Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In a spirit of transparency and a desire to keep everyone up to date, in this bulletin (page 6) please find an executive summary from Changing Our World regarding the possibility of an upcoming capital campaign. A series of personal interviews were conducted, a survey was distributed, and town halls were conducted to get a representative sense of what everyone in the parish is thinking, and we come to you now with our findings.
What was presented to the parish was the possibility of a $3 million dollar campaign to do a substantial amount of work across the campus, focused primarily on a renovation of the convent into a parish center. It is normal to test a higher goal, and based on your responses the goal was lowered, and the list of projects will be simplified. One recurrent theme was a concern that the school and rectory should not have the same priority as the church and convent – the school as it takes in tuition for these needs, the rectory as there is an obvious worry that it might become some sort of opulent mansion (certainly not the intention).
We are putting together numbers now as to the costs of proposed projects. The convent is obviously a top priority, and the plans that are coming together are very exciting! It should be a great resource for the parish and our many ministries and groups. It will also hopefully be a source of income as we try to rent the second floor. We have no one committed now, but I have heard many of your very serious concerns and will be sure to share with you who that might be. We will be very cautious in this process.
Another apparent priority was the church. It is reasonable that if we are going to invest in our parish, we should not neglect the house of the Lord. We are therefore researching the confessionals (which may go in as soon as possible for the many liability reasons listed in the past), as well as the possibility of restoring Mary and Joseph to the front of the Church, and what that might entail in creating a beautiful and theologically coherent sanctuary space.
When it comes to the roof, we have had some contractors examine it, and there are some signs of hope that its complete replacement may not be as imminent as had been intimated to us. This will certainly impact the expected numbers, and may be an additional motivation to begin to build an endowment that can grow over time and be available to the parish when these projects come due. Connected with this, many expressed questions as to the sale of the houses, and the plan is to still move ahead. Those with some business acumen expressed concern about liquidating assets and spending them, so it seems wiser to similarly set aside at least a portion of these funds for the future as a source of income, though some of the funds could be used to supplement the projects if necessary.
The school projects are under review, and the hope is that we limit ourselves to the major needs, and make an effort to connect with school families and alumni to help support the parish. In regards to the rectory, as was initially planned, the work will be limited to priority updates.
That’s where we are! Thank you to all those who took the time to respond, and I hope all of you feel comfortable at any time to reach out and discuss all that’s going on. I pray that we are all excited for the potential plans that will be a great boost for our parish. In a time where so many think the Church is on the retreat, we strive to make a statement that Notre Dame is here to stay, and it will continue to build the Kingdom of God here in New Hyde Park for years to come!
Yours in Christ,