Phoenix Diocese announces $100 million fundraising campaign


Jose Cardenas: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO HORIZONTE. BISHOP THOMAS OLMSTED TALKSABOUT A MAJOR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN THAT WILL IMPACT THE FUTURE OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF PHOENIX. AND, AN ORGANIZATION HELPING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES EXPERIENCE THE ARTS IN ARIZONA FOR FREE. ALL COMING UP STRAIGHT AHEAD ON HORIZONTE.
Jose Cardenas: THANK YOU FOR JOINING US, I'M JOSE CARDENAS. BISHOP OLMSTED ANNOUNCED THE LAUNCH OF A HISTORIC FUNDRAISING INITIATIVE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF PHOENIX. TOGETHER LET US GO FORTH-JUNTOSSIGAMOSADELANTE-CAMP AIGN WILL PROVIDE FOR THE FUTURE OF CATHOLIC CHURCHES, CHARITIES, AND SCHOOLS IN THE VALLEY. JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN IS BISHOP THOMAS OLMSTED., THE LEADER OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE IN PHOENIX. WELCOME.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: THANK YOU.

Jose Cardenas: THE NEED, THE TREMENDOUS GROWTH IN THE DIOCESE, TELL US ABOUT THAT?

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: WE BECAME A DIOCESE IN 1969 WHICH WAS YOUNG FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. THERE WERE 200,000 THEN. NOW WE ARE 1.1 MILLION.

Jose Cardenas: WHAT DOES THAT ENCOMPASS?

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: YAVAPI AND MARICOPA.

Jose Cardenas: THIS IS A MAJOR CAMPAIGN, $100 MILLION. WHAT IS THE TIME HORIZON AND HOW FAR INTO THE CAMPAIGN ARE YOU?

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: ANNOUNCING IT IN SEPTEMBER. FOR THE NEXT TWO AND A HALF YEARS, EACH OF THE PARISHES ARE INVOLVED. WE HAVE FIVE PHASES OF THAT. ONE FIFTH OF THEM IN SIX MONTH SEGMENTS, OVER THE NEXT TWO AND A HALF YEARS ESPECIALLY, WE'LL INVITE ALL OF OUR BAPTIZED MEMBERS TO THE CAMPAIGN.

Jose Cardenas: WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHERE THE MONEY WILL GO. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF ENTITIES THAT BENEFIT FROM THIS. WE HAVE PICTURES THAT MATCH UP. ONE IS THE ASU NEWMAN CENTER.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: YES, WE ARE BLESSED TO HAVE THREE LARGE UNIVERSITIES IN OUR DIOCESE. WE WANT TO HELP OUR CATHOLIC STUDENTS AND OTHER STUDENTS AS WELL. ASU IS BY FAR THE BIGGEST. EACH OF THESE ARE PLACES WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF STUDENTS. WE WANT TO BE PRESENT TO ASSIST THEM WITH NEEDS. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE SEARCHING, FOR THE CATHOLIC FAITH OR FOR GOD.

Jose Cardenas: THERE ARE TEN STUDENTS. ANOTHER THING IS CATHOLIC EDUCATION.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted: WE HAVE SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE, THANKS BE TO GOD, THIS IS A GREAT BLESSING FOR US. WE ARE BUILDING A CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, MARICOPA COUNTY, JOHN PAUL II. WE ARE HELPING ALL OF THE SCHOOLS, EACH GROWING AND ALL HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS TO ADD SPECIAL PROGRAMS, THAT SORT OF THING.

Jose Cardenas: THERE IS A $22 MILLION PRICE TAG ON THAT ONE?

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: THAT INCLUDES BUILDERSHIP MONEY AND THE START UP FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL.
Jose Cardenas: IN ADDITION TO THE DIOCESE, THERE ARE MONEY THAT GO TO PROGRAMS TO HELP THE ELDERLY AND IN PARTICULAR ONE PROGRAM THE FOUNDATION FOR SENIOR LIVING.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: YES, THERE IS AN ASSISTED DAYCARE CENTER FOR ADULTS. IT'S IN GLENDALE. THE PRESENT FACILITY IS INADEQUATE, SO THEY NEED TO BUILD ANOTHER ONE.

Jose Cardenas: OF COURSE, ANOTHER MAJOR ENTITY IN THE DIOCESE SERVING A LOT OF PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY IS ST. VINCENT DEPAUL.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: WE HAVE THE LARGEST SOCIETY OF ANY DIOCESE IN THE WORLD. WE SERVE SO MANY OF THE POUR, THE NEEDY. THEY ARE BUILDING AN ADDITION TO THE CAMPUS. WE ARE MAKING A MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO THAT ONE AS WELL.

Jose Cardenas: IT'S HEADED BY STEVE.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: REALLY A GREAT LEADER.

