On September 16, 2014, the Very Rev. Bernard C. Scianna, O.S.A., Ph.D., Prior Provincial of the Midwest Augustinians, announced the goal and official launch of the Continuing Our Journey of Faith capital campaign. The campaign hopes to build the Fr. Ray Ryan Trust for vocations and the Journey of a Lifetime Trust for the retirement needs of the Augustinians. Please watch his announcement below:
Hello, I am Fr. Bernie Scianna, Prior Provincial of the Midwest Augustinians. Today, I am pleased to announce the public launching of our capital campaign, Continuing Our Journey of Faith. Before I announce the goal, I would like to say that I am very grateful for the Campaign Chair Milann Siegfried and to other leaders representing our various apostolates across the Midwest Province, including: Don Berschback, Fr. Jim Friedel, Ryan Gandurski, Mark Hacker, Wayne Klasing, Jerry Martin, Fr. Tom McCarthy, Fr. Dick McGrath, Fr. John Merkelis, Pat O'Connor, Pat Ormsby, John Pixley, Fr. Bob Prevost, Alan Ross, Fr. Bill Sullivan, Anne Berschback, Bob Biolchini, Matt Coughlin, Greg Jania, Tony Lauinger, Lisa Solava, Bob Sullivan, Martin Wojcik, and Mike Zunica. Finally, I want to recognize our Campaign Director Michael Gerrity, who serves as the campaign senior staff.
While we have been conducting a Province annual fund and gala in recent years, this is our first capital campaign in 22 years. The last effort in 1992 was inititated under the leadership of then Prior Provincial Fr. David Brecht. It was called the Journey of a Lifetime to help fund the retirement and healthcare costs for these Augustinians who have given their lives in service to the Order and the Church. Fr. Brecht, who was also on the leadership team of this capital campaign, died just 10 days ago. During the past year, despite his battle with leukemia, he was helping us to open doors and make calls. I am confident that he will be an advocate for us in this effort from Heaven.
The Continuing Our Journey of Faith campaign has these two primary purposes:
- To help fund the Fr. Ray Ryan Trust for our vocations program, and
- To help fund the Journey of a Liftetime Trust for our retired and infirm Augustinians.
These two trusts are currently underfunded by $15 million and need the infusion of this amount in order to bring them to a level of being self-sustaining. Since we have not done a major campaign in 22 years and need to grow our base of supporters, we are setting a campaign goal of $3.5 million. While the proven need is $15 million, we understand that we must go at it incrementally. We are all committed to doing all that we can do to spread the word and to support this vitally important effort. Here's a few facts:
- In the quiet phase, we have raised almost $2.5 million in pledges and gifts from 132 donors. I am very grateful for their support. Most of that $2.5 million is in pledges or commitments payable over the next one to five years,
- The $2.5 million raised so far is almost double the amount raised in gifts in 1992,
- Small daily gifts and sacrifices can make big impacts over time. $6 a day equals $10,000 over five years. $3 a day is $5,000 over five years. So you can see the impact of such gifts,
- While our campaign is focused on gifts of cash, stocks, and pledges payable over five years we have uncovered well over $1 million in estate gifts during the past 12 months.
Please be a part of the Augustinians' campaign team. Raising another $1,000,000 to meet the campaign goal and even surpassing that goal will be challenging, but with your support it can be done! Here is how you can join in this great legacy and effort:
- Let us know that you will support us in prayer,
- Make a sacrificial gift or pledge. A little sacrifice daily goes a long way over a few years,
- Help us identify others you think we should involve,
- Volunteer to be a member of the leadership team or to make a few calls, and
- Host a little gathering where we can come and just tell our story and talk about this campaign.
If you can help in any of these ways, please contact me, any of our leaders, or Michael Gerrity through [the] campaign website or by calling 773-595-4008. We have been there for you and your families over the years, we now ask you to consider giving back to the Augustinians by participating in this campaign as we continue our journey of faith with you. May God continue to bless you and your families, may He continue to bless us with vocations, and may He grant success to the work of our hands. Thank you.