A few years ago the parish Finance Council had the Upper Church and the school building reviewed for stability and code needs. To bring the building up to code and to be structurally sound would require investments at costs today of above 5 million dollars. Recognizing that keeping things the same, as far as our upper property is concerned, is unsustainable, a vision for “Going Home” was envisioned: returning to the property where our Catholic life in Berkeley Heights was born.
After prayerful discernment, study and discussion between our pastor, staff, Finance Council and the Archdiocese, the decision was made to begin the undertaking of “Going Home”. We would exchange property with the township of Berkeley Heights where we would take ownership of the township library, the original Mt. Carmel Hall, the site of the first Mass. We would receive money from the township that would enable us to transform the interior of the library into our pastoral center (offices, large meeting rooms, classrooms). We would have money left over but would have to engage in a capital campaign to raise a minimum of 2 million dollars to renovate the Little Church to accommodate 500 worshippers. We would have a lower hall that can accommodate 250/300 people for larger events. The entire site would have ample parking along with green spaces.
At the conclusion of the campaign calendar, total pledges received equal $2,498,022 with $670,826 in down payments. This reflects an average gift of $7,547. These totals come from 331 pledges/gifts, which represent 21% of the 1,613 parish households identified on the Guidance In Giving, Inc. Campaign Management System (CMS.) Counsel advised that Church of the Little Flower had the potential to raise a minimum of $2,000,000 in a successful fundraising Campaign. To date, the campaign has achieved 125% of the contract goal and 83% of the challenge goal of $3,000,000.