July 17, 2012

Dearborn parish uses Changing Lives Together to affirm commitment to school, fund church and campus improvements

A central element in the parish campaign, Sacred Heart Catholic School began in the 1850s with a visionary commitment to Catholic education, embodying leadership, faith, and service. The endowment created through Changing Lives Together reflects the parish commitment to the availability and affordability of a Catholic education to future generations at Sacred Heart.

From its founding in 1836, the priorities of faith and family have endured among parishioners at Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn. Again proving their commitment to the parish and school, nearly 500 parish families have pledged nearly $777,000 to the Changing Lives Together campaign at Sacred Heart, recently surpassing the parish goal. Several new parish volunteers were among those who forged the successful effort to start a school endowment and fund several facility improvements to the church building and grounds

It was a big decision for the parish to start a capital campaign in this economy, which was supported by an equally large commitment among more than 75 parishioner volunteers who stepped forward to help with the initiative, many of them new to this kind of involvement. Their leadership, and the generosity of their fellow parishioners made Changing Lives Together a great success for Sacred Heart parish and school.

Sacred Heart’s majestic church building will receive major repairs and upgrades to its lighting, organ, and sound systems with exterior work to protect the inside improvements.

The campaign at Sacred Heart centered on the themes of “Confirming Our Commitment to Catholic Education”, “Repairs to Sacred Heart Church”, and “Campus Repairs and Improvements.”

The parish has already started to put some of its pledge fulfillments into a $200,000 endowment fund for Sacred Heart School. Enrollment is improving at the K-8 school, which has about 180 students attending this fall. Parish leaders wanted to use their Changing Lives Together campaign to continue Sacred Heart’s long tradition of Catholic education and make a strong statement of commitment to the school’s future. While the Sacred Heart’s school enrollment is smaller than in years past, some parish campaign volunteers said they would take on leadership roles in the initiative if the school was prioritized, which is exactly what happened.

The architecturally unique 83 year-old Sacred Heart church building is fundamentally sound, and funds raised through Changing Lives Together will pay for mortar repairs, especially near the roof, where leaks have damaged the interior. Other repairs will be made to the bell tower, front entry, and front steps. Inside, lighting and sound systems will be repaired or replaced. The majestic church organ will receive specialized cleaning and maintenance. Campus improvements include repaving the parking lot, masonry repairs to various buildings, and waterproofing a tunnel connecting some buildings. Lighting improvements will begin soon, enabling parishioners to literally see a campaign priority being fulfilled. Parish leaders plan to encourage a continuation of the momentum established through the Changing Lives Together campaign, especially in prayer and evangelization activities.

Updated August 2012

Changing Lives Together is a series of parish campaigns to generate resources to fulfill parish-developed plans and priorities. Learn more about the initiative in your parish.