Father Mark Peacock processes into the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, no logo

Our Shepherds-Our Future


Bishop Walkowiak gives the final blessing at Chrism Mass 2018

From the Bishop

The Our Shepherds - Our Future Capital Campaign will support two initiatives that received solid support from laity and clergy during last summer's feasibility study: Seminarian Education and Clergy Retirement.

"I am confident that by working together, clergy and laity alike, we can lead our diocese into the future by addressing these initiatives now. I ask you to join me in prayer and generosity as we embark on this historic and transformational journey as one Church." - Bishop Walkowiak

Read the full text of Bishop Walkowiak's letter to parishioners.

Campaign Initiatives

The men to be ordained lay prostrate on the cathedral altar

Para ver el video de la campaña en español presione aqui.
Watch Seminarians Noah Thelen and André Klaes, and Fr. Don Weber tell their vocation story.
If embedded video above won't play, click here to play from our YouTube Channel.

  • Goal: $33 Million

    Read the Case Statement

    Para leer el folleto de la campaña en español

    Bishop's Guarantee: Any funds raised over the $33 million goal that are not designated to a specific campaign initiative will be allocated by the bishop to the campaign initiative(s) of greatest need, including the feasibility study initiative of specialized education.

    Click the arrow to the left to see the goals of the campaign.

    1. graphic of campaign initiatives for Our Shepherds-Our Future
    pie charts showing annual cost of priestly formation from Our Shepherds-Our Future case statement

    Seminarian Formation ($29 Million)

    Currently we have 25-30 men in formation. Annually, our Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) funds $700,000 (approximately the equivalent of 14 seminarians) of the $1.6 million in costs for our seminarians (2018-19 rates). The surge in the number of seminarians in recent years has diminished our restricted funds, which will be exhausted by the end of 2019, even if no new men were to enter formation. Endowing seminarian education in the amount of $20 million and creating a restricted fund in the amount of $9 million will ensure the financial resources needed to prepare our future priests for years to come. Read more

    Father Mel Fox, retired priest of the diocese

    Clergy Retirement ($2 Million)

    With 69 active and 49 retired priests, Catholics in West Michigan have been blessed with shepherds who have accompanied them through times of celebration and times of struggle. Called to minister as Christ, they have given their lives in service to our Church. Our priests’ retirement fund is supported only through an annual assessment of 1% of a parish’s revenue (not by the annual “Retirement Fund for Religious” collection meant for order priests and religious, or the Catholic Services Appeal). A $2 million investment into the Priest Retirement Fund is critical to help ensure a dignified retirement for those nearing the end of their service, as well as for those just beginning. Read more

    Father Steve Cron celebrates Mass

    Campaign Expenses ($2 Million)

    Running a quality, successful fundraising effort the scale of our diocesan capital campaign requires its own investment. The costs incurred from this effort include design, printing and postage, project management, grant writing and special events. Though significant, these costs will be far outweighed by the positive impact on our initiatives generated from your goodwill. Read more

    Campaign Schedule

    The 80 parishes of our diocese are scheduled to participate in the campaign in three waves: May - July 2019 (pilot wave); November 2019 - February 2020, and May - July 2020. View the list of parishes included in each wave here, or in your copy of April FAITH Grand Rapids, p. 22.

    Stained glass window depicting the crucifixion at SFX-OLG church, GR

    HOW DID WE GET HERE?

    A focus on vocations to the priesthood by Bishop Walkowiak has resulted in a 45% increase in the number of men studying for the priesthood for our diocese over the past five years. Read more

    WHERE ARE WE NOW?

    The holistic formation our seminarians receive is comprised of human and spiritual formation, academic training in philosophy and theology, and pastoral formation. This comprehensive approach prepares them well for the rigorous and rewarding life of a priest, but it also requires a significant investment, particularly at the graduate level. Our seminarians need our help to make their ministry possible. The diocese is committed to helping cover the costs of seminarian education to help ensure that we have enough priests to serve our parishes into the future, especially since 32 priests will be at or over retirement age within the next decade.
    Read more

    WHERE ARE WE HEADED?

    The current source of funding - outside of the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) - for our men studying for the priesthood will be depleted by the end of 2019. Along with the blessing of a growing cohort of seminarians comes the responsibility to cover the cost of this ministry investment. We are called, not only to encourage young men to answer God's call by assuming some of their financial burdens, but also called as Catholics to help ensure for them a dignified retirement after their lifetime of service.
    Read more

    Ways to Give

    Selecting the best gift plan depends on your personal financial situation and goals. As tax laws are always changing and each individual's situation is unique, donors are encouraged to consult with their financial advisor to determine which method of contributing is most beneficial.

    Our Shepherds - Our Future is a separately incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit, with the EIN number 83-3605677.

    Commemorate your gift

    The Diocese of Grand Rapids is eager to work with you to help make your gift that much more meaningful to you and our local Church. Gifts at the level of $100,000 or above can be established as a named fund in honor or memory of a loved one, or in recognition of the spiritual care you've received. Contact the Diocesan Finance Office, 616-514-6059for more information.

    Learn more

     

    Check/Credit Card/Automatic Payment

    Donating is as simple as writing a check or authorizing a charge or recurring automatic payment on your credit card or from your bank account.

    Checks should be made payable to "Our Shepherds - Our Future, Inc." noting Capital Campaign in the memo section of the check.

    To give a one-time gift or submit a pledge for automatic payments using your credit card or direct debit from a bank account, visit our secure online giving page:

    Give Now

     

    Gift of Stock/Property

    Charitable gifts of stocks, bonds or mutual funds, as well as gifts of property (e.g. homes, farmland, crops, or livestock) may offer special tax advantages. To arrange a gift of this type, contact the Diocesan Finance Office at 616-514-6059 or use this form

    Campaign Leadership

    Most Rev. David J. Walkowiak,
    bishop of Grand Rapids

    Campaign Clergy Committee

    Father Charlie Brown
    Father Steve Geerling
    Father David Gross
    Father Troy Nevins
    Father Scott Nolan
    Father Mark Peacock
    Father Mark Przybysz
    Msgr. Ernie Schneider
    Msgr. R. Louis Stasker
    Father Len Sudlik
    Father Wayne Wheeler

    Diocesan Staff

    Msgr. William H. Duncan, vicar general and
    moderator of the curia
    Annalise Laumeyer, director of communications
    Michael A. Lown, chancellor/CFO

    Counsel

    Steier Group

    Campaign Cabinet

    General Chairs:
    Dan & Sherry Bowen

    Honorary Chairs:
    Ron & Joan Griffith
    Bishop Emeritus Walter Hurley
    John & Nancy Kennedy
    Dennis & Margaret Leiber
    Bishop Emeritus Robert Rose

    Cabinet:
    Peter & Michelle Baldwin
    John & Angela Bursch
    Colleen Mitchell
    Lou & Nancy Moran
    Mark & Elizabeth Murray
    Rich & Mary Panek
    Tony & Kate Soave
    Russ & Chris Visner
    Karen Weber

    graphic of campaign prayer for Our Shepherds - Our Future

    We invite you to pray for the success of Our Shepherds - Our Future

    Please contact our Steier Group campaign managers, Diane Keller or Scott McClure (on resulting page, click "Campaign Managers" tab) with questions regarding the campaign.