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CATHOLIC FUND-RAISER Cafaros donate $1 million



Published: Fri, September 24, 2004 @ 12:00 a.m.



Some of the funds raised will go to Catholic schools.

By JULIE A. WAGNER

VINDICATOR RELIGION EDITOR

YOUNGSTOWN -- A local family is leading the way with a large donation as the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown begins the first capital campaign of its 61-year history.

In announcing the $34 campaign Thursday, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin said a $2 million renovation of St. Columba Cathedral in downtown Youngstown will be among the projects to be funded.

The bishop revealed that the first donation will be $1 million from the Cafaro Family Foundation.

"Our family's been able to gain a fair degree of success. We want to share the blessings that came to us," said Anthony Cafaro Sr.

"This expression of outstanding generosity gets the campaign off to a very promising beginning and continues the legacy of generosity to the church and the community that the Cafaro family has demonstrated for many years," Bishop Tobin said.

The bishop said he is confident the campaign will succeed, and that though other charities have seen donations decline because of the area's sagging economy, the diocese has met its goals during the Annual Bishop's Appeal.

"The faithful members of the Youngstown Diocese have been extraordinarily generous in supporting the work of the church, even during difficult and challenging times," Bishop Tobin said.

Here's the plan

The campaign, "Today's Sacrifice, Tomorrow's Church," will take place over the next 18 months in three time blocks -- this fall, during the winter and spring, and next fall.

All 116 parishes and the diocese's two missions will participate in one of the time periods, said Michael R. Cusack, president of Guidance in Giving Inc., a Bayport, N.Y.-based company that has coordinated Catholic fund-raisers nationwide for 25 years.

The company visited each parish pastor, interviewed 150 lay people and sent 5,000 mailings, Cusack said. Each pastor chose a period for his parish to participate. Receptions will begin next week. Eight company employees will move to the area for the campaign, he said.

Guidance in Giving's fee amounts to 6 percent of the target amount, Cusack said, adding that the fee will not increase if the goal is surpassed.

The diocese plans to use the $34 million in these ways:

U$5 million -- Endowment fund for Catholic schools. Half will provide tuition assistance, and half will be given as direct grants to schools. The diocese has 23 preschools with 789 pupils; 43 elementary schools with 10,092 pupils; and six high schools with 2,794 students.

U$5 million -- Specific programming needs and endowment fund at Catholic Charities, the diocese's social service and social action arm. Of the total, $3 million will be used for an endowment fund; $200,000 will fund the Eastwood Village Housing complex in Youngstown; and $1.8 million will be used in special grants to support continued development of social action ministries, a housing project in Ravenna and other housing needs.

U$3.5 million -- Endowment fund for Diocesan Ministry programs including Religion Education Office, Offices of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Lay Ministry Formation and others.

U$2 million -- Restoration and maintenance of St. Columba Cathedral. Half will be for restoration and renovations to provide access for handicapped worshippers and clergy, replace kneelers, restore pews and add new cameras for better televised services. The other half will fund maintenance, which includes repairing stained-glass windows, renovating or replacing chandeliers, sealing the stone exterior, repairing the ceiling and repairing the roof. The cathedral was built in the mid-1950s.

U$1.5 million -- Increase of the endowment for seminarian education. Seminarians seek scholarships, grants, financial aid and loans, and the diocese pays the rest. The average annual cost to the diocese is $25,000 per seminarian. There are 16 seminarians.

U$1 million -- Initial funding to develop Our Lady of the Woods Pastoral Center, 3128 Loganway Ave., Liberty Township. The diocese bought the retreat center in 2003 from Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. It formerly was Sacred Heart Retreat and Renewal Center.

U$4 million -- For the 2005 Annual Bishops Appeal, which has been incorporated into the capital campaign.

U$12 million -- Support of local parishes. Each will keep 40 percent of the money raised up to its particular goal and 60 percent after that.

The diocese, which was established May 15, 1943, includes Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark and Ashtabula counties. There are 235,541 church members, which is 19 percent of the six-county population.




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