This is an exciting time in the Diocese of Nashville. In recent years, we have witnessed the growth of our parishes, rising enrollment in our schools, flourishing priestly vocations and the expansion of outreach ministries across our region. God has blessed our local Church in so many ways!
As stewards of His abundant gifts, we have embarked on A Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love Campaign to provide for the needs of our growing Catholic community – now and for many years to come.
Your joyful and generous support of this campaign will impact every aspect of Catholic life in our diocese. With guidance from the Holy Spirit, I know that together we will successfully build up the Church in Middle Tennessee.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support! Know of my prayers for you.
Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding
Bishop of Nashville
For more than 180 years, the Diocese of Nashville has served the spiritual needs of Catholics in Middle Tennessee. We have been truly blessed with dedicated priests, deacons, school administrators and parishioners who exhibit the character and heart of Christ and work to build His Kingdom.
Our Catholic population is continually growing and becoming more diverse, fueled by the Nashville area’s flourishing economy and expansion. Our diocese is at a pivotal time in its long history, and the extraordinary growth in Middle Tennessee presents many new opportunities.
Through careful study and strategic planning, the diocese has identified priorities that will strengthen our parishes and vocations, and increase accessibility to our churches, schools and social services. The theme that emerged from this thorough planning will now stand as our campaign theme as we look to impact our faith community for generations to come: A Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love.
The diocesan vision to empower A Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love combines bolstering current endowments and providing immediate funding for urgent projects at our parishes. Resources gathered through this campaign will provide long-term, sustainable funding to five key areas:
- Catholic Education
- Parish Share Priorities
- Priestly Vocations
- Parish Growth and Expansion
- Helping Our Neighbors in Need
A LEGACY OF FAITH
Our parishes and schools are the cornerstone of our Catholic lives and are the places where we encounter Christ most profoundly. The Legacy Campaign will support the continued growth and expansion of parishes, enabling us to serve even more Catholic families across Middle Tennessee. In addition, campaign funds will help to cover the cost of education and formation for five additional seminarians each year.
Securing $7.5 million for vocations will generate an additional $375,000 each year. With an average yearly cost of $75,000 per seminarian, this will allow us to educate at least five more seminarians per year. By increasing the current endowment, the diocese will gain a permanent and sustainable source of income, allowing us to educate more seminarians, increase vocations and support priests into ministry.
YOUR SUPPORT WILL:
- Impact the 20 seminarians currently in formation
- Cover costs for five additional seminarians each year
- Support priests serving our growing Catholic community
Parish Growth and Expansion
As residential expansion continues throughout Middle Tennessee, a growing number of the faithful live in areas without a Catholic church or school nearby. In fact, nine of our 38 counties do not have a Catholic church. This funding will help acquire land and buildings for additional churches and schools and will assist in expanding existing facilities that have become too small for growing communities.
YOUR SUPPORT WILL:
- Help meet the needs of the nearly 90,000 Catholics in our diocese
- Enable parishes and schools to expand as the population grows
- Help establish new parishes and schools in underserved counties
A LEGACY OF HOPE
Hope is central to our lives as disciples of Jesus. Together, we are building up a spirit of hope by securing a strong future for our local Catholic schools and parishes. Through this campaign, we will build up the Advancement of Catholic Education (ACE) endowment and raise funds to help parishes across the diocese meet the immediate needs of their faith families.
A more robust endowment for Catholic education will enable the diocese to provide an exceptional educational experience for more children, strengthen academic programs, and help students and families alike grow on their journey of life. Adding $20 million to the existing $6 million endowment will create approximately 500 additional scholarships per year based on the average award amount.
YOUR SUPPORT WILL:
- Provide additional scholarship opportunities for Catholic families
- Help make Catholic education more affordable and accessible
- Strengthen our Catholic school system – now and for the future
Each parish in the diocese has specific needs to address in order to grow and prosper. Therefore, the campaign will return 25 percent of donations identified with individual parishes back to them for the unique needs and projects of their community. The overarching hope is to increase vitality in each parish, promote participation in parish life, and evangelize and serve the faithful and the community.
