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.

To make a pledge to our Capital Campaign, please contact:

Steve Richter | Parish Administrator
(715) 381-5120 ext. 105

Dear Members of the Saint Patrick Parish,

October 12, 2020

Most of us get asked frequently, “How are you?” The response we tend to give is something like, “fi-ne” or “ok”. Even if we are not good, we figure who wants to really hear about our problems? Many ask me these days, “How is church attendance?” This is another tough question to answer. I suppose I could say, “Better than during the last pandemic.” (But I wasn’t alive in 1918 so I don’t know what church attendance was like then.)

But if you ask me, “How is our capital campaign doing?” That is a question I can easily answer – it is amazing! People’s generosity even during these uncertain times is through the roof. (Speaking of roofs, read about the completed roof project in the enclosed newsletter!)

To date we have received $2,147,211 in pledges, or 90.6% of our goal! We have received $893,114 or 37.7% in payments on those pledges. (A typical campaign receives about 10% payment on pledges initially.) So the campaign is progressing better than anticipated – it is going amazingly well!

From the beginning we listened carefully and removed projects that did not have the full support of those who attended the listening sessions and completed a questionnaire. Three of the largest projects have already been bid and are either completed or are in the process of being completed. All came in under initial estimates. This demonstrates our commitment to being good stewards, careful planning, and bidding the projects appropriately to gain the best value for the dollars spent.

I realize how uncertain these times are. We are currently trying to figure out what the Christmas Mass schedule will look like this year and how many kids might be able to attend next summer’s high school mission trip, or if there will even be a trip. But I also appreciate the commitment and generosity so many have shown to our capital campaign.

Wishing you God’s blessings,
Father John


Continue below on our page and see the process that brought us to the desicion of beginning a Capital Campaign last spring and the progress since then.


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  |  COMPLETED – September 2020

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

A committee was assembled to assess three bids and make a recommendation. Fischer Roofing, out of Ellsworth, WI, was hired in the summer of 2020. In September 2020, the new school roof was complete and came in under-budget and we are happy to report we have no more leaking roofs or damaged walls, ceilings and equipment. Like our church, Fischer Roofing used 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 also added two inches of insulation to the older parts of the roof. This allowed them to add slope to the roof to prevent the pooling of water which was a problem and could have decreased the life of our new roof. It also has the benefit of increasing the R-value by 8.5. As 38% of pledge fees had already been received by the Parish by the project’s completion, the cost of this project was already paid in full.

Project Two: Repairing the Church’s HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning) system | Final adjustments being made to balance the system
     (Current Total: $174,110)

In 2018, significant work was done to upgrade the electronic controls for our HVAC system. More work was needed to be completed on the HVAC system to repair valves that were 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 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. After bids were reviewed by our committee, they chose J. F. AHERN CO. out of Eau Claire, WI. The Church’s HVAC system is finished. There are still a few areas where the controls need to be tweaked so the temperature will be just right. Downstairs in the garage, the old condenser system was removed. Around the air conditioning unit a new retaining wall, to replace the wall that was crumbling, has been finished.

Project Three: Complete repaving of the church parking lot | projected start date – summer 2021
     (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. With professional advice from an architect, engineer and excavation contractor, we will defer the church parking lot until spring 2021. An important issue that needs to be resolved is to divert roof rainwater before paving begins. We are working with our contractors to secure labor costs from the current bids and do work next year.

Project Four: Update the HVAC for the north end and add cooling units for the south end of the school  |  COMPLETED – October 2020
     (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 believed it had the real potential to fail in the next five years, which it did in the spring of 2020. With the need to add duct work, it only made sense to bring both heat and cool air to the north end. More efficient systems provide both heating and cooling. In the south end of our building, we had been using individual cooling units. These were highly inefficient and in some areas like our school kitchen were simply not effective. 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. In the summer of 2020, Steiner Plumbing, Electric & Heating Inc. out of River Fall, WI was hired to begin this project. It was finished in early October, 2020. As 38% of pledge fees had already been received by the Parish by the project’s completion, the cost of this project was already paid in full.

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

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

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

We’re All In!

Father John Gerritts

Being “All In” requires risk and makes us vulnerable. Joshua, Moses’ assistant and the one who succeeded Moses as leader, took a risk that could have separated him from his millions of fellow Israelites. After exhorting them to cast aside their gods and fear the Lord, he said, “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

I’m “All In” at Saint Patrick Parish because we take risks. I’m “All In” because we dream big. I’m “All In” because we worship with joy and reverence. I’m “All In” because we love the facilities other generations have provided for us. I’m “All In” because we desire to grow in our relationship with God and one another. I’m “All In” because we try new programs and take on meaningful projects. I”m “All In” because we reach out in generous ways to help others locally and internationally.

