St. Patricks Hudson

The Catholic Community of Hudson, Wisconsin

  SAINT PATRICK STEWARDSHIP PRAYER
God our Creator, you made us all that we are and gave us all that we have.
Help us to live a life of gratitude by using your gifts to serve others in your name.
Jesus my Redeemer, you call us to share your life by loving service to others.
Grant us the courage to live as your disciples.
Holy Spirit of God, fire our hearts with your love
and make us good and generous stewards of your life within us.
We pray Lord, that you open the minds and hearts of all the people of Saint Patrick Parish,
that we may joyfully accept your call to live as stewards of your abundant gifts for our salvation and your greater glory.
Amen

Dear Members of the Saint Patrick Parish,

A lot has happened since the completion of our Feasibility Study that looked at improving our parish facilities and enhancing our ministries.

I am grateful for those who attended the meetings, participated in an interview, and returned a survey. By thoughtfully sharing your observations, concerns, questions, and recommendations, you have provided much for parish leadership to consider.

A vibrant parish is one whose members participate and share their voices. We have listened and respond to you now with our recommendations, which incorporate your ideas.

Our parish was found to be supportive and willing to move forward with some of the proposed facility improvements. Specifics on priorities are included in this document.

Based on parishioner feedback, it has been decided to proceed with a capital campaign and move forward with a revised list of improvements.

We share this information with you now before we proceed to the next step of raising the funds to complete the revised and prioritized facility improvements and ministry objectives. Thank you for your trust, confidence and the many gifts you share for our faith community.

God’s blessings,
Father John Gerritts

 

On this page you will find:

Note: The complete Feasibility Study Report is available for your review. Please check with the parish office if you would like to borrow it for a few days.

Feedback from the Presentation Meetings

  • A total of 308 individuals attended one of four identical presentation/dialogue meetings.
  • There were 172 comments and questions provided by attendees. Among them were 40 comments about the church facility objectives, 16 about school-related objectives, and 35 focused on the ministry objectives.
  • There were also 60 comments or questions having to do with parish finances, cost estimates for the facility improvements, and operating versus capital support.
  • The pulse polls completed at the end of each meeting indicated 95% strongly agreed or agreed that the parish should take action to improve parish facilities and enhance ministries. 91% of those people felt a capital campaign was appropriate to fund those improvements and enhancements.
  • Several questions asked how a campaign might be conducted and what would be asked of parishioners.
  • The transparency and thorough communication of the objectives were appreciated, and parish leadership was urged to continue regular communication about these plans, as well as other parish issues.

Highlights from Interviews and Surveys

  • A cross-section of 40 households participated in confidential face-to-face interviews. This provided a range of opinions from the sample of parishioners who had attended at least one presentation meeting.
  • Surveys were mailed to the remaining 163 households that attended a meeting. We received 89 responses which provided even further feedback regarding the proposals.
  • In the participants’ view, the strengths of the parish are the ways the parish provides for their faith lives and the sense of community created at Saint Patrick Parish.
  • Participants stated their top priorities from the list of the proposed objectives, and also those objectives they felt had the least priority.
  • Participants felt the main benefits of completing the objectives were to preserve assets and prevent further damage and/or cost, create a safer, more comfortable environment, and to further their pride in Saint Patrick Church and School.
  • Statistics from the interviews and surveys indicate 85% are in favor of proceeding with a capital campaign and are confident in the parish leadership’s ability to guide the community through a campaign.

Why Should We Care For Our Facilities?

Last spring, following a Friday morning Mass at school, one of the altar servers was removing her robe when she noticed an old Kool-Aid jug in the closet where items are stored and used at school Masses. She asked Father John why a Kool-Aid jug was in the closet. He informed her that it was used to hold Holy Water. She continued with her curiosity by stating, “Isn’t Holy Water important enough that is should be stored in something better?”

Our buildings – church and school – are our spiritual home. We pray, educate, welcome, foster people’s faith, counsel, and celebrate some of life’s most important moments in these buildings. True, they are just buildings, but the young server’s statement could just as easily apply to our buildings as it did to the jug holding Holy Water. Are they not important enough that these activities should be stored in something worthy of their dignity?

