cox
(515) 237-5057




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