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Sacred Heart Capital Campaign Frequently Asked Questions

Sacred Heart parish, in conjunction with Seton Catholic School, Christ the King, St Mary’s Moline, St. Maria Goretti in Coal Valley and Our Lady of Peace in Orion are collectively conducting a Capital Campaign feasibility study. During April and May each parish will determine whether or not there is strong enough support to move forward in addressing the needs of each parish and Seton school. If the parishes and parents indicate a high level of support, they would embark upon an ambitious Capital Campaign starting in fall of 2018.

To gauge the interest of our parishioners, we have collectively hired an agency, the Steier Group, to help us determine if we should move forward with this project.  The success of this Capital Campaign is dependent on parishioner and parent support.  

On April 10th and 11th Sacred Heart Parish informational meetings were held to outline the goals of this project and to address any questions. These meetings were well attended, with over 130 people participating.  During those two evenings the parishioners were presented information that outlined Sacred Heart and Seton’s goals. That presentation may be found here:

Captial Campaign Meeting Presentation 

Frequently Asked Questions

During the parish presentation several questions were asked. Below are the answers that may also help you gain greater insight into this potential campaign.

Q: What is the over-all intent of this Campaign?

  1. There are a few major repairs and updates that need to be made to the Church and School to keep them in working order.
  2. Parishioner feedback into our last Strategic Plan noted the desire to maintain the beauty of our church and to ensure Seton School provided a strong academic program in a comfortable, safe environment
  3. Encourage growth at Sacred Heart Parish by providing facilities that are accessible to all wanting to participate in the liturgy and be part of parish life.  

Q:  Will some of my donation be given to The Peoria Dioceses?

A:  No. 100% of your donation will be directed as you outline, to Sacred Heart or Seton School.  

Q:  Will my donation go to Sacred Heart, Seton or other churches?

A:  You will be able to designate how and where you would like your donation to be allocated. 

Q:  How long will this Campaign run if the decision is made to go forward?

A:  The Capital Campaign will run for three years.

Q:  The drawing of the new parish addition includes a new gathering center.  Are those plans fixed?

A:  At this point we have some flexibility to change elements of the building design and construction. The drawings we have presented are very preliminary. Once we receive parish feedback and understand the level of parish support we will be able to develop a more refined building design that reflects the investment the parish will support.

Q:  Do the new plans include an elevator to reach the choir loft?

A:  They do not. After careful review of our building structure, elevator cost, and on-going maintenance expense, it was determined that adding an elevator to the church was not viable for the parish. 

Q:  In the proposed gathering space, can the entrance to the Church be moved closer?  

A:  We believe there are opportunities to modify the design to create a low slope ramp to entrance doors providing a much easier transition from new handicap parking to the church with far less effort than today. 

Q:  The plan includes restoration of all of the stain-glass windows.  Can I or my family sponsor a window?  

A:  Yes.  If parishioners support moving forward, we have the opportunity to develop a  program that would allow those interested in preserving our beautiful windows to sponsor restoration of one or more of the fifty two windows. Those sponsors would then be appropriately recognized. 

Q:  Do the plans include updating the Church to be wheel-chair accessible?

A:  Yes.  There will be a level covered drive up to the entrance of the proposed Gathering Center. The design will allow someone needing assistance to enter the church with no barriers. In addition we would add two new multi-stall bathrooms that would be handicap accessible and provide changing tables for new parents. This plan also incorporates two new handicap accessible confessionals.

Q: What other benefits does the Gathering Center offer the parish?

 The new covered entrance along with the new Gathering Center will provide easier access for funerals. The new Gathering Space also provides the opportunity to hold small funeral wakes in the church before a Funeral Mass. 

We also are designing accommodations that will provide for those having weddings at Sacred Heart. The Gathering Center incorporates a new Brides Room for the wedding party to get dressed with greater privacy. The bridal party will be able to enter and leave under covered access to the church during inclement weather. 