Jose Cardenas: THE CHURCHES THEMSELVES WILL RETAIN THE MONEY.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: 35% ARE GOING TO THE PARISHES. ALL OF THE PARISHES ARE GROWING AS WELL. MOST OF OUR PARISHES HAVE AT LEAST TWO LANGUAGES, MASS IS CELEBRATED AND MASS IN KOREAN AND POLISH LANGUAGE, VIETNAMESE, ETC. OUR PARISHES ARE WHERE OUR GRADE SCHOOLS ARE. ALL OF THE GRADE SCHOOLS ARE CONNECTED WITH THE PARISHES. MANY THINGS ARE HAPPENING THERE. WE ARE FORTUNATE TO KEEP GROWING IN OUR SCHOOLS, IN OUR DIOCESE. THERE IS A COST TO THAT. WE WANT TO BE SURE WE HAVE FACILITIES AND RESOURCES TO KEEP THAT HAPPENING.

Jose Cardenas: YOU MENTIONED THERE ARE FIVE STAGES OF THE CAMPAIGN. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: IT'S JUST THAT WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE IMPORTANT TO ALLOW THE PARISH TO CHOOSE WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR THEM TO BEGIN. SOME HAVE PROJECTS GOING ON. THEY DIDN'T WANT TO START IN THE FIRST PHASE, WHICH STARTED JULY OF THIS YEAR. THEY CAN CHOOSE WHEN IN THE COURSE OF THE NEXT TWO AND A HALF YEARS IT WOULD BE BEST FOR THE PARISHES TO PARTICIPATE. THEY DEVELOP THEIR OWN CAMPAIGN LEADERSHIP IN THEIR OWN PARISH, IDENTIFY THE GREATEST NEEDS AND INVOLVE THE PEOPLE IN THE CAMPAIGN AS WELL AS THE LARGE PROJECTS OF THE DIOCESE.

Jose Cardenas: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO CONVINCE THE EAST VALLEY THEY SHOULD DONATE MONEY TO THE EAST SCHOOL.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: IT'S $23 MILLION OF THE CAMPAIGN, BUT THERE ARE OTHER THINGS THEY'LL BE INTERESTED IN. PEOPLE WANT TO BE GENEROUS. IF THEY HAVE FAITH THEY KNOW GOD GAVE THEM WHAT THEY HAVE AND THEY'LL WANT TO BE GENEROUS WITH THAT. THERE ARE OTHER THINGS THEY'LL BE INTERESTED IN, HELPING THE POOR. THE COST OF SEMINARIANS, AND WE ARE BUILDING A RETIREMENT HOUSE FOR PRIESTS. WE ARE THE FIFTH LARGEST IN THE UNITED STATES AND WE DON'T HAVE A RETIREMENT HOME FOR PRIESTS. THERE ARE SPECIAL PROJECTS THEY'LL BE INTERESTED IN, IN THE LARGE NUMBER OF CAMPAIGN.

Jose Cardenas: SOME OF THE MONEY WILL GO TO VOCATIONS?

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: EXACTLY.

Jose Cardenas: HOW IS THE DIOCESE IN THAT REGARD? YOU READ ABOUT THE DECLINE IN THE NUMBER OF YOUNG MEN DEVOTING THEMSELVES TO THE PRIESTHOOD.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: WE ARE BLESSED WITH THE VOCATIONS WE ARE HAVING. FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS, THE MAJORITY OF NEW MEN ENTERING ARE SPANISH SPEAKING. THAT'S THE MAJORITY OF YOUNG PEOPLE. THE LAST JUNE WE ORDAINED THREE NEW MEN. THE YEAR BEFORE, FOUR NEW MEN. WE EXPECT TO ORDAIN THREE NEXT YEAR. WE ARE DOING WELL. WE ARE PRAYING FOR MORE. IT'S A GIFT OF GOD TO HAVE MORE IN THE PRIESTHOOD.

Jose Cardenas: YOU MENTIONED THE GROWTH IN THE DIOCESE AND THE MAJORITY OF YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SPANISH SPEAKING FROM THAT BACKGROUND. JUST A FEW NIGHTS AGO ON 60 MINUTES, STEVE BANNON APPEARED AND ACCUSED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF HAVING AN INTEREST IN ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION MOTIVATING THE BISHOPS TO SUPPORT THE DREAMERS AND DACA. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT?

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO ME. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS INTERESTED AS IS THE JEWISH FAITH FROM THE BEGINNING. WE ARE TO WELCOME THE STRANGER. WHOEVER WELCOMES A STRANGER WELCOMES ME. THE CHURCH HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT REACHING OUT TO THE STRANGER. THAT'S TRUE IN EVERY SENSE OF THE CHURCH. IT ISN'T TRUE.