We have been blessed with a beautiful church. It is easy to take it for granted. Frequently visitors speak of our church’s beauty and are surprised to learn that it is 28 years old. Our church has served thousands of worshipers, and also serves the Hudson Food Pantry and many other groups that make use of our facilities each year.

Our school building is even older and has educated and provided activities for thousands of kids in our school and faith formation programs. These buildings are significant assets and now are in need of maintenance, repairs, upgrades, and care. Most of us are beneficiaries of those who provided us with the buildings from generations past. Now it is our turn to demonstrate our appreciation for their foresight in providing us with wonderful facilities, by getting them ready for the next generation.

Steps Taken Since the Feasibility Study

1. Father John, the Pastoral and Finance Councils, and parish staff have reviewed the feedback received from the feasibility study and determined that, due to the overwhelming support, the parish will move forward with a capital campaign to fund the proposed objectives.

2. The Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils met to prioritize the objectives based on the feedback received through the study.

3. The specific improvements have been organized into 4 tiers or priority levels, based on our ability to raise the funds:

a. Tier One – Fix what is broken
b. Tier Two – Replace, update, and add what is needed
c. Tier Three – Enhance what is necessary
d. Tier Four – Do what is responsible to foster our mission of providing for the faith lives of our community.

4. The original cost estimates for the recommended projects have been reviewed. In some cases, we have bids for the projects. In other cases, we have a range we are working with. We have not obtained firm bids for all projects because contractors create bids when the work is expected to begin in 90 days or less. The cost ranges are based on prior bids and conversations with contractors.

5. The consulting firm of Hal Johnson and Associates has been retained to consult with and direct our capital campaign. They are the same firm that conducted our Feasibility Study.

Revised Objectives and Cost Estimates

TIER ONE PROJECTS: Fixing what is broken

Saint Patrick Parish has four large projects that relate to fixing elements of our buildings and grounds that are broken and, if not repaired, could cause our facilities to incur greater damage or become unsafe.

These projects will be scheduled for completion as soon as sufficient bids are received, and construction can occur and will require the parish to take a short term or construction loan, which the Finance Council has approved.

Project One: Replace the school roof
     ($368,000)

One section of our school roof was replaced in 2017. The remaining sections of roof are in need of replacement with some sections of the roof last replaced in the 1960’s! That makes it over fifty years old! In September 2019, additional roof leaks were discovered, and it is urgent that we respond quickly as there is a real danger of damage being done to our building.

We have received three bids for this project. A committee was assembled to assess the bids and make a recommendation. Fischer Roofing, out of Ellsworth, WI, was one of three contractors who submitted bids. They previously did our church roof and one section of our school roof. We have been pleased with their follow-up on these projects.

We would begin as soon as the contractor is able to start. Like our church, they will use a vinyl product. The committee selected a 60- mil system which comes with a 20-year warranty. Committee members reported that this is the standard product used. Fischer will also add two inches of insulation to the older parts of the roof. This will allow them to add slope to the roof to prevent the pooling of water which is a current problem and can decrease the life of a roof. It also has the benefit of increasing the R-value by 8.5. Some of the work will be able to be done this winter and the remainder in the spring. We will make use of our line of credit at our bank to make initial payments and pay off the line of credit as we receive pledge payments from our capital campaign.

Project Two: Repairing the Church’s HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning) system
     (Estimate range $155,000 – $185,000)

In 2018, significant work was done to upgrade the electronic controls for our HVAC system. More work needs to be completed on the HVAC system to repair valves that are currently not functioning, update controls, and replace the air conditioning unit. The heating boilers were replaced in 2011. They are in good condition and do not require replacing at this time or anytime in the near future. We have one company that we have been working with and we have a bid from them that is two years old. The contractor is currently updating this bid, and another contractor has been identified to provide a second bid. These bids will be reviewed by our committee. We are also in the process of working with Focus on Energy to determine the amount of energy savings this will bring our parish, and to secure any available rebates.

Project Three: Complete repaving of the church parking lot
     (Estimate $339,220)

The church’s parking lot is 28 years old and in need of complete repaving. The cracks present a safety hazard. Under the guidance of a project management committee, we intend to engage a professional to review whether there are parts of the parking lot that should be re-engineered for better access, and better drainage of snow/ice removal, or whether we should re-pave the entire parking lot as it now exists.

Project Four: Update the HVAC for the north end and add cooling units for the south end of the school
     (Bid range $242,000 – $277,000)

The boiler providing heat for the north end of the building was purchased used when it was installed. Our maintenance staff believes it has the real potential to fail in the next five years. More efficient systems provide both heating and cooling. With the need to add duct work, it only makes sense to bring both heat and cool air to the north end. In the south end of our building, we have been using individual cooling units. These are highly inefficient and in some areas like our school kitchen are simply not effective. We have secured one estimate, and another contractor is in process. We have worked with both contractors previously and have been pleased with their work. Once we have both bids a committee will make the final recommendation. We are also working with Focus on Energy to determine the amount of energy savings this will bring our school and secure any available rebates for this effort.

 

TIER TWO PROJECTS: Replace, update and add what is needed

These are important projects to either replace what is wearing out, has become outdated, or needs to be added. We would begin these projects once we know we have sufficient pledges to cover their costs. Short term borrowing (repaid through pledge payments) might be necessary. It is also important that we schedule these projects to coincide with other work that is being done.

Project One: Replace the flooring in the church
     (Estimate range $147,033 – $228,370)

The carpeting in the church is 28 years old. There are areas where the carpeting is significantly worn and becoming a hazard. There are other areas where it is significantly stained and unsightly. We have one bid and are awaiting a second bid. Research will continue on floor surface options and the addition of a hearing loop system.

Project Two: Convert the Church Sanctuary to LED lighting
     (Estimate $24,490 )

In the past, we attempted to switch to fluorescent lights in the church, but they were removed due to the harsh nature of fluorescent lighting and complaints from parishioners. Currently, we have some LED bulbs in the church that we are testing to ensure they complement our beautiful woodwork. We are also working with Focus on Energy to determine the amount of energy savings and potential rebates for this project. We have spoken with a variety of companies and feel we have found the one who can provide us what we need at the best price.

Project Three: Install security cameras in the church and parking lot
     (Estimate $25,000)

In our original feasibility study proposal, we missed this important project – security. With the number of people we serve, especially our youth and elderly, having video equipment in the church and parking lot area is essential to the security of our parishioners and guests. We have not determined the final cost involved with this project, but we believe this is vitally important.

 

TIER THREE PROJECTS: Enhance what is necessary

We have been blessed with a beautiful church and much workable space. However, this space requires a great deal of maintenance.
Further, our programs and liturgies that help strengthen our faith need attention. These projects would be funded as funds become available from the capital campaign.

Project One: Enhance a youth space
     (Estimate $15,000)

Since our previous campaign concluded, we have invested heavily in our youth programs. Our space needs have not kept up with programs that we believe are necessary. We are envisioning bringing Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to the church so it can be offered on Sunday mornings when adult groups are meeting. We need to update furnishings and projection equipment for middle and high school programming.

Project Two: Install Video Projection Equipment in the church
     (Estimate $45,000)

We are proposing adding video projection equipment that allows for the preservation of the beauty and sacredness of our church. However, more frequently we are finding reasons for projection during liturgies. We could project announcements prior to Mass, sacred art before Mass, key homily points to assist those who remember better by seeing, and words for music. We would continue to provide some hymnals, but could potentially save thousands of dollars per year by reducing the amount necessary. We also use projection for youth gatherings, reconciliation liturgies, some visitations and funerals, and other large group gatherings. Because of the limits of what we currently use, the system may be a distraction for some. A higher quality system would enhance our worship.

Project Three: Upgrade the WIFI throughout the church building
     (Estimate $25,000)

Groups, parishioners, and visitors all are requesting to use our WIFI more and more. Our staff and volunteers utilize the internet significantly. Reliable WIFI is a necessity for our staff and parishioners.

Project Four: Upgrade the sound system in the church
     (Estimate $60,000)

Our church sound system is 28 years old and provides the bare minimum of sound projection. It is difficult to control and frustrating when it does not function properly. A more state-of-the-art system would appropriately support our liturgies and activities.

 

TIER FOUR PROJECTS: Do what is responsible

We want to take a responsible, long term approach to our facility maintenance and church financing by building a maintenance fund and paying down debt.

