Building Virtues Capital Campaign Update

06-04-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Steve Kunkel

This is an exciting time for Saint Thomas the Apostle. Our Building Virtues Capital Campaign these past three years has helped us make incredible progress on the vision we outlined when I became your pastor just a few years ago. Together, we have achieved so much in a short time! I want to keep the momentum we have and make progress on our master plan that will take Saint Thomas long into the future.

The parish is preparing to launch an important effort that will continue to build on the efforts we have made so far. In the past couple weeks, we began a feasibility study that will assist us in determining how to move forward. To conduct this study, we have retained the services of Ruotolo Associates, a national firm with local presence that has experience working with Catholic communities just like ours.

The study will assist us in determining the best plan of action to proceed with our proposed master plan and building needs. Every parish family will have an opportunity to participate in the feasibility study. Ruotolo Associates has been conducting personal interviews, focus groups and on the weekend of June 15-16th, an in-pew survey. On the following page, you will find some answers to frequently asked questions about the purpose and process of our study.

Thank you for your participation—your opinions are very important to us as we plan for our future!

In all things may Christ be glorified,
Father Steve Kunkel

Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Parish Pre-Campaign Feasibility Study Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a feasibility study?

A feasibility study is a thorough and detailed assessment of a parish community's willingness and capacity to move forward with a capital fundraising endeavor.

2. Why do we need a feasibility study?

The Diocese of Phoenix requires any parish that wishes to have a capital campaign to raise funds for major capital improvements to conduct a feasibility study to determine if parishioners are willing and able to support it.

3. What types of questions are asked?

Ultimately, the feasibility study tells us who you are as a parish. Topics will include the strengths and weaknesses of the parish and its leadership, receptivity toward the proposed projects, willingness to make a pledge commitment and willingness to volunteer for the campaign.

4. Who participates in the feasibility study?

EVERY parish family will be given a chance to participate. Some families will be asked to participate in one-on-one interviews/conversations, some will be asked to participate in focus groups and ALL families will be asked to complete a brief in-pew survey during each Mass on the weekend of June 15/16th.

5. Why are some families asked to interview or participate in a focus group?

Families that have been parishioners for a long period of time or are involved in ministries are asked to interview or participate in focus groups because they are generally able to provide thorough and detailed information about parish history, current parish issues, and are usually able properly evaluate necessary leadership potential in a capital campaign.

6. Who is conducting the feasibility study?

Ruotolo Associates, a philanthropic consulting firm based in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, with a local presence here in Phoenix. They have extensive experience working with Catholic organizations in the Diocese of Phoenix and have been retained to conduct the study. They, along with other firms submitted proposals that were evaluated by our parish leadership. It was determined that Ruotolo Associates' methodology best matched the needs of Saint Thomas.

7. How long will the feasibility study take and will we see the results?

The feasibility study will be conducted in the month of June. After the final report is presented in July 2019, we will publish the results in the bulletin and provide an update on the status of the capital campaign.