Summary of Feasibility Study

Recently, our parish commissioned a feasibility planning study. The purposes of the study were to determine perceptions regarding the parish and ascertain the feasibility of conducting a capital campaign to build a rectory on our campus.

The study was conducted by Paul Barsi. Paul has almost 30 years of experience in working with Catholic institutions throughout the Midwest and South, including 30 or more in our diocese. Paul conducted the feasibility study four years ago and assisted us in our successful Open Wide Our Hearts campaign.

Paul conducted interviews with 37 individuals/couples from July 19-28. In addition, 133 parishioners gave their views through a survey monkey. I thank all who participated in the study process.
The major findings of the study were:

  • SKD parish is perceived as a vibrant, warm, joyful, active, open and welcoming faith community.
  • Interviewees rated general parish communications as very good.
  • Support exists for building a rectory. However, interviewees often stated concerns regarding the costs associated with the proposed rectory presented in the preliminary statement of need.
  • An ample number of parishioners said they would assist as campaign leaders and volunteers.
  • Support exists for launching the campaign.

Our recommendation in the report was to provide parishioners with a brief summary of the findings in the study. We are in the process of executing other suggestions regarding the planning and the implementation of the campaign. The campaign will be implemented with a phased approach including: planning and organization, major gifts, advanced gifts and special gifts. I want to thank Bill Skoglund and Brian Tonner who have consented to serve as chairpersons of this campaign titled Sowing the Seeds of Faith. Throughout the campaign other volunteers will be needed. I’m sure many of you will answer this call when asked.

This endeavor is vital to our parish. It was always part of the long-range plan to build a rectory once the chapel and education wing was constructed and paid. This next step in our journey will require your prayers, volunteerism and financial support. For generations to come, the new rectory will give our current and future pastors, and other priests and seminarians in our diocese, an appropriate place to live in a building which will fit in well with our beautiful church and surroundings. Because of your continued love and commitment to our parish, I am confident we will be successful.

Peace, love and joy,
Fr. Bob Jones


Rectory Case Statement 2017


 

From the beginning, St. Katharine Drexel parish has been blessed by the generosity of many. Our inaugural benefactors, the Rich Family, inspired the members of this parish to bring the first phase of the overall vision for our Field of Dreams to reality by building our beautiful worship space and center for faith formation. We as a community have accomplished much these past eight plus years, but our work continues.

In addition to the land and financial donations of the Rich Family, they have continued to support us by providing housing for me as Pastor. Their continued generosity has provided a home rent and utility free which represents nearly $125,000.00 of savings to the parish. I am extremely grateful for this gift, but when visioning the campus, an on-site rectory was always a part of our dream. As I look to the current and future needs of the parish, it is clear that now is the time to construct that facility.

Our campus plan was developed based on population projections with an eye to the future. In 2004 Dr. Mike Cieslak, Director of Research and Planning of the Diocese of Rockford, met with Sean Michels, Sugar Grove village president, to look at the village’s future. The 2000 census listed the village’s population around 3,000, excluding Prestbury since it was not part of Sugar Grove at that time. A special census in 2003 showed the population grew to 6,050. The Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) worked with village officials and examined their land use plan, zoning and new infrastructure. NIPC ended up projecting Sugar Grove’s 2030 population at around 60,000.

 The 2010 census showed Sugar Grove to be just short of 9,000. A 2016 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau reports the population to be about 9,600. This shows very little change in six years but these were difficult years for the economy. NIPC changed names to become the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). CMAP’s most recent projections were made in 2014 and they estimate the village of Sugar Grove to have a population of 32,000 by 2040. The 2040 population for Sugar Grove township is projected to be about 62,000. This data shows the future for Sugar Grove village and Sugar Grove township is bright now that recovery from the economic hit in the last decade continues to make strides forward.

 

After consultation with the finance council, it was agreed that, once the parish was debt free, it would be time to move on to the next phase of the vision by building a rectory that is in keeping with our campus plan, and accounts for future growth. Constructing a rectory that reflects priestly ministry is a unique undertaking. When considering the necessary space, it’s important to remember we are building a rectory not a house. In our Diocese, as in most dioceses, men are selected to serve a parish for a limited time. Pastors are assigned in varying stints to a parish but most associates serve for a three-year period of time. The very nature of these assignments means priests have to pull up stakes frequently and are never sure with whom they will be sharing living quarters with. To accommodate the needs of its inhabitants, a rectory requires a unique floor plan that has room for several men but also provides the right kind of space. The common shared rooms are such that you would find in any home; living room, kitchen, dining room, etc. These are the rooms that the clergy share and space that promotes priestly fraternity. Where the residence takes on the unique aspect is in the separate apartments within the rectory for each priest. Each apartment consists of a bedroom, bathroom, and sitting room that offer the privacy and individual space necessary to insure personal space for each priest.

Looking ahead to the future it seems prudent to plan for three apartments, one for the pastor, one for an associate or seminarian, and one apartment for a retired priest. In the United States for every 100 priests who leave active ministry, only 30-40 replace them. This is a reality we must plan. In our Diocese the priest retirement age is now 75. All of us can relate to what it means to age and how important it is to appropriately adapt our environment to accommodate the aging process. The bathrooms would, of course, be ADA compliant by adding comfort height toilets and walk in showers with grab bars with built in shower seats. We need to prepare to address the needs of an aging priestly population. Providing a comfortable home for a retired priest who has dedicated his life to serving the people of God is important, but it would also benefit the parish by having an additional priest in ministry.

To effectively use our land, a two story structure is proposed. It is imperative to construct a building that fits into the architecture of the environment and that mimics the exterior of the church. The current project budget is $1,500,000.00 and includes allowances for well, septic, driveway, appliances, lighting, and other ancillary costs plus a cushion for unexpected costs. In addition, this project also will result in much needed parking spaces. Preliminary estimates of the projects include:

Site Development, Landscaping

$400,000.00

Additional Parking

$120,000.00

Rectory

$750,000.00

Alternates, Furnishings, Carpets, Built-ins, Window Treatments etc

$200,000.00

Total Cost

$1,470,000.00

 

Rectory building project will be funded by:

  • Excess pledges received from Open Wide Our Heart campaign: approximately $300,000.00

  • Anticipated pledges from Sowing the Seeds of Faith campaign: $1,500,000.00. Additional funds from Sowing the Seeds of Faith campaign will be saved for future campus projects.

 

We have journeyed together these past years and accomplished much. Continuing to work together we can make the next phase of our master plan a reality. For generations to come, the new rectory will give our parish priests a comfortable quiet retreat in which to live. The people of this parish have been so very generous. You have answered the call to stretch and support the mission of the church and its building projects. I am asking you once again to consider what we can do together. I want us to honor what we have already accomplished and the gifts we have been given, by designing a building that can serve the needs of the Catholic Church in Sugar Grove now and into the future.