Bishop Lawrence Brandt of the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg beamed as he announced a $45 million capital campaign, for which nearly half the money has already been pledged.
Since it began with a pilot project in February, the campaign has received more than $19 million in gifts and five-year pledges, of which about $190,000 is in the bank. Parishes keep 40 percent of what they raise, while the remainder goes to diocesan ministries ranging from scholarships to social services.
All of the ministries that receive money were priorities set after listening sessions in 2006, in which about 9,000 Catholics participated.
Of the $45 million goal, parishes will keep $18 million. About $23.5 million will go to endowment funds to improve religious education, provide tuition assistance, assist with capital improvements to Catholic schools, help educate priests and deacons, train lay ministers, support Catholic Charities and maintain diocesan-owned properties. Another $3.5 million is earmarked for renovations at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral and the diocesan retirement home for priests.
The diocese has 165,000 Catholics in 85 parishes.
Correction/Clarification: (Published Sept. 16, 2009) Approximately $1.9 million in donations to the capital campaign of the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg is already in the bank. An incorrect amount was given in this news brief as originally published Sept. 15, 2009.