I’m “All In!”…
at Saint Patrick Parish because we choose to serve the Lord, and I pray you will be too.

Gary and Gail Maier

When Gail and I think about being “All In!”, we think about how we can contribute to fill a need to “just get it done”! When we see a need, we think about the abilities God gave us and try to use those abilities to help in any way we can, such as: Fall Fest Chairs, Adoration, Pastoral Council, and Praise Company Choir. Currently, I usher and serve as Eucharistic minister while Gail is a Lector and serves on one of the CCW Funeral Teams.

Since joining Saint Patrick Parish about 20 years ago, as a “transfer” from a 30 year involvement at Immaculate Conception in Hammond, we feel that St. Pat’s has become our faith community and our extended family. We enjoy the many hours spent working with the Knights of Columbus to serve the community for the Fish Fries, the Brat Wagon, and other events. Personally, my “just get it done” involves helping fix or improve Church facilities with such things as landscaping and tree maintenance, painting, and the construction of the storage shed.

To us, being “All In!” for Saint Patrick Parish is taking the necessary actions to help fill needs as our abilities allow.

Chris and Paula O’Brien Family

When Chris and I think about being “All In!”, it really defines us. Chris is a lifetime member of Saint Patrick Parish. He is active in the Knights, providing music for Mass, and heavily involved in Saint Patrick School Athletics. After a meaningful journey through the RCIA process I became a member of Saint Patrick Parish too. I was honored to get a teaching position at Saint Patrick School, and the rest is history. As our family grew, our daughters flourished while attending Saint Patrick School. The school bonds were  plenty as this was a loving extended family for us.

My classroom is on the second floor, and I have dealt with the leaking roof on many occasions. Safety is a concern during a heavy rainstorm as teachers rush to the bathrooms and track down buckets to catch the water that is pouring in. Classrooms have tiles crashing down, pouring water on materials, which results in damaged books that students can’t use.

We need this capital campaign, and are “All In!”. We care about the future of Saint Patrick Church and School, while praying daily for our success. It is how we – as a parish – Roll!

Susan Gotrik, Hannah Knepler, Tara Price

Being “All In!” at Saint Patrick Parish comes naturally when you open your heart to Jesus and our Blessed Mother. Cradle-Catholics from Wisconsin and a convert from the coast, we have found virtuous friendships and opportunities within this community to flourish. The faith here is profound and beautiful, where people meet with similar goals such as growing holiness and seeking precious time with Jesus through adoration. “When I first started coming to Mass at Saint Patrick less than a year ago, I loved how God placed the perfect people in my life at the perfect time,” says Tara. There is incredible support from other mothers in juggling childcare, work/life balance, and quiet time for prayer. “Walking With Purpose” Bible studies nourish our faith and relationships as we share testimonies of God working in our lives. We are blessed to be raising our families together through weekly play dates, enrollment at Saint Patrick School, and family prayer times.

We are “All In!” at Saint Patrick Parish because it’s a loving and welcoming community where everyone has a voice and we are stronger together. The Lord is our firm foundation and with Him in the center, all things are possible.

The “Senior Gang”

For us, being “All In!”, means growing in our faith and growing together as friends. We have known each other since we were five, but it wasn’t until Extreme Faith Camp in seventh grade and during youth events at church that we started forming a bond that will last forever. Together we have shared some very deep and profound experiences. Our many summers at Extreme Faith Camp, faith events in the Twin Cities, and Youth Rallies with the other teens in the Church have opened our eyes to the full communion of the Catholic Church.

During these years, it has been a blessing to have a youth room that was ours. It has been a safe place for us to talk and gather and feels like a second home to us. It is exciting to hear that future youth will have this new space to call their own also. Our hope is that they can continue to form the true and authentic friendships that have helped nurture our faith these last six years. Now that we are graduating in a few months, it is hard for us to imagine parting and going our separate ways, but we know the bonds we have formed at Saint Patrick will always bring us back together.

For us, being “All In!” means being all in with faith-filled friends that have impacted our lives, not just for the next seventy years, but for eternity.

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.

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

Late 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

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
The Spirit distributes to each one individually,
just as He wills.

~ I Corinthians 12:4-7, 11