By Alex Previtera, Special to The Catholic Virginian

During the Living Our Mission capital and endowment campaign, each parish combined their case for support along with the larger Church case for support.  This partnership has allowed parishes to realize profound and long-term benefits.

In March, the Diocese sent a tenth round of funding to the parishes totaling nearly $3.3 million.  In total, over the ten rounds of funding, the Diocese has returned nearly $30 million to be used for important local priorities of parishes.  In total, it is estimated that parishes will receive $65 million of the $104 million raised over the five years of pledge redemption. Parishes have been using and will use these funds in a variety of ways, including local construction projects, ministries, endowments and debt reduction.

At St. Olaf in Williamsburg, the construction project is much larger in scope. After many years of planning and hard work, St. Olaf is almost finished on the construction of a new 750 seat church.  Not only is the new church important to meet the needs of the expanding Catholic population in the area, it will also connect with the current parish facilities.  This means the older facilities will be repurposed and will be used for an expansion of critical areas such as adult education, youth and young adult activities and ministry programs in general.

To raise the necessary funds to build the church, St. Olaf partnered with the Living Our Mission campaign in the fall of 2014.  The goal was to raise a very challenging goal of $2.4 million (four-times their annual offertory) over the course of approximately six months.  Under the leadership of Fr. Tom Mattingly, the parish was not only able to hit the goal, but exceed it with nearly half the parish participating (which is extraordinary given the size of the parish).

With this success plus funds from the parish’s savings, St. Olaf began building shortly after the end of their campaign.  Since their groundbreaking on April 1, 2016, the parish has quickly made progress on building their new church and has set a dedication date of April 7, 2017.

St. Olaf continues to experience a tremendous level of redemption on pledges made in their campaign.  In addition, the parish has seen a significant increase in offertory and is up by more than $50,000 over the previous year.

(Alex Previtera, CFRE is the Director of Development for the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond). To learn more about the Foundation, please visit richmondcatholicfoundation.org).