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Helpful Questions and Answers about the Cathedral Campus

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1. Why is there a need for a new Cathedral?

Since December 12, 1924, when the Diocese of Raleigh was created, Sacred Heart has served as the Cathedral for the Diocese of Raleigh. With a seating capacity of 320, Sacred Heart Cathedral is the smallest Roman Catholic Cathedral in the continental United States. When it was completed in October 1924, Sacred Heart was envisioned to serve as a parish church. Because of its small size, inadequate support facilities and very limited parking, the Cathedral cannot accommodate most major Diocesan celebrations, inherent of the Mother Church of the Diocese.

2. What is a Cathedral?

The Cathedral is the Mother Church of our Diocese where the chair (cathedra, in Latin) of the Bishop is located. While there are numerous Churches in a Diocese, there is only one Cathedral. It is here that the Bishop, as head of the local Church, known as a Diocese, presides in the fullness of Orders, fulfilling his pastoral ministry in the three-fold office of Christ as priest, prophet and shepherd of the Diocese.

Most importantly, the Cathedral is the heart of our Diocesan Church, where we, the Catholic Church of Eastern North Carolina, gather with our Bishop to pray, to offer worship to God and to participate in the saving mysteries of salvation.

3. What has led the Diocese of Raleigh to begin a campaign of this magnitude?

In January 2010, the Diocese commissioned a Feasibility Study to gauge the support of our clergy, religious and laity for a capital campaign to develop a new Cathedral Campus to meet the needs of a growing Catholic Community. Based on these results, with consultation and the recommendations to Bishop Burbidge from the Council of Priests and the Diocesan Finance Council, and upon his prayerful discernment, the Bishop accepted the recommendation to move forward with a campaign to develop funding for a new Cathedral Campus.

4. What are the specific needs being addressed by the campaign?

  • A new Cathedral
  • Gathering Hall
  • Parking Deck
  • 2012 Bishop’s Annual Appeal
  • Support of Local Parish Projects

5. How did the Diocese select a site for this project?

Following consultation with Raleigh city officials and Diocesan leadership, including the exploration of a possible downtown site, Bishop Burbidge accepted the recommendation of the Steering Committee to develop the new Cathedral Campus on 39 acres of property, owned by the Diocese of Raleigh and located in what was known as the Nazareth Community, in west Raleigh adjacent to Centennial Boulevard. This decision will allow the Diocese to develop a beautiful Cathedral Campus to serve the current and future needs of our Diocese. It will also celebrate the significant history of this land, which was originally purchased in 1896 by Servant of God, Father Thomas F. Price, the first native North Carolinian to be ordained to the Priesthood, who purchased the property to develop a center for Catholicism in North Carolina.

6. Why do you call this a ‘Cathedral Campus’?

Built on the selected site in west Raleigh, the project includes a new Cathedral, the Gathering Hall, Parking Facilities and room for future growth. The new Cathedral Campus will form the heart of a new, vibrant Cathedral Campus, which will host concerts in sacred music, lecture series, retreats, days of reflection, continuing formation meetings, as well as gatherings for parish and Diocesan leadership.

7. What is the cost of the completed campus and the Cathedral Church?

At this early stage of design on the Cathedral Campus, we estimate an overall cost of $75-$90 Million. More specific costs will be determined as the project continues through the next phases on the design process.

8.What is the campaign goal?

At this moment we are in the very early stages of funding development. As our fundraising efforts progress over the next several months, our final campaign goal will be more fully established. Our initial efforts have been extremely encouraging with in excess of $10 million raised from a small number of donors.

9. What is the name of the Cathedral?

Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral

10. How did that name come to be?

The connection to the title given to the new Cathedral itself, Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, commemorates the name of the chapel established by Father Price at Nazareth and which was known under this same dedication to the holy name of Our Lord. The title also celebrates and important devotion within the life of the Church.

11. How many people will this new Cathedral seat?

Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral will seat 2,000.

12. How will a new Cathedral Campus strengthen the Catholic community?

Given the great increase of the number of Catholics in Raleigh Catholic Diocese, the new Cathedral Campus will be the place where the faithful can gather with their Bishop for major liturgical celebrations and events as a family of faith, hope and love to further the mission of Jesus Christ. It will become a place of pilgrimage for the faithful of the Diocese to deepen their commitment to the Gospel, learn more about the Catholic faith and pray for the world. Given the design, size and location of the new Cathedral, it will serve as the symbol of unity where the all people of the Diocese of Raleigh would be able to be accommodated.

13. What are the current plans for Sacred Heart Parish?

The present community that makes up Sacred Heart Parish would move to the new Cathedral. Sacred Heart will be retained and honored as the first church designated to be the Cathedral for the Diocese of Raleigh, when the Diocese was created in 1924. Sacred Heart will continue to serve as a vibrant part of the sacramental life of our Diocese, where a regular Mass schedule, small weddings, funerals and other liturgical and private prayer will be celebrated.

14. What are the plans for Sacred Heart School?

A provision has been made for Sacred Heart School to be re-located onto the new Cathedral Campus site. The parish, school administration and school families will decide if and when the school should be re-located to the new Cathedral property in the future.

