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Cultivating the Little Flower

Capital Campaign

Taking care of the legacy and richness handed on to us for the generations to come

St Therese of Jesus Catholic Church Aurora - Illinois

From Our Pastor Dear Family of St Therese: As a parish family, we have received many blessings of God’s love through the ministry we provide for each other. Parishioners from previous generations have met the challenges that were presented to them as a faith community. Today, I am confident that we will follow their example and meet the challenge to retire our debt and work on several projects that you selected as priority, like air conditioning, renovation of the parish hall, a new outdoor parish sign, an adoration chapel, and a renovated confessional. Thus, we are launching a 3 year Capital Campaign (CC) called, “Cultivating the Little Flower”, with a goal of $600,000. The success of this campaign clearly depends on each of us. I am praying that you will consider committing to a sacrificial pledge. I know that such a commitment will mean a great deal to the members of our parish community and those we serve. At the same time, it will serve as encouragement to other families in our parish to consider a sacrificial gift as well. Thank you for your support of St. Therese of Jesus parish and your thoughtful and prayerful consideration of this request. Meanwhile, I ask our Lord Jesus Christ to bestow His gentle blessing on you and your loved ones. Yours faithfully in the Lord,

Fr. Michael I. Miller, MSC Pastor 2

Our History Founded in 1925, St. Therese Parish has a magnificent history spanning over 87 years of dedicated service to the Lord and to one another. In those years, the parish has served many ethnic immigrants from many economic levels. Fr. Charles Henkel and the parishioners in those first 40 years built the present parish buildings to serve their needs. Since then we have grown from a worshiping community that was formed from St. Nicholas Parish to our current independent parish of 1,817 households.

Original Church Interior

Our ministries and organizations enrich parish life and proGroundbreaking vide numerous ways for parishioners to share their talents and serve one another. Both our Catholic school and religious education program provide quality Catholic education. We can say with pride that we serve devout faithful Catholics who want to grow in their Catholic faith. This is said not in an attempt to be boastful or to build a sense of false pride. We make this statement through what we have witnessed in our parish history and in the lives of our people in service to the Lord, our parish and our community. As our mission statement says: Rectory

“We are a multi-cultural community who through prayer, worship and generous service form the Body of Christ. We are friends and neighbors traveling together, journeying home to our loving Father.” We will mark our centennial as a parish in 2025. By 2016 we can look forward to our second 100 years debt free. The opportunity is ours to prepare to celebrate. What kind of parish do we want to hand over to our children and grandchildren? It is our vision to have a future that builds on our past and present unshackled from debt. We count on you to help cultivate the richness that is handed on to us in our beloved parish of St. Therese of the Little Flower of Jesus.

Help us in Cultivating the Little Flower! Saint Thérèse of Lisieux As a young teen


Saint Thérèse of Lisieux Carmelite Nun

Background The present parish buildings serve us well at this time, but constant maintenance is required. The church is the last building constructed in 1965. Besides normal wear and tear, building standards have changed and have become more demanding. Since the discovery of asbestos in the school, we have been required by state and federal codes to maintain strict compliance. It was determined at the last tri-annual inspection of January 2012 that an abatement was necessary to maintain safety to all those who use the building. The parish turned to the Diocese of Rockford for assistance. Our Three Challenges First of all, maintaining the school, an important part of our parish, requires sacrifice. Many factors, especially the downturn in the economy, have played a part in this challenge. As evidence of the turnaround in the school, our enrollment has increased from 68 students last year to 95 now, Pre-K through eighth grade. We join with the bishop and diocese in making Catholic education a priority. We are grateful for the United In Faith (UIF) and Aurora Catholic Education Foundation (ACEF) grants over the years as well as other grants and donations. The school building is also used for our Religious Education children on Saturdays and for other events. It was imperative to make the needed repairs to comply with the asbestos codes to be able to use the building at all. Secondly, the parish has not been able to respond to its financial obligations to the diocese because of the large subsidy the parish makes to the school. Because of this the parish has incurred a debt to the diocese.

Proposed Parish Projects Air conditioning/ventilation in church Remodel church hall New outdoor church sign Blessed Sacrament Adoration Chapel Remodel one confessional

Thirdly, our efforts to prepare the parish for the future go beyond debt reduction, as outlined above in the first two challenges. Funds raised in the campaign will be used for some of these parish projects important to you.


Project Survey Results

Our Task Ahead We have a golden opportunity, through a Capital Campaign, to pay the expenses of the summer repair work for the school, to eliminate the parish debt, and to address present and future parish needs. Our parish pastoral council, finance council and other parishioners see the diocesan offer as one we cannot refuse.

To sum up our need:

Key Items to Know:

School repair work expenses Parish debt to diocese

$250,000 $192,067

Total parish debt


Maximum diocesan debt forgiveness


Debt to the diocese

$ 346,034

New parish projects:


Campaign Goal

 The diocese will match, dollar for dollar, collections for the CC with a maximum of 50% ($96,033) on the parish debt ($192,067).  Will waive the interest on debt incurred prior to the CC.  Collections from the CC are applied to the debt first, then to the capital needs.  Donations to the regular collection (Sundays/Holy Days) must be maintained.  Donations to Dioceses Stewardship Appeal (DSA) must be maintained.


We are setting as our goal for this Capital Campaign to raise $600,000 over the next 3 years, by June 30, 2016. Doing this now is a prudent step. It is good stewardship.


Suggested Gift Plans As a member of St. Therese of Jesus parish, your support in our parish campaign is of great importance. We invite you to consider a sacrificial pledge to our Cultivating the Little Flower campaign. You may choose monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual payments to fulfill your three-year pledge. Although we welcome gifts at levels and periods of time not listed below, we kindly request that you prayerfully consider letting this be your guide in determining your level of support.


