The Diocese of Des Moines has a long and successful record of preparing the entire diocese and all parishes with a viable financial future. The goals of Sharing God’s Gifts of 2013 were no exception. In 2010,the Diocese celebrated its 100th year and as part of the planning and forecast for the years ahead, Bishop Pates, with cooperation from the Diocesan Finance Council and head Diocesan officials, conducted a needs assessment and crafted a long-term plan of action, which would determine the direction of ministries, services and capital improvements.
In 2000, the Today’s Gifts….Tomorrow’s Hope campaign positioned the Diocese with long-term investments to begin to sustain its ministries. A thorough review of these investments 10 years later identified numerous areas in need due to the growing and changing demographics in the Diocese.
The areas in need of support are ongoing and are projected to become increasingly expensive, including the cost to promote vocations and train new seminarians, the expenses for clergy healthcare, and the available funding that helps support Catholic Charities. Other areas identified through the assessment were new and represented the changing demographics the Church serves throughout the 23 counties in Southwest Iowa; Hispanic Ministry and Senior Housing for example. Other needs include various capital projects necessary for the improvement of services, including additional and improved clergy housing and the renovation of St. Thomas More Center. In addition, the 80 active parishes in the Diocese and their individual needs were identified as the primary beneficiaries of a capital campaign.
The Sharing God’s Gifts campaign launched in August 2012 with all parishes scheduled to conduct the campaign locally during a designated time in 2013. The end date for the Campaign was February 2014.
The Diocese of Des Moines has embarked on this initiative to respond to future challenges and to increase the current level of services provided to all Catholics. Every year, the Diocese conducts the Annual Diocesan Appeal (ADA) which helps support the day-to-day operations of ministries and programs. While some of the projects highlighted in this campaign case for support are also represented in the ADA, Sharing God’s Gifts will provide a much needed boost to many of those essential funds. Additionally, a successful campaign will help ensure that the yearly ADA goal does not significantly increase from year to year.
The Sharing God’s Gifts campaign was the most ambitious project ever undertaken in the Diocese’s 100-year history and will undoubtedly help shape the next generation of Catholics. As stewards of the resources we were blessed with, it is our responsibility and goal to ensure our parishes and ministries remain in a healthy and thriving position. The campaign pledges totaled more than $40 million. The collection period is over 5 years. Parishes will share in 50 percent of all funds collected from their parishioners for local projects including capital improvements, debt reduction or endowment building.