Q: How will parishioners be updated throughout the three-year capital campaign?
A: All information concerning the capital campaign and construction progress will be readily available to all the faithful. Communications will be sent through a wide variety of media including direct mailings, emails, announcements at Mass, various social media platforms, bulletin announcements, volunteer visits and the parish and school websites.
Q: What are the growth projections for our area?
A: Even though Fairfax County is projected to maintain its current population over the next five years, every year Saint Bernadette experiences a high turnover of families mainly because of military and federal government transfers in and out of the area. The high turnover challenges us to provide adequate ministerial support as our parish population fluctuates. Providing vibrant programs and opportunities to serve the community will grow participation and a sense of belonging.
One statistic that does not change is the percentage of the parish that is actively involved in parish worship and works, about one-fourth. Having facilities to support the life of a community, the community will grow once it has a place to do so.
Q: How will parish leadership come up with my pledge request amount?
A: Request amounts are based on household giving history and input received during the planning study. Great care has been taken by parish leadership in establishing request amounts. These requests are not an expectation, but rather an invitation to consider, in prayer, a sacrificial investment toward the parish. No one can argue with the figure decided upon in prayer with the Holy Spirit. Regardless of size, Saint Bernadette is grateful for all gifts. Gifts given should be reflective of the gifts received.
Q: Why should I consider a pledge to the capital campaign?
A: The many ministries, school, and religious education programs have given so much to the parishioners of Saint Bernadette and the Springfield area. To continue serving the parishioners and community, more space is needed. This is not the financial responsibility of a few families. It is the responsibility of all to rise to the occasion and make sacrificial and meaningful do-nations to ensure the parish has a successful future.
Q: I am already giving to the offertory on Sundays. Can I take those contributions and give them to the campaign?
A: Saint Bernadette is grateful to all who give to the church's operating budget. Please consider a gift above and beyond your Sunday offerings. We still need to cover salaries and operating costs in the parish.
Q: How do I know the money is going to be used wisely?
A: Every dollar donated to the capital cam-paign will be spent to complete the projects proposed in the case brochure you will receive and the capital campaign's related expenses, without exception.
Q: Can I designate or restrict my gift to a certain area of the campaign?
A: Yes. The expressed intent of the donor will be honored. Donors may choose to restrict their campaign gift to a specific goal or leave it up to the campaign leadership's discretion. To restrict a gift, simply mark your intended designation on your campaign pledge card.
Q: How can I participate in the Make All Things New capital campaign?
A: First, pray for the capital campaign to be successful. Second, make a pledge to the campaign and help this spiritual endeavor come to fruition. With sacrificial gifts and prayerful support, the goal to effect a spiritual renewal of each parishioner while renewing the physical structures of our church home can become reality. By doing so, Saint Bernadette fulfills her mission as a church to help all people learn how to walk (and build) with God.
Q: Who is being asked to give to the campaign?
A: Every household in our parish will be invited to participate in the campaign. Since parish savings were used for the benefit of the new preschool classroom and administrative addition to the school, non-parishioner families attending our school will also be invited. Everyone will be asked to consider a three-year commitment. While the bulk of the funds raised for the campaign will come from individuals, foundations and corporations will be approached to seek their support.
Q: Who is conducting our capital campaign?
A: This is a big project and big projects need many hands and generous hearts. Our own parishioners primarily conduct our campaign, and we have many volunteers who are dedicated to its success. Most of these volunteers will be contacting parishioners to facilitate the process of completing their pledge cards. We have also retained the services of the Steier Group, a professional Catholic development consulting firm, to assist us over the next few months.
Q: How much money are we trying to raise?
A: Two goals need funding. First, and most importantly, we need space for our ministries and community events. Our initial goal is to build the 11,000 square foot Parish Hall. Most parishioners identified this as a high priority during our various surveys and want to see it completed as soon as possible. About $3.9 million.
Our second goal is to renovate the parish office building and add the elevator to provide access to all floors as well as the church. We will renovate the exterior of the office building for a new and welcoming entrance and waiting area and the interior to provide proper meeting and office spaces for our current staff. $1.25 million.
These two goals together are slightly more than the range the Steier Group projected as attainable for our capital campaign. However, there is a third challenge goal of an additional $1 million. If we were to reach this goal, an elevator would be added within the school making the entire school handicap accessible. The additional $1 million would also allow for solar panels to be installed on the parish hall roof, which would help pay the parish's $10,000 monthly electric bill.
Q: Why in a capital campaign necessary?
A: By conducting a capital campaign, we are offering an extraordinary opportunity for all to play an immediate role in renewing our parish now and for the future, supporting projects that would never be possible with our regular operating accounts.
Q: When will we break ground on the parish hall?
A: We will need to be fully funded with pledges from the Capital Campaign to avoid debt. Since the annual weekly offertory at Masses has been flat, unchanging over the past 7 years, incurring debt requiring an additional monthly payment is not prudent.
Q: What is the size of the proposed parish hall and what will be in it?
A: The overall size of the hall will be approximately 11,000 square feet and seat nearly 1,000 people for a dinner. There will be two main entrances, one inside the new school entrance, the other directly from the back parking lot.
It will be possible to divide the large space into four smaller areas for meetings and small events. There will be an additional meeting room, restrooms, a coffee bar area and plenty of storage — all accessible from any of the four areas. There will be a beautiful balcony and large outdoor deck for seating overlooking the woods and creek below.
It will be a beautiful building in a beautiful setting.
Q: Where will we build the new parish hall?
A: The new parish hall will be built on top of the current middle school wing. When the school was built in 1961, a second story was anticipated in the design and construction. While building codes have changed, it is still feasible and cost-effective to use the school as the base for the new parish hall with additional piers.
Q: How much will this new parish hall cost?
A: Our architects estimate the building will cost $3.8 - 4 million, start to finish.
Q: Why are the parish office renovations not being paid out of our current reserves?
A: Rather than exhausting current reserves, the plan is to "borrow" the money needed to get started and then pay back the reserves with proceeds from the Capital Campaign. Our goal is to maintain a reserve of $1 million in savings for unexpected maintenance needs and periodic renovation.
Q: When will the parish office renovations begin?
A: The parish office renovations will begin as soon as we see the Capital Campaign well underway. Initially, to get started, seed money will be borrowed from parish reserves. This campaign will replenish those reserves.
Q: How much will the parish office renovations cost?
A: These renovations are estimated to cost $1.2 - 1.3 million.
Q: What does the parish office renovations entail?
A: There are several areas needing attention. A new "front" to the Parish Center building facing the church will provide a visible and welcoming reception and waiting area on the first floor and two new offices on the second floor. Because there are five choirs practicing four nights a week in the church, some of the offices on the second floor will be turned into a large choir rehearsal room. Perhaps most importantly, a much-needed elevator will be added for access to the three parish office levels and church from the lower parking lot on the Bradican Room level. As you come up to the first floor, you can exit the elevator into the new office reception area, or onto the sidewalk in front of the church.