the spring of 2005, the Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki,
the Diocesan Finance Council, Deans, and some pastors
participated in a needs assessment to identify the current
and future needs for our parishes, schools and the Diocese.
From the needs assessment, a preliminary plan was
developed to address the diocesan-wide needs. The leadership
proposed an all-parish capital campaign where 80 percent of
the funds received would remain in the parishes to address
their debts (for the parish and any school(s) that it
supports) and other goals at each parish. The remaining 20
percent of the gifts received would be shared with the
Diocese to address its needs.
Every parish in the Diocese will be conduct a campaign
and will have a financial target. The targets will equal at
least 1.5 times their adult envelope income reported on
their 2005 Bishop’s Report.
Parishes that are a primary supporting parish of a
unified Catholic school system will be required to include
in their parish case statement that a portion of the funds
raised will be contributed to the local Catholic school
Each parish will have its own brochure detailing its
needs, as well as the needs of the Diocese.
A separate corporation has been be set up to oversee the
campaign, the collection of funds and the distribution of
funds. This corporation includes in its membership several
pastors, lay leaders, as well as Bishop Listecki.
Make a Donation to the We
Belong to Christ Campaign!
Prayer to St.
Good St. Joseph, Patron of our Diocese, you
provided for the needs of the Holy Family entrusted
to you. As he grew to manhood, even the Son of God
relied on your strong and loving care.
With great confidence, then, we ask your
intercession, as we seek to meet vital needs of our
parish and Diocesan family through the We Belong to
Christ Campaign. Inspire us to imitate together
your generous stewardship, so that our Parish and
Diocese may go forward strengthened and renewed, in
loving service of Christ and our neighbor.
We ask this in Jesus’ name, who shared with you
both heart and home.
Quote from Bishop Callahan
"I am happy to be with you, serving the Church in the
Diocese of La Crosse. While still trying to become more
familiar with all the various aspects of our Diocese, one of
the most significant pieces I’ve discovered is our capital
campaign so perfectly entitled: “We Belong to Christ.” I
consider the tremendous leap of faith my predecessor,
Archbishop Jerome Listecki, took by initiating the campaign,
one of great courage in a daunting economy. I am reminded
that, with confidence in Christ, all things are possible.
Because of the Archbishop’s courage, our parishes, Catholic
schools and the Diocese of La Crosse have a better financial
standing then they would have if the campaign had not been
conducted. Debt has been reduced, programs have been
enhanced, and much needed updates have been made to our
buildings and grounds.
I look forward to working with all of you throughout this
great Diocese to accomplish the goals of our campaign and
the good works they will foster for the Church at large. For
the honor and glory of God, for the service done by us in
His Name, and for the good that we accomplish when we work
together, let us never forget . . .
By our baptism we
are called to be disciples of Christ. Regardless of
where we work or live, we are all called to live as
Jesus did. We are challenged in our daily life to
live out our faith. Stewardship is an answer to
that challenge. Through stewardship we realize that
all we have are gifts from God. We are just
stewards of these gifts, and we are to use them
according to the teachings of our faith. Stewardship awakens a need that we all have to serve
the Lord using the gifts He has given us and in
gratitude for what He has done for us. Stewardship
as a way of life can only change our lives and
continue to build up our community of faith in the
Diocese of La Crosse.
By incorporating stewardship as the foundation of
this campaign it is understood that it is not a
short-term commitment; rather, it is a way of life
based on spiritual principles. Stewardship is not a
program or a project that begins and ends. It is an
ongoing expression of our appreciation to God for
His blessings. Christian stewardship helps us to
become aware that God is the ultimate giver of the
gifts we have.
Currently, the Diocesan Annual Appeal provides only
one-half of the $660,000 necessary to fund the annual costs
for educating our seminarians.
St. Joseph’s Priest Fund, Inc. (15%)
Additional funds are needed to ensure that the Diocese
can continue to meet the basic needs of our retirees who
have served the Diocese.
Diocesan Loan Repayment (24%)
A priority for the Diocese is to repay funds borrowed
from the Diocesan Deposit and Loan Fund and the Diocesan
Lay Retirement Plan (25%)
Although the Diocesan Lay Retirement Plan has significant
funding, it is not enough to cover the retirement needs for
the 2,300 participants in the program based on their service
given through January 1, 2005.
Holy Cross Diocesan Center Renovations (6%)
The Holy Cross Diocesan Center was built in 1951, and
presently many of the heating, ventilating, air
conditioning, and control systems need upgrading or
Catholic Charities (5%)
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse has a need
to establish an Emergency Services Client Aid Endowment,
which will be used for direct aid to individuals and
families who are facing severe economic hardship and who are
living in poverty.
Youth Ministry (5%)
Bishop Listecki is committed to supporting the ongoing
formation of our youth. By creating an endowment trust,
additional funds will be available annually to help parishes
begin new youth ministry projects and enhance their current
does the Diocesan Annual Appeal seem to address the same
diocesan issues as this capital campaign effort?
The annual appeal addresses needs such as seminary
education and priest retirement, yet does not cover nearly
the costs for these programs. We are conducting this
campaign in an effort to address more of the immediate
financial need. In addition, we are investing campaign funds
so that the programs will have better funding in the future.
In addition, lay retirement and debt repayment are not part
of the Diocesan Annual Appeal.
Does our parish have to raise the Diocesan portion
(20%) first before the parish can raise funds?
No. The manner in which campaign funds will be
apportioned is $0.20 of every dollar will go to the diocese.
The entire diocesan portion does not need to be raised
before a parish can begin to address their specific needs.
Campaign costs are a portion of the diocesan percentage, and
are not a part of the parish’s 80%.
portion of the campaign funds is designated for Unified
Each parish that supports a Unified School will have a
percentage of their funds designated for the schools. The
exact percentage was determined by the pastors, the school
presidents, and the Diocese for each particular Unified
What is the actual goal for the campaign?
Each parish has its’ own goal, which is at least 1.5
times the 2005 Annual Adult Envelope Income. The Diocese has
a goal of $50 million to be raised by all 165 parishes and
schools in the effort.
Will parishes be assessed if we fall short of our
No, unlike the Diocesan Annual Appeal, nothing will be
assessed if your parish does not meet its’ target goal.
does the We Belong to Christ campaign encourage five-year
Although a pledge is not legally binding and can be
reduced, cancelled, or increased at any time, a pledge
ensures the Great Church long-term support. A pledge is a
method that allows donors to contribute a larger amount than
what they would in a one-time gift and ensures support for
the needs of the parishes and Diocese over the next five
Can I designate where my gift will be used, for
example, I want my entire gift to go toward the Unified
Yes, you can designate where your gift can be directed,
with the understanding that all funds, no matter where they
are directed, contribute to the overall benefit of the
parish. In the above example with the Unified Schools,
because the parish owns the school, gifts to the Unified
Schools ultimately assist the parish in the area regarding
Is this campaign being held because of the scandals
experienced in other dioceses?
No. Unlike other dioceses, the Diocese of La Crosse has
had no payments for legal action or litigation.
does my pledge go to M & I Bank in Milwaukee?
M & I Bank is set up to process payments automatically
cutting down on expenses in a manner which the Diocese has
designed. No local banks are able to handle automatic
What is the ‘We Belong to Christ’ corporation?
At the direction of Bishop Listecki, a separate
corporation and Board of Directors has been established. The
Board is comprised of clergy as well as laity and
representative from all 13 deaneries. In addition to
establishing transparency as well as limiting liability, the
Board of Directors will assist Bishop Listecki in overseeing
all aspects of the campaign. This corporation will also be
responsible for the collection as well as the distribution