The new Gathering Space can accommodate 100 people sitting at tables or 150 standing. This area could host parish group meetings, refreshments and coffee after Mass. It also offers  a more suitable place for those wanting to visit or obtain information after Mass.

Q: What happens to the Blessings Gift Shop?

A:  The location of the current Blessings Gift Shop would be converted to the entrance of the new Gathering Center. The gift shop would be relocated to a larger room inside the Gathering Center.

Q:  Is Sacred Heart responsible for paying the Seton school improvements noted in this plan?

A:  No. Seton school will be responsible for raising its own funds for the projects outlined. Parishioners will have the opportunity to also donate to Seton school if they desire.

Q:  Can the proposed Gathering Center be larger?

A:  Yes it could be. As with most construction projects costs are driven by location, size, and materials. Our current plan is very preliminary but a reasonable reflection of what is needed. The parish may want to refine the plan as we go forward. If the monies are available we could do so.

 Q:  What if we fall short of the contribution goal?

A:  At that point we would need to determine what projects move forward and which would be delayed until future years. In developing this capital plan we considered needs, costs and ability for parishioners to fund. We believe the projects currently outlined can be completed with commitment and support of our parish family over the next three years.

Q: Are there plans to borrow money for these projects?

A: No. Today our parish is debt free. If our parish is unable to raise funds outlined, we would reduce to scope of improvements and maintenance. However, doing so raises our future expense by a minimum of 3% a year due to ever rising construction costs.

Q:  If the new Gathering Center is built what happens to the Rectory?

A:  The current Rectory is much larger than necessary and is very inefficient to use. More importantly the Rectory requires a significant investment in repairs due to age and design. Even after investing significant money we would still have a building that is larger than needed, not ADA compliant and of limited future value.

The intent is to build a new smaller Rectory on adjacent property the parish already owns. There may be  a period of time that we would rent a home for our priests until a permanent Rectory could be built.

Q:  How will projects be prioritized?

A:  The first priority would be what is needed to maintain the current buildings. For example, the stain-glass windows are buckling and in danger of further damage if not repaired.  

New building is a second priority requiringa specific sequence of steps once we start

    • demolishing Rectory
    • replacing the Rectory
    • site preparation for new construction
    • building new Gathering Center

We would move forward with each step based on funds available. We believe the priorities for this plan are very well integrated with our parish strategies plan and the needs identified.

Q:  What are the next steps?

A:  In mid April interviews were conducted with 28 parish families. In addition, all registered parishioners received a paper survey and a link to an on-line survey that provides each parish household the opportunity to offer their feedback by mid-May. It is up to everyone to take the time to return the surveys so we can make an informed decision on how the parishioners want to move forward. 

In late May, parish leadership will review the information collected by the Steier Group, the company that was retained by all of  the parishes to conduct the capital campaign feasibility study. In June, we will make a decision based on parish support as to how we should move forward. If we decide to proceed, preparation work would be done over the summer and the campaign would start in the fall.

Q: How can I help?

A: As a parishioner your support of this study and possible campaign is critical. This is our parish and we need to not only maintain but invest to strengthen our future. The plans you see when accessing the link are the result of two years of work by the Development, Facilities and Finance Committees. Now it is time to provide your feedback on the plan and interest in supporting. 



Capital campaigns are a challenge for everyone. That is why we seldom conduct them. They require a level of sacrifice from each us to ensure we continue to strengthen our future and provide an opportunity for every parishioner to have access to our church.

Please pray about this project.  Look around the next time you are in Mass – we are so fortunate to be a part of one of the most beautiful churches in our area.  We believe it is time to invest in Sacred Heart not only for today, but for those that will be part of our parish family in the years ahead.   

Nearly one hundred years ago, members of our community committed to build a beautiful Catholic Church for the residents to worship, pray and come together as a parish community. They took a bold step to move forward to strengthen the future of their church. It is now our turn to strengthen our parish. What legacy will we leave?