Speaking at Archbishop Borders Elementary School last Wednesday, William Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, announced the Archdiocese’s ambitious campaign to raise $100 million, half of which would be allocated for Catholic schools.
“Ours is a faith that calls us to educate children of all faiths and all economic means,” said Lori.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore, which covers Baltimore City and nine surrounding counties, has 70 Catholic schools and 28,000 students, Lori said, plus over 500,000 parishoners in 150 parishes.
Though the campaign was officially announced last Wednesday, Lori also reported at that time that $64 million, or 64 percent, of the goal amount had already been raised. “This represents incredible generosity,” said Lori.
Of the $50 million goal for Catholic schools, $25 million is slated to go into an endowment. The other $25 million, Lori said, will be allocated to various school purposes, such as financial assistance for students, facility improvements and upkeep, and “some just to put toward keeping the floor underneath.”
“The desire and goal here is sustainability,” Lori said. “It’s taking the good things we’re doing and making them sustainable.”
Frank Bramble, chairman of the archdiocese’s Blue Ribbon Committe on Catholic Schools, highlighted seveal of those “good things” in at the kickoff for the financial drive last week. Ninety-seven percent of Catholic high school students in the Archdiocese of Baltimore graduate, he said.
“More eye-popping than that is that over 95 percent of our children go to college,” Bramble added. “We can be held accountable for what we are accomplishing here at the Archdiocese.”
The total goal for the campaign is $100 million. Of the $50 million not dedicated to schools, $20 million would go to parishes, $10 million would go to Catholic Charities, $10 million would go to support retiring priests and recruiting new ones, $7 million would go to the Cathedral Fund, and $3 million would go toward evangelization.
The financial campaign occurs at the parish level.
“Parishes are given the opportunity to study it, know it, and ask questions on it,” said Lori. “We invite people who can to make multi-year pledges.”
Initially, 20 percent of funds raised within a parish will stay with that parish. If or when the $100 million target is reached, individual parishes will keep 80 percent of additional money raised.
by Erik Zygmont