Church Exceeds Campaign Goal

Molokai parish gives large contribution to effort.

As the Diocese of Honolulu wraps up its capital campaign to raise $30 million – which actually received $57 million in pledged funds – parishes around the state will begin to reap the benefits.

The diocese, a collective of Hawaii’s Catholic churches, launched the ambitious campaign in 2008, a time when the entire nation was – and still is – shoulder-deep in an economic slump. But with the help and participation of 66 Hawaii parishes, including Molokai’s St. Damien Catholic Parish, the results were nothing short of surprising.

“It was quite a big shock,” said Cynthia Lallo, director of development and stewardship of the diocese. “We’re amazed by what this group has accomplished.”

Each parish was given a specific goal. For St. Damien Catholic Parish, the initial goal was set at $125,000. However, due to the island’s poor financial condition, Father Clyde Guerreiro, pastor of St. Damien Parish, rallied for a smaller target of $115,000.

But there was no need. By the campaign’s end, St. Damien Parish raised more than $330,000, 80 percent of which will eventually go back to the parish.

“What’s beautiful about Molokai is despite high unemployment, people remembered God and looked beyond to the needs of the diocese,” said Bishop Larry Silva, leader of the Diocese of Honolulu. Silva made an appearance at the parish’s mahalo gathering last week at Home Pumehana.

St. Damien Parish will spend its share on various prioritized projects, including the building of the new St. Damien Church – to replace the now-demolished St. Sophia’s Church – among various church repairs and youth ministry.

Road Map
While a portion does go back to Hawaii’s parishes, the remaining funds will go into the newly established Hawaii Catholic Community Foundation (HCCF), separate from the diocese’s operating budget.

These funds will be allocated proportionally into a pastoral plan called the Road Map.

The Road Map was designed specifically for the campaign and includes six initiatives of the church: leadership development; new parishes and land management; homelessness; faith formation; youth and young adult programs; and church maintenance and repairs.

Funds will also support clergy retirement and vocations.

“This is the first time the Catholic Church has ever done anything like this,” said Gloria Romuar, the campaign’s development coordinator.

The fundraising was based on taking pledges. Although the entire lump sum will not come in right away, HCCF has already received $11.4 million and St. Damien Parish has already collected $91,000 of its promised $330,000.

“Molokai’s situation is unique because they’re trying to raise funds for their own church at the same time,” Silva said. “They looked beyond the parish and became apart of a larger family.”

Lallo said the diocese will distribute the parish’s share on a quarterly basis.

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