YOUR SUPPORT WILL:
- Help meet unique, immediate needs of your parish
- Renew and enliven your parish’s mission and ministries
- Promote a culture of stewardship and generosity
A LEGACY OF LOVE
Helping Neighbors in Need
As the social service arm of the diocese, Catholic Charities is one of the most respected faith-based nonprofits in Middle Tennessee. But the organization’s current funding model – primarily local, state and federal contracts and grants, along with diocesan and community support – cannot keep pace with the increasing demand for services.
By creating a substantial endowment for those in need through Catholic Charities, the diocese will equip it to serve our neighbors in need even more fully. Reaching the overall goal of $5 million will provide an additional $250,000 annually to support this important work.
YOUR SUPPORT WILL:
- Impact the lives of nearly 20,000 people served per year
- Extend outreach services to all 38 counties of our diocese
- Provide sustainable funding for the work of Catholic Charities
Frequently Asked Questions
A capital campaign is an effort to raise money in a fairly short time (typically three to five years) to pay for a significant project or build up an endowment or heritage fund for future use. For a Catholic Diocese or parish, this refers to gifts and pledges over and above a parishioner’s regular giving to the Sunday collection. Parishioners who make pledges to the Diocese of Nashville’s campaign will have three years to fulfill their commitment.
Over the course of the campaign, every Catholic household in every parish in the diocese will be asked to consider making a sacrificial gift.
Preparations for the campaign began in October 2020. Parishes are running the campaign in one of three waves, which began in June 2021 and conclude in October 2022. As a Wave One parish, we started preparing to launch the campaign earlier this summer. Kickoff weekend is scheduled for this fall, and the active appeals phase will run from October through December 2021.
The diocese conducted a campaign planning study starting in late November 2019 that concluded in March 2020, just days before COVID-19 changed everything. The study was intended to garner input from parishioners and clergy. The study tested potential support for a three-year campaign focusing on priorities such as vocations, Catholic education, parish growth and expansion and helping our neighbors in need.
Parishes were provided the details for participation to be read in the announcements at Masses and to be published in the parish bulletin. This information included a schedule for several in-person information sessions that were conducted across the diocese. Most of our clergy, and many more lay leaders, responded by participating in personal interviews or mailed and online surveys. All other parishioners were invited to participate through an online survey.
After months of prayer, discernment and input from clergy and lay leaders, Bishop Spalding made the decision to move into a campaign preparation phase in October 2020. Recently we started working with Wave One parishes to announce the campaign in bulletin and pulpit announcements. The campaign was featured in a front-page article in the Tennessee Register earlier this summer and the fall issue of Catholic Awakenings is dedicated to the campaign and its priorities.
Our diocese is at a pivotal time in its long history and the unprecedented growth in Middle Tennessee presents many new opportunities. Under the dynamic leadership of Bishop J. Mark Spalding, the diocese now has the foundation in place to respond to such growth, as well as revitalize and renew existing parishes and ministries. These circumstances represent not only worthy challenges but also an opportunity to accomplish something extraordinary for our Catholic future, an endeavor powerful, inspiring, and bold.
Every parish has assessed its needs and determined where the parish share funds will be directed. Each pastor has? recruited key volunteers who will work with the Steier Group to form a campaign team. That team will help with campaign events and make personal visits to other parishioners to secure decisions from appeals made by Bishop Spalding. Clergy will also be asked to participate with the appeals of some prospective donors.
The initial priorities of bolstering endowments and providing immediate funding for urgent projects across the diocese were tested in the planning study and found to have strong support. Flowing from the pastoral mission of the diocese, A Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love is a $50 million campaign with priorities to be funded as follows:
- Vocations endowment (15% – $7.5 million)
- Catholic Education endowment (40% – 20 million)
- Helping our Neighbors in Need endowment (10% – $5 million)
- Parish Growth and Expansion (10% – $5 million)
- Parish Share (25% – $12.5 million)
NONE. We are very blessed to receive a corporate donation to cover all campaign expenses, which ensures that 100% of your personal gift will directly support the campaign priorities.
Yes, the diocese is financially sound, and that stability is allowing the diocese to conduct a campaign that focuses on future needs of parishes, while also enhancing and expanding ministries across the diocese. The diocesan financial picture is strong – the amount of assets has grown in recent years and investments are doing well. Meanwhile, the diocese is generous with grants and loans to parishes and Catholic organizations.