15. What are the plans for the current Sacred Heart facilities?

The current social programs of developing, promoting and ministering to meet the social, physical and spiritual needs of the downtown community will be retained at the downtown Sacred Heart church property. In this way, Sacred Heart will participate in expanding upon the long standing and strong commitment of the Diocese of Raleigh and Sacred Heart to assist the poor and those most in need in downtown Raleigh area. This expansion will be studied as to how it may complement and amplify the existing services in the downtown area. Social services such as these are an essential element of the teaching of our Church and the preferential option for the poor She enjoins upon the faithful to exercise in carrying out the mission of the Church.

16. Where will the Catholic Center Staff be located during construction? What about after the project is complete?

Currently, the Diocesan offices are spread across three separate buildings in different locations. These buildings are also in poor condition, not having been designed for their current usage nor the duration of service. To address the need for a unified facility, the existing Catholic Center is to be demolished and eventually replaced with a more suitable structure. The purchase of an existing off-site office building to serve in this capacity is being considered, given in the current real estate market, as well as the potential construction of a new Catholic Center on the Nazareth property.

17. When do you anticipate breaking ground?

We anticipate breaking ground in mid-2013, as soon as funding development, currently underway, has reached the required amounts as stipulated in Diocesan policies for all building projects. These requirements would include a project finance plan approved by the Diocesan Finance Council and at least one third of the project cost on hand in cash, with the balance committed in pledges.

18. How are the parishes asked to participate?

Each of the 96 parishes and missions will conduct their own effort with the assistance of a campaign director. The Diocese has hired Guidance In Giving, a Catholic stewardship and development firm, to assist in this historic endeavor. Guidance In Giving conducts capital campaigns, stewardship education and development programs for Catholic dioceses, parishes and schools throughout the United States. The active phase campaign for the parishes will be conducted during two different time periods.

19. Will any of these funds be used for anything other than the designated case elements?

No. The funds raised for the campaign, called Our Cathedral: One Faith, One People, will be used exclusively for the five case elements named above: a new Cathedral, a Gathering Hall, a Parking Deck Facilities, the 2012 Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and Support of Local Parish Projects. The Diocese has both a legal and moral obligation to restrict these funds for the six stated elements after the campaign costs are realized.

20. How will parishioners be contacted through the Our Cathedral: One Faith, One People Campaign?

It is intended that every Catholic family within the Diocese be presented with the needs and objectives of the campaign. This will be achieved through a variety of methods including volunteer visits, receptions, pulpit announcements, direct mail, brochures and a campaign video presentation to be shown at all churches.

21. Will this campaign replace the Bishop’s Annual Appeal?

The Bishop’s Annual Appeal (BAA), which provides the essential funding for existing ministries and the operation of the Diocese on a yearly basis, is a significant part of this campaign and is part of the case statement. In consultation with Pastors and Pastoral Administrators, as well as Diocesan collegial bodies, it was recommended to Bishop Burbidge that the funding required for the 2012 BAA will be incorporated into this campaign rather than conducting two separate campaigns in the same year. The BAA will return to its normal schedule in 2013.

22. Is this the best time to be running a campaign considering the change in the economy over the last 5 years?

Although the Diocese begins this project in challenging economic times, it does so after considerable study and professional consultation, and with the expressed support of clergy, religious and laity. It also looks to the example of successful parish and Diocesan efforts over the past three decades, all of which have faced and surmounted challenges of various kinds. Just in the past 5 years, 15 major parish and school construction projects were completed with a total combined cost of over $63 million. Currently, there are 10 major parish or school projects in the design or construction phase with a total combined cost of over $46 million. Additionally, there are another 14 parish and school projects in the planning stages with a total combined cost of over $51 million.

As a Diocese, there is gratitude to the Lord for the success of all the past endeavors and to the faithful, who have dedicated their sacrifices in thanksgiving to God and the work of His Church. So, as this historic endeavor to build a new Cathedral Campus begins, there is every confidence, following considerable study, consultation, and with the expressed support and enthusiasm among the Raleigh city leadership, the clergy, consecrated religious and laity in the Diocese, that the challenges of this project will also meet with great success, so that the new Cathedral will serve as a great blessing for the Church now and for many future generations of North Carolinians.

23. Why are you doing this now in the current economy? Wouldn’t it be better to raise funds for the agencies dealing with the poor/disenfranchised? (How does Catholic Charities feel about this campaign?)

The Cathedral Campus project will not impact the Diocesan commitment to provide essential assistance to the poor and disenfranchised. Last year, through its seven regional offices, Catholic Charities provided a variety of financial assistance, food, clothing, training and counseling to more than 58,000 citizens of eastern North Carolina. As a Diocese, we remains firm in our commitment that together with Catholic Charities, the essential mission of the Church to attend to the poor and those most in need will be met through the generosity of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, as well as the resources and volunteer assistance from parishes and mission throughout the Diocese.

24. How much money has been raised so far?

To date the campaign has raised in excess of $10 million raised from a small number of donors to the campaign.

25. What happens if you are unable to meet the goal of $75 to $100 million?

Given the history of capital campaigns undertaken by the Diocese and our parishes over the past 20 years, we have every confidence that the goal will be reached, especially given the historic significance of this endeavor what will mean to the Catholic community in our Diocese at this time and for future generations.

26. Has the Diocese ever tried to raise this much money before?

In 2002, the Diocese undertook a capital campaign, God’s Work Our Challenge, with a goal of $30 million. The campaign donations were restricted funds with approximately four-fifths going to endowments to support diocesan ministries. The remaining one-fifth was reimbursed to parishes to address their immediate and long-term needs. The campaign exceeded expectations with approximately $60 million pledged.