St. Mary’s, Moline, launches $750,000 capital campaign

By: By Rita Pearson

MOLINE — “Preserving Our Parish Home” is the theme for a $750,000 capital campaign for needed building renovations at St Mary’s Parish in Moline.

More than 400 people attended St. Mary’s campaign launch Oct. 31 at the I Wireless Center in downtown Moline.

Campaign proceeds will cover a new church roof, replacement of the church flooring and repairs to the stained-glass windows. Other renovations will be made in the church cafeteria, to the gymnasium in the former grade school, now St. Mary’s Hall, and to the former convent, now known as The Marian Center. Landscaping and resurfacing the parking lot will be done over time. Church leaders also hope to establish a maintenance fund for ongoing and emergency projects.

The campaign will run through February 2011 with the majority of the fundraising occurring by Nov. 30, followed by home visits in December.

MANY SPANISH-SPEAKING MEMBERS
Founded in 1875, St. Mary’s serves 950 families of whom 700 regularly attend Mass, said Father Paco Trujillo, pastor. About 60 percent to 70 percent of its families are Spanish-speaking.

Sunday’s program included a performance by the St. Mary’s Spanish Choir. Campaign materials are being prepared in both English and Spanish.
The Moline parish at 412 10th St. was last renovated in 1988 during the pastorate of Father John Onderko, now a senior priest of the diocese.

Father Douglas Grandon, parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in Moline, was keynote speaker for the campaign launch. He called St. Mary’s “a great parish with great people and great leadership and a great future.”

Raising the $750,000 in the capital campaign will assure that the parish’s legacy will continue, he said, adding that he was encouraged by the parishioners’ vision, by the audacity of their faith and willingness to commit their resources despite the economy, and by their confidence in their pastor.

“GOD IS BLESSING THIS PARISH”
The renovations have been needed a long time, said parishioners Jack Van Oteghem and Eugene Paprocki.

“It’s a five-year commitment,” Van Oteghem said. “That’s not too bad. It has to be done.”

“It seems like God is blessing this parish,” added Roberto Patino. “It’s the work of the Holy Spirit.”

Angeles Martinez said she will enjoy the changes once the renovations are completed. Martinez and her husband Marco Martinez serve on the general co-chair committee for the campaign.

The capital campaign is “huge” for the parish, said Mary Ann Krebs, a member of St. Mary’s since 1977, another campaign co-chair, secretary and master of ceremonies for the launching event.

“What’s so neat is it’s like we’re all coming together,” said Krebs. “It’s not ‘them and us,’ and people are so willing to work together. People are smiling, even if they don’t know one another.”

She and several others of the core capital campaign committee credited Father Trujillo for bringing the parish family together. A native of Spain and a missionary priest, Father Trujillo was ordained in Newark, N.J. in 2005 by Archbishop John J. Myers, former Bishop of Peoria who is now Archbishop of Newark. Father Trujillo became administrator of St. Mary’s in 2009 and was named pastor by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, earlier this year.

Father Trujillo credited “the very good, hard-working people” for their willingness to help their parish.

Completion of the renovations will make the parish both structurally and financially sound, he said.

The capital campaign grew out of necessity when a leak in the church roof was discovered a few years ago. The roofers said the patch would last two years. Other needed repairs and renovations have since been identified and prioritized.

A feasibility study in July indicated that 91 percent of the parish members were willing to contribute to the capital campaign once the priorities were established.

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