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St. Mary's MSOW
406 E. Savidge St.
Spring Lake, MI 49456
Mary, Seat of Wisdom - FAQ's
How much is the project and where did that amount come from?
Elzinga and Volkers Contractors has estimated the total project cost at $5.7 to $5.9 million, depending on the level of construction, options, furnishings, and more.
Why do this when we just finished the Gathering Space, Kitchen, Gym, and more?
The Gathering Space, Kitchen, and Gym were included in Phase One, which was completed in 2002 and paid off completely in 2008. We are now raising funds for Phase Two of this original plan--the construction of the Education Center.
Why not just update the current education buildings?
The existing facilities have major foundation failures, asbestos contamination (which is contained and nonthreatening), and have been pushed beyond their life expectancy. They will be in a constant (and expensive) state of needing repair. Massive investments are required for updates, which would not be good stewardship of parish resources. In the long run, a new facility will be less expensive than continually repairing the current facility. With or without a parish school, we need a new facility for all community programs, ministries, RCIA, and more.
Why tear down and build a new rectory? Is this really necessary?
Due to the relatively large number of seminarians our diocese is expecting to ordain in the next few years, Bishop Walkowiak has informed the pastors of the larger parishes that there is a good chance they might be assigned an associate pastor, and this is a possibility for St. Mary's. However, an even greater possibility exists that we would host a seminarian during his 6-month internship period. In either case, the current rectory only has one bathroom and is insufficient to house two priests or a priest and a seminarian. In addition, moving the priest residence to the site of the current playground will allow us to locate the playground and green space next to the school building to improve safety and security.
Is this the best use of our resources, especially in today’s economy?
Yes, this is the best use of our resources to maintain our parish community educational ministries, faith formation programs, and our pre-school through eighth grade school offerings.
Why are we conducting a capital stewardship campaign?
The Capital Stewardship Campaign will raise the additional funds needed, which are over-and-above what parishioners currently give. Our operating budget, which comes from the weekly offertory, cannot afford or absorb the additional amount needed to construct our Education Center.
Has St. Mary’s explored other opportunities in the area to purchase existing buildings that are for sale?
Yes, these types of opportunities have been explored by parish leadership. However, it was determined that off-campus opportunities, although attractive facilities, do not fit the collective needs of all St. Mary's Catholic Church ministries and programs, including faith formation, RCIA, and the pre-school through eighth grade school. While some off-campus opportunities may have provided a quality and sizeable school building, adequate facilities and financial investment would still be required on the campus to accommodate the need for other vital faith formation and parish ministries. Most importantly, our faith formation and school ministries are embraced by our parish community and woven into our parish life on this campus! On-campus expansion reinforces the St. Mary's Catholic Church identity and tradition as we move forward, while also providing the necessary space for all our Catholic faith formation and parish ministries. We would lose our parish community family feeling with separate buildings miles apart.
When will construction begin?
The Diocese of Grand Rapids requires 50% of the total project cost must be cash in hand and a viable funding plan established before permission would be granted to move forward with construction. The updated plan is that the new building will be completed in time for the 2016-17 school year. This means that we will need to have plans finalized by December 2015 and shovels in the ground in the early spring of 2016. Of course this is contingent on getting $2.8-3 million collected by then! With construction costs constantly going up the longer we wait the more the project will cost.
Can we afford a $5.8 Million facility?
Yes, and at this point we cannot afford not to do this! As a parish family, it will require sacrifice from all of us and we can afford it. Our previous campaigns have paid for our Activity Center, as well as developing our overall site plan. This parish has the financial resources available, but everyone must do his or her part. Our funding plan includes the following:
• Over a three-year period, raise $2.8-3 million through the capital stewardship campaign.
• Gain $1 Million in additional support from outside the parish, including friends and Alumni.
• The remaining funds needed could be secured from a combination of the following:
o past parishioners and community members with a high regard and support of the parish
o summer residents and visitors
o memorial gifts and bequests
o debt financing with the Diocese of Grand Rapids
What if I’m uncertain about my financial future?
No one knows the future. However, every one of us should prayerfully consider a sacrificial commitment spread over three years. Should your circumstances change, you may alter your commitment by notifying the parish office. Pray to know God’s direction and trust God as you are lead to your own individual commitment.
Will I have an opportunity to make pledge payments as I desire?
Yes. Each parishioner can designate how they wish to fulfill their three-year commitment: weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. Special giving envelopes will be provided for payments.
How do I decide what I should commit to our capital stewardship campaign?
Prayer and reflection! “Not Equal Gifts, but Equal Sacrifice.” Everyone is blessed differently. Everyone cannot give the same amount. If your gift is truly sacrificial…then the gifts are equal in the sight of God.
"...but each of you with as much as you can give,
in proportion to the blessings which
the Lord, your God, has bestowed on you."
Whom can I contact with questions or to participate in this project?
How much do we need to raise?
It is our prayerful hope that our parish family will raise $2.8 - 3 Million during a 3 year capital campaign.
When will the other funding components besides the parish campaign be conducted?
Following our parish campaign, the other funding components will begin to be implemented.
How much will I be asked to give?
You will not be told to give a specific amount. Everyone is asked to first reflect on his/her individual blessings and them pray about a sacrificial commitment to be paid over three years. Your commitment should be over and above your current giving to the church.
What does "sacrificial" mean?
A sacrificial commitment is one that requires you to change your lifestyle while fulfilling it. Perhaps you could afford to give your tax refund for the next 3 years to the campaign, or forgo the family vacation you often take. Maybe your next car will be used instead of new. Yes, these sacrifices may be difficult, but they can also help you grow closer to God and therefore assist you on your path to heaven!