Bishop Thomas Olmsted announced a fundraising initiative that aims to help Phoenix’s growing Catholic community.
During an interview with Jose Cardenas on Horizonte, the Bishop announced the new campaign called “Together Let us Go Forth-Juntos Sigamos Adelante”, which, Bishop Olmsted says will provide for Catholic churches, charities, and schools in the valley. The Catholic Diocese hopes to raise 100 million dollars.
The money will be used to fund the three Newman Centers that minister to Catholic college students, build a new high school in Avondale and the first-ever retirement home for priests in the Diocese. Thirty-five cents of every dollar contributed to the campaign will stay in the donor’s parish.
Bishop Olmsted explained that the size of the campaign and the scope of the planned projects reflect the growth of the diocese. The number of Catholics in the Diocese of Phoenix has grown from 200,000 to more then 1.1 million since 1969.
The Bishop believes the growth is attributable in part to immigration – particularly from Spanish-speaking countries. Most of the priests ordained in Phoenix speak Spanish.
When asked about the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Bishop said he believes that we all suffer if we don’t reach out to these bright young people.