Project One: Future Maintenance Fund
     ($250,000)

We have identified several projects that this campaign will serve to complete. However, we know that more projects will arise. Comments from our feasibility planning study told us we should plan for the future by establishing a fund for future maintenance projects. This fund will be utilized as directed by our trustees and Finance Council.

Project Two: Payback the loan on the purchase of the priest’s residence
     ($218,000)

We borrowed money from our school endowment fund to purchase a residence for our pastor rather than continuing to make rental payments. We are paying the fund back with interest. Repaying the loan would help our monthly cash flow and allow us to invest the endowment fund outside of the parish to provide additional funding for our school.

Note: After reviewing the comments from the feasibility planning process we have removed the following projects at this time: funding for FOCUS type missionaries, funding for our Sister Parish, purchase of a grand piano, remodeling of the second floor at school, and additional signage. These projects will not be part of the capital campaign but may be completed in the future, as parish needs change and additional funding becomes available.

Current Estimates for Proposed Projects

Tier One Projects $1,104,220 – $1,169,220

Tier Two Projects $196,523 – $277,860

Tier Three Projects $145,000

Tier Four Projects $468,000

Capital Campaign Project Goal (Tiers 1-4) $2,060,080
15% Contingency for cost increases $238,812
Feasibility Study Consultant Fee $9,000
Capital Campaign Consultant Fee $33,000
Campaign staff, printing, and postage $29,590
Total Capital Campaign Goal $2,370,482

What is a Capital Campaign?

A capital campaign is a targeted fundraising effort that takes place over a defined time frame. Typically, there are two major phases: the quiet phase and the public phase. During the quiet phase, 30%-40% of the funds are raised through initial invitations to those who, due to their blessings, may have a higher financial capacity.

During the public phase, the remaining funds are raised by inviting financial support from the remainder of the faith community. Capital campaigns differ from other forms of fundraising in that they are massive projects that can span multiple years and cost thousands of dollars. As such, capital campaigns often require a targeted fundraising effort with specific phases.

Before contributing, those invited know exactly what it is they’re helping to accomplish. While other types of campaigns will have general goals and benchmarks to aim for, the goals of a capital campaign are more specific and clearly laid out as the campaign progresses through its phases. The end goal of a capital campaign is almost always something concrete, like facility improvements or ministry expansion.

Guiding Principles for the Capital Campaign

  • The Capital Campaign will be supportive of our parish family and will build us up as the Catholic community in Hudson.
  • The invitation for financial support will be well organized, dignified, respectful, and confidential. No one would be told whether to or what to contribute. The process will be based on invitation, not pressure.
  • All financial commitments and contributions, regardless of size, will be welcome and appreciated. Commitments and contributions for the capital campaign objectives must be above and beyond regular weekly or monthly support for the annual operating budget.
  • Since Saint Patrick Catholic Church is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all contributions will be tax-deductible, as applicable in your circumstances.
  • Campaign commitments will be recorded in the household confidential contribution record and acknowledged with a thank you from Fr. John.
  • The Capital Campaign leadership team will make transparency and regular communications priorities in this process.
  • The projects will be guided by delivering the best, cost-effective results for our investments, including pursuing energy savings wherever appropriate.
  • We will utilize parishioner-experts, outside consultants, and a project management team of experienced building-trade representatives to ensure accountability for good decision making and fiscal responsibility.

Capital Campaign Timeline

December 2019/January 2020Capital Campaign begins with a quiet phase of advance gifts.

Early February  – Circles of Support gatherings for volunteer ministries.

Mid February 2020In-Church invitation to “open wide the doors” and invite support from all remaining registered households.

Late February/Early March 2020Personal contact for those house- holds who have not responded to previous invitations.

Capital Campaign Cabinet

Please feel free to contact any of the Campaign Cabinet if you have questions or wish to offer your skills with the projects.

  Keith Abramowicz

  Ed DePauw

  Father John Gerritts

  Sally Hilsgen

  John Knutson

  Larry Larsen

  Ann Madlung

  John Marnell

  Larry Mitchell

  Steve Richter

  Lance Whitacre

  Joe Wusterbarth

  Claire Zajac