Jose Cardenas: BUT WOULDN'T YOU HAVE TO ADMIT THAT THEY ARE AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF GROWTH? HIS SUGGESTION THAT, THAT'S THE MOTIVATION FOR THE BISHOPS TO SUPPORT THIS. IF IMMIGRATION IS CURBED, CHURCHES WILL SUFFER, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN PARTICULAR.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: WE SUFFER IF WE DON'T REACH OUT IN LOVE FOR THOSE FORGOTTEN, THOSE THAT HAVE THE GREATEST NEED. THAT'S WHY WE ARE INTERESTED IN COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM. IT'S NEEDED. WE ARE ALSO INTERESTED IN THE DREAMERS. SOME CALL TO BE PRIESTS. THEY CAME HERE WITH THEIR FAMILY AT TWO OR THREE YEARS OF AGE. THEY ARE WONDERFUL YOUNG PEOPLE, VERY BRIGHT, DESIRING OF SERVING GOD AND OTHERS. WE ARE ENGAGED IN THIS BECAUSE THEY ARE HERE. THEY ARE A BLESSING FOR SOCIETY. THEY CAN BE A GREAT BLESSING WITHIN THE CHURCH AS WELL.

Jose Cardenas: BISHOP, I HAVE ONE LAST AREA OF QUESTIONING THAT HAS TO DO WITH RECENT ANNOUNCEMENTS WITH THE POPE. BEFORE I DO ANYTHING FURTHER, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN AND KICKOFF.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: ONE OF THE PROJECTS THAT INTERESTS ME A LOT, IS TO HAVE CHRISTMAS AND EASTER IN OUR JAILS, IS AN INTEREST CATHOLIC CHARITIES HAS TO HELP WOMEN GET ON THEIR FEET. WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT PROGRAM IN FLAG STAFF. WE WOULD LIKE TO START OTHERS. THAT INTERESTS ME AS WELL.

Jose Cardenas: WHAT I WAS GETTING TO BEFORE IN MY AREA OF QUESTIONING, A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE, THERE WAS THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THE POPE IS HEEDING AUTHORITY OVER THE CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THAT IN THE UNITED STATES?

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: I DON'T THINK IT HAS A GREAT IMPACT IN THE UNITED STATES. WE RECENTLY HAD NEW TRANSLATIONS OF THE MASS, FOR EXAMPLE. MOST OF OUR DOCUMENTS FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS HAVE BEEN TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH. I DON'T SEE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT ON THAT. BECAUSE WE TRY TO PROVIDE TRANSLATIONS OF THE LITURGIES IN ALL OF THE LANGUAGES IN WHICH WE SERVE PEOPLE, IT WILL HAVE AN IMPACT IN HELPING THE LOCAL PEOPLE WITH TRANSLATIONS.

Jose Cardenas: YOU ARE A VETERAN OF 16 YEARS. YOU WERE IN ROME, IN THE VATICAN. IS IT JUST A FACT THAT THE POPE IS SEEKING AUTHORITY? IS THAT SURPRISE OF THIS POPE'S FOCUS?

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: I THINK IT'S TRUE THAT WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE GRASSROOTS IN THE LOCAL AREA, WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN TRUE FOR THE CHURCH. AT THE SAME TIME, BECAUSE WE ARE ONE CATHOLIC CHURCH ALL AROUND THE WORLD, SOMETIMES, IT SEEMS MORE PRACTICAL, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS USED AROUND THE WORLD, TO PRODUCE ONE TRANSLATION THERE. I'M NOT SURE HOW IT WILL WORK OUT IN ENGLISH. PEOPLE MOVE SO MUCH FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER. I DON'T THINK IT WILL HAVE AN IMPACT IN THE SHORT-TERM.

Jose Cardenas: ONE FURTHER THOUGHT, IF I MAY. WE HAVE HAD YOU OR THE BISHOP ON TO TALK ABOUT THE NEW POPE. HE'S NOT SO NEW ANYMORE. YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THE FIRST FEW YEARS OF HIS TERM?

Bishop Thomas Olmsted: HE'S BEEN A BLESSING TO ME, REMINDING US OF THE NEEDS OF THE POOR, THE ONES ON THE MARGIN. WE CAN ALMOST FORGET, AT TIMES, THESE PEOPLE. IN ARIZONA, WE HAVE SO MANY. WE ARE A WARMER CLIMATE. WE HAVE PEOPLE THAT COME HERE TO SLEEP IN THE STREETS. HE'S MADE ME AWARE THAT WE NEED TO SEE EACH OF THOSE AS A BROTHER AND SISTER IN CHRIST. THAT'S A BLESSING TO ME. IT HELPS A LOT OF US IN THE CHURCH TO BE MORE HELPFUL TO THEM.

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.

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