Old St. Mary’s Parish – Embracing our Future

Responding to the explosive growth of our Parish has been the focus of a great deal of planning for more than four years. With the encouragement and support of Francis Cardinal George and the Archdiocese, that planning evolved into the construction of the new school, which Pepper Construction put the finishing touches on. Throughout the planning that led up to this point, many questions were raised, evaluated and addressed. Following are the most frequently asked questions with the answers. More questions? Please call the Parish office at 312-922-3444, and ask for Fr. Mike Kallock, Pastor of Old St. Mary’s.

Q – WHAT IS THE A Capital CAMPAIGN ALL ABOUT?

A –The Campaign is about providing adequate Parish facilities to address the astounding growth of the Parish, the needs of our Parish community and ministries, and to secure Old St. Mary’s future as an anchor parish in the Archdiocese. These needs include, but are not limited to:

    • Offering a Catholic education for our children;
    • Providing adequate and appropriate space for the many ministries of our Parish, such as religious education for our young people and adults;
    • Providing meeting space for outreach opportunities to people of all ages to experience and become engaged in our Catholic faith;
    • Providing comfortable space where senior members of our Parish and community can gather for educational, social and faith development programs;
    • Providing welcoming space for parishioners and neighbors to gather for educational seminars and lectures, health fairs, wedding receptions, graduation ceremonies and parties;

How are we addressing these needs?

A – With the acquisition of the land immediately to the north of the current parking lot, we built a new 33,000 square foot school. In the coming months, we will reconfigure the building where the school used to be, to use as a temporary Parish Center. In Phase III of the project, the new Parish Center and gym will be built.

The School includes classrooms for approximately 300 students, a science lab, a fine arts center, and a media and technology room. Our former Principal, Dr. Mary Lee Calihan, worked closely with Newman Architecture to ensure the space accommodates the educational needs of our students optimally.

Q – HOW MUCH WILL ALL OF THIS COST?

A – Phase II of the project will cost just over $10,000,000, including the purchase of the lot. The Archdiocese has committed to financing this project while the parish continues to raise the money and generate the revenues necessary for the project. It is estimated the new Parish Center and gym will cost an additional $2,000,000.

Q – WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM?

Over the next two years, our Capital Campaign will secure five-year pledges from current and new parishioners. We will continue to solicit pledges from new parishioners until the debt is repaid to the Archdiocese. We will work to obtain additional funding from foundations, family and friends of Catholic education, and businesses in our community.

Q – HOW MUCH MONEY HAS BEEN RAISED SO FAR?

As of July 29, 2011, we have raised over $2.8 million. Because of our loan from the Archdiocese we were able to begin construction. Members of the Capital Campaign Committee continue soliciting other parishioners and school parents who have not yet pledged.

Q – WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR THE SCHOOL?

Since opening in 2004, our school has grown from 18 students to over 260 this 2011-2012 school year. As evidenced by demographic studies and actual registrations, the demand for a quality Catholic education in the South Loop is strong. Today, there is a growing group of young families in our Parish that are committed to living in the city who personally experienced or know of the value of Catholic education and want to give this experience to their children.

We believe we have a responsibility to provide the Catholic Education experience to the children of our Parish now and for decades to come, as well as to prepare our Catholic leaders of tomorrow. Our school is a concrete example of the Paulist’s mission of evangelization.

Q – MANY CATHOLIC SCHOOLS ARE SUBSIDIZED BY THEIR PARISHES AND DRAIN RESOURCES THAT COULD BE USED FOR OTHER MINISTRIES. WILL OUR SCHOOL AND THE NEW FACILITIES BE A DRAIN ON THE PARISH?

A – The school operations do not depend on any financial support from the Parish. The school is self-sustaining.

Q – HOW MUCH ARE PARISHIONERS BEING ASKED TO PLEDGE?

A – As much as they can sacrifice, but there is no specific amount. We ask each parishioner and parish family to pray over what is the best level for your pledge over the next five years. This is an opportunity to reflect on our faith, our gifts and blessings from God, the value of our Parish in our lives, and what we can do to enhance this value for generations to come. We are confident that with God’s help, you will come to the right number for your five-year pledge.

Q – WHEN WILL WE BE EXPECTED TO MAKE OUR PLEDGEAND PAYMENTS?

A –Whenever is best for you.

Q- HOW CAN VOLUNTEER AND BECOME INVOLVED INTHE CAMPAIGN?

A – We welcome volunteers to join in this important work. Please call Fr. Mike Kallock, Pastor, 312-922-3444.