Parish Event » "To Teach Who Christ Is" Campaign - UPDATES

We have been preparing for the big campaign now along with more than 350 parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago. In August 2015, we invited more than 20 people to join the committee and they have been coming to a meeting every Monday night to help plan for this campaign. The committee members will start the phone calls to invite more volunteers to help. We think the more people involved in this campaign the better and faster it is to be successful. If you receive the phone call from our members of the committee please don’t hesitate to help. We need your extended hands to help us in this campaign. We had our campaign kick-off at all Masses on September 19-20. You can also CLICK HERE for more information.

There are a few questions you might ask:

What is "To Teach Who Christ Is"?

“To Teach Who Christ Is it is a capital and endowment campaign to raise a minimum of $350 million in gifts and pledges for parishes, faith formation, scholarships to Catholic schools, and critical facility issues.”

What is the meaning behind the theme,
“To Teach Who Christ Is?” -

“Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., chose the theme because of its significance to his order, his vision of our Archdiocese, and the spirit of the campaign. To Teach Who Christ Is comes from the writings of St. Eugene de Mazenod, founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who sought to teach “who Jesus Christ is.” At St. Eugene’s canonization, Pope John Paul II reflected that he was “a man of Advent, a man of the Coming. He not only looked forward to that Coming, he dedicated his whole life to preparing for it, one of those apostles who prepared the modern age, our age.””

How did the idea of a campaign arise?

“The Archdiocese of Chicago is in need of strong parishes, ministries and schools. Meeting this need is imperative."

How will the campaign help local parishes?

“We all belong to one local Church of Chicago. Central to this effort is ensuring that parishes are strong and vibrant communities of faith, bearing hope through their presence, sacramental life and ministries. To Teach Who Christ Is seeks to assists parishes in responding to their own issues while creating funds to support those in need throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago. Joining together as an Archdiocese will strengthen the work of the Church in neighborhoods throughout Chicago and suburban Lake and Cook counties.”

How will funds be allocated?

To Teach Who Christ Is seeks to raise $350 million: $150 million is earmarked for parish needs, to be determined locally; $150 million for scholarships to Catholic schools through the Catholic Education Scholarship Trust; $30 million for critical facility issues; $10 million for religious education training for catechists; $8 million for academic excellence programs in Catholic schools; and $2 million for innovative new religious education programs.”

How will "To Teach Who Christ Is" benefit training for religious education?

"Gifts to the campaign will assist parish religious education programs, especially in parishes with financial challenges, to increase the skills of parish religious education directors and coordinators, and youth ministers.”

What is religious education innovation?

“Religious education programs have had varying levels of success engaging children and adults. Campaign funds will help identify the most innovative religious education programs and create models to replicate those programs.”

What critical facility issues will the campaign address?

“Time has wreaked havoc on many church and school buildings. Funds are needed to address urgent and critical repairs for parishes and schools that do not have the ability to fund the needed work. The campaign will establish a reserve fund to be distributed over the next 10 years for facility issues in economically distressed parishes.”

Why is the Archdiocese seeking funds for academic excellence in Catholic schools?

“Gifts to the campaign will create programs to enhance the academic excellence of Catholic schools, including early childhood programs, rigorous curriculum standards, optimized technology integration and infrastructure in the classroom, and professional development opportunities so we can attract the best teachers.”

Why is the Church seeking scholarships to Catholic schools?

“Catholic schools have always been a powerful force for leading children to the truth. Today, we continue to achieve high standards for academics as well as formation of the whole person, grounding students in faith and virtue. The campaign will provide scholarships for students to attend Catholic schools throughout the Archdiocese.”

What is the Catholic Education Scholarship Trust?

“The Catholic Education Scholarship Trust is an independent 501 (c)(3) trust. The Northern Trust serves as the directed trustee. Funds designated to the trust are reserved exclusively for scholarships for students in Catholic schools. The trust is a permanent endowment and, to ensure it is a long-term source of funding for scholarships, only a portion of its income will be used each year.”

Who is eligible to receive scholarships from funds raised in the campaign?

“After the Catholic Education Scholarship Trust endowment fund has been invested and income is available, scholarship awards will be made to qualified students in Catholic schools in Cook and Lake counties. Scholarships will follow the child, regardless of whether or not the student changes Catholic schools. Families will also be required to contribute to the cost of education to demonstrate their commitment.”

Why should I support a campaign for scholarships when schools are being closed?

“The Archdiocese has a large and complex educational system, with thousands of students in more than 200 Catholic schools. These Catholic schools are vital and exciting centers of learning and formation. Unfortunately, a few schools are no longer viable and will have to be closed because of a lack of enrollment or financial resources. The funds raised in the campaign will certainly become part of the decision making about future school closings. In simple terms, the more money available in the form of scholarships, the more financially viable schools can be.”

Will gifts to the campaign pay for the legal settlements for victims of clergy sexual abuse?

“No, funds raised by the campaign will be used only to support ministries, parishes and Catholic schools, as outlined in campaign materials.”

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CAMPAIGN PRAYER

Almighty and ever-loving God,
Your Son is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
As His disciples, we follow his way, Believe his truth, and live his life.
Heavenly Father, raise up a new generation of disciples with fervor and eagerness to teach and proclaim Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the One who tells who we are, shows us how to love, and assures our salvation.
Bless this Archdiocesan Campaign “To Teach Who Christ Is.”
Lord, God, may donors discover in themselves your gift of a generous and sacrificial spirit that flows from a love for the Church and supports her mission to teach who Christ is.
May the pattern of holiness, the Virgin Mary, Christ’s mother and ours, open our hearts anew with the desire for your will to be done, through Jesus Christ, Your Son and Our Lord.
Amen.