10% Initial Payment $5,000































Total Pledge

Annual Payment $15,000

How to Pledge

Everything we have is a gift from God. It is only right that our gratitude for His generosity should be reflected in the gifts we give back to Him. The gospel story of the widow’s mite is a wonderful example of sacrifice. Cultivating the Little Flower seeks gifts of equal sacrifice, not equal amounts.

SemiQuarterly Monthly Annual Payment Payment Payment $7,500 $3,750 $1,250

St. Therese of Jesus deeply appreciates every gift and sincerely thanks all parishioners for their generosity. We invite all donors to make an initial payment of 10% at the time of their pledge if possible.

Keep this for your records and turn in your pledge card. All checks for this campaign should be made payable to “St. Therese Capital Campaign Fund”.

For the honor and glory of God, I/we pledge to our parish campaign “Cultivating the Little Flower” as follows: Amount of Gift: Initial Payment: Balance:

______________ ______________ ______________

The first payment will begin: ____________________ Signature: _________________________________

I/we prefer to pay the balance as noted:

Date: _____________________________________

o Monthly o Annually (Dec.) o Other:

Campaign Volunteer: __________________________

o Quarterly (March, June, Sept., Dec.) o Semi-Annually (June, Dec.)


How Can I Give? Giving is scary and may even seem impossible at first. However, with prayer, creativity, and sacrifice, giving to the St Therese Capital Campaign is possible for everyone! You may be able to use some of the following ideas to help you think creatively about giving to this campaign so that together we can continue the legacy of our parish to future generations. Means and ways to make your pledge Examples of Giving 1) An individual has decided to do the following:  He is planning to purchase a car in early 2013. His monthly payment was expected to be $350.  He has decided to delay that purchase and give $350 a month to St Therese Capital Campaign.  3-year Pledge Total: $350 x 36 = $12,600 2) Another individual has decided to approach it in a different way:  He is able to give $1500 from a savings account.  He believes through faith that God will also enable him to give another $1,000 over the next 3 years to “Cultivating the Little Flower”  3-year Pledge Total: $1,500 + $1,000 = $2,500 3) A family of five is living paycheck to paycheck with no savings. However, after much consideration, they realize that they eat out once a week as a family for a cost of about $50 to $60 per meal. They have decided to eat out twice a month instead and to order water when they do eat out. Dad was also given a $100 a month pay raise. They decide to give $50 of that amount to St Therese Capital Campaign each month and use the rest for savings.  Savings from not eating out: $100/month  Savings from ordering water: $15 per meal x 2 = $30/month  3-year Pledge Total: ($100 + $30 + $50) x 36 = $6,480 7

CULTIVATING THE LITTLE FLOWER Capital Campaign Prayer Dear God, Creator of all that is good, with grateful hearts we turn to you in need. Bless us, the people of St. Therese Parish, with a spirit of generosity and unity as we Cultivate the Little Flower, our parish. We thank you for the generations of parishioners who have gone before us. May we continue the legacy of their faith as we build for the future. Bless our efforts, strengthen our commitment, guide our sacrifices in your name. Grow us into your bouquet of flowers, so that we, your people, may always reflect Your spirit of beauty, truth, peace and love. We ask for wisdom, courage, and strength while we embark on this journey. With the prayers of our patroness, St. Therese, strengthen our hearts to respond with faith and trust. We ask this through Christ our Lord, in communion with the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”

Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Laura Partida/Gerardo Castaneda Cesar Yañez/Jose Bermudez Parish Ministries and Spirituality Fr. Michael Miller, M.S.C., Pastor Bruce Watermann, Deacon Julio Rosado, Deacon

Gospel of St. Mark 12:43-44

Our Parish at a glance

Parish Council Miguel Miranda, President

 Parish founded on July 25, 1925 with the appointment of Fr. Charles

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Photography by: Jose Torres

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Parish Financial Council Pat Leatherwood, Finance Chair Parish School Ann Hawkinson, Principal Parish Office Maria Zamora, Secretary Rockford Dioceses Most Reverend David J. Malloy, Bishop Wayne Lenell, Director Finance and Administration Sara Marquetti , Stewardship Development Office To contact the people listed, please call the Parish Rectory

© 2012


Henkel as pastor, first resident priest from 1925 until 1965 The first religious Sisters to serve here were the School Sisters of St. Francis (OSF) of Milwaukee First combination church, school and convent completed in 1926 First graduating class in 1927 had 12 students Full cost of first church, school and rectory was less than $100,000 Initial parish roster included 150 families In the first year there were 25 baptisms, 24 First Communions, 11 marriages, 21 funerals and then in 1929, 110 Confirmed Fr. Henry Beckendorf, MSC is first Missionary of the Sacred Heart serving as associate pastor, 1940-1962 Current rectory constructed in 1952 ”New” Church built and dedicated in 1965 In 2004, remodeled original rectory, formerly the Resale Shop, and now the Pastoral Center Father Michael Miller, MSC appointed pastor June 1, 2005 Presently, 1,817 registered parish households In the past year, 65 infants were baptized, 154 First Communions, 77 Confirmed, 13 marriages, and 15 funerals Present school enrollment is 95 (PreK – 8th) Convent is now the Dominican Literacy Center since 1994

St Therese of Jesus Catholic Church 271 North Farnsworth Avenue Aurora, Illinois 60505 Phone: 630-898-5422

Profile for Jose Bermudez

St Therese of Jesus Catholic Church - Capital Campaign  

Cultivating the Little Flower - Taking care of the legacy and richness handed on to us for the generations to come.

St Therese of Jesus Catholic Church - Capital Campaign  

Cultivating the Little Flower - Taking care of the legacy and richness handed on to us for the generations to come.