Frankly, we hope you continue to support your parish directly through your regular Sunday giving. This campaign is not intended to divert funds that go toward normal operating needs. The campaign is a special effort to meet needs that go beyond the routine and that can help to set up parishes (and the diocese) to thrive for years to come. In short, supporting this campaign is supporting your parish directly – as well as other parishes in need and various diocesan ministries.
The success of the overall diocesan campaign relies on the participation of every parish community. Although some parishes may not have a glaring “need” to be dealt with, they’re encouraged to dream and plan for how they could assist more people on their faith journey. Parishes that may not have needs now will almost certainly face needs in the future – which is why some parishes are considering using their campaign funds to create an endowment. Also, a parish with fewer needs would be welcome to direct some of its funds to other diocesan parishes in greater need.
The diocese (specifically a corporate donation to the diocese) will cover the expenses of the campaign. Parishes will not be responsible for any campaign expenses such as postage, printing or diocesan events held at the parish. If a parish hosts an event to promote the campaign to its parishioners, the parish will bear those costs. In addition, several Steier Group campaign managers will serve as “parish champions” to guide the parishes through the campaign process. Each parish will be assigned to one of three waves. The parish will be responsible for forming a team of volunteers that performs essential activities of the process.
Ways to give
There are many ways to give that both meet your needs and support the Diocese of Nashville. The most common way to support the campaign is through a three-year pledge. Pledges are commitments made in good faith but are not legally binding. Pledge commitments can be fulfilled through monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual installments over the three-year pledge period.
We encourage all donors to consider a 10-20 percent initial payment. More detailed information will be published in parishes, as the campaign progresses over the coming months. If you have questions about gifts of stocks, bonds or mutual funds, or if you would like to discuss planned giving options, contact Ashley Linville, Director of Development, at email@example.com
If you have not already been asked for a gift or a pledge, you will be when the campaign launches at your parish. You may receive a call from a volunteer requesting a visit or call with you, or you may receive a pledge card and return envelope.
Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, J.C.L.
Bishop of Nashville
Chancellor Brian Cooper, Chair
Rev. Austin Gilstrap
Mrs. Rebecca Hammel
Very Rev. John Hammond
Mr. Ashley Linville
Mrs. Judy Orr
Mr. William Whalen, Sr.
Mrs. Elizabeth & Mr. Lloyd Crockett
Mrs. Anne Cunningham &
Mr. Joseph Orville Maddux
Mrs. Margaret & Mr. Richard Manning
Mrs. Teresa & Mr. Michael Nacarato, Jr.
Mrs. Anita & Mr. Michael Shea
CAMPAIGN GENERAL CHAIRS
Mrs. Lucy & Mr. Marty Blair
Mrs. Christine & Mr. John Donnelly
Dr. Carolyn & Mr. Clark Baker
Mrs. Sandy & Mr. Francis Bedard
Mrs. Linda & Mr. David Bohan
Mrs. Betty Lou & Mr. James Burnett
Mrs. Valerie & Mr. Brian Cooper
Mrs. Lynda Evjen
Mrs. Elizabeth & Mr. John Gromos
Mrs. Cathy & Mr. Mike Kelly
Mrs. Lynn & Mr. William Krueger
Mr. Gino Marchetti
Mrs. Rebekah & Mr. Greg Pope
Mrs. Anita & Mr. Gregory Sandfort
Mrs. Sally & Mr. Edward Stack
Mrs. Jeanne & Mr. William Stejskal, III
Mrs. Valarie & Mr. John Stockdale
Mrs. Carol & Mr. William Whalen, Sr.
Very Rev. John Hammond, Chair
Very Rev. Eric Fowlkes
Rev. Austin Gilstrap
Very Rev. Joseph McMahon
Very Rev. Christiano Nunes
Very Rev. Justin Raines
Very Rev. Daniel Reehil
Deacon Hans Toecker
Mr. Ashley Linville
WAVE ONE PARISHES
- Christ the Redeemer Church
- Church of the Holy Rosary
- Church of the Nativity
- Holy Family Church, Brentwood
- Holy Trinity Church
- Immaculate Conception Church, Clarksville
- St. Ann Church
- St. Cecilia, Waynesboro
- St. Christopher Church
- St. Edward Church
- St. John Vianney Church
- St. Matthew Church
- St. Patrick Church, Nashville
- St. Stephen Church