Friday, August 27, 2010

Diocese meets goal: $22 million raised in tough times

Diocese meets goal: $22 million raised in tough times
StoryDiscussionDiocese meets goal: $22 million raised in tough times
Deirdre Cox Baker The Quad-City Times | Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 2:00 am | (4) Comments

Font Size:Default font sizeLarger font sizeThe Diocese of Davenport has moved past bankruptcy, clergy abuse scandals and the most difficult economic times in 70 years to reach what some believed was an unattainable

$22 million capital fundraising goal.

The feat was announced Thursday. The capital campaign officially began in January, but significant work on it was accomplished in 2009.

“No one enjoys asking people for money, but we had a good approach, and we were well received,” Mike Bauer said. Bauer, the retired president and chief executive officer of Quad-City Bank & Trust, chaired the capital campaign.

The goal seemed large at first, but Bauer said initial visits with potential donors went well.

“We had a very positive response,” he said.

The Davenport campaign was designed by Community Counseling Services of Chicago. It attracted a total of 9,700 donors with an average gift of $2,265. Participants — besides the diocese — included all 80 parishes and the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City.

“I am absolutely overwhelmed at the response of people for their church,” Bishop Martin Amos said. “The initial need was prompted by the bankruptcy, but the success of the campaign has truly moved us forward in faith and hope.”

The bishop pitched in to help with fundraising. He and Dick Kleine, Bettendorf, met with major donors over lunch. Every person who was approached at these lunches agreed to help, Kleine said.

“I was really amazed at the generosity of the people that I spoke with about a major gift,” said Kleine, a retired executive from Deere & Co. “They were most generous, realizing the campaign was so important to the diocese.”

The campaign was the diocese’s first in 20 years. The money will be used for the purchase and renovation of the administration headquarters in Davenport as well as to support clergy, seminarians, schools, parishes and ministries.

About 20 percent of what each parish contributed is kicked back to the individual church as an additional incentive. The Rev. Mike Spiekermeier, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Davenport, said his church got its first rebate check of $65,648.15. That will help with payments for property near the church, construction of a parking lot and air conditioning.

Most people would have said it was an impossible feat, Spiekermeier said of the campaign goal. “But on the other hand, the people came through.”

No money from this campaign went to the settlement for clergy abuse victims.

The Davenport diocese filed for bankruptcy in October 2006 after it lost its first civil trial involving sex abuse by a priest. The diocese, its insurance company, Travelers, and the creditors committee agreed to a $37 million settlement, with the stipulation that all entities in the diocese would be released from liability, just as the diocese was.

Sex abuse cases actually cost the diocese and its insurer about $47 million. That number includes the bankruptcy settlement and $10 million paid to 45 victims before the diocese filed for bankruptcy.

Bauer, the campaign chair, has worked on fund drives his whole life.

“I’m continually amazed at the resilience and generosity of the people of Iowa,” he said. “Obviously, their church means a lot to them.”

No comments: