Living by Faith Rooted in Hope Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )

Q. Why is a campaign needed?

A. In 2014, we believed in order to fulfill our mission of educating children, gathering as a community, supporting ministries and having an efficient church office, it was critical to upgrade Sacred Heart facilities.  Fr. Fred Nijem and the Parish took a leap of faith to ensure the Parish could continue to achieve our mission and we embarked on another round of capital campaigns with the goal of raising money to construct a new school, new church office, new Social Hall and a drop-off canopy. The construction was completed in 2017.  We are now paying off our $6.8 million debt.

Q. How many campaigns do we expect to have to pray off our debt?

A. To reach our final goal, we anticipate having at least two more campaigns. The goal of this campaign, Living by Faith Rooted in Hope, is $1.9 million.

Q. How is our loan structured?

A. Our $6.8 million loan has two parts, allowing us to pay off one portion at an accelerated rate if funds are available. Campaign funds will be designated towards reducing and paying down the debt.

  • $4.5 million is at a fixed rate of 4.25%. We have the option to renegotiate our terms in 2027.
  • $2.3 million leverages the LIBOR interest rate plus 1.75%. This loan can be paid off early without incurring any penalties for doing so.
  • Both loans have 20 year terms.

Q. How much money has been collected from the previous campaign?

A. The Live Our Faith: Build Our Future campaign from 2014 – 2017 kicked off the fundraising for construction of the much needed facilities. We had an excellent response, prompting the Bishop to give us the approval to go ahead to start construction, confident that the money would be raised.  Sacred Heart did indeed raise the required money, $3,210,262,80 was raised by the campaign

The debt reduction phase Forward in Faith campaign with a goal of $2.4 million started in 2018 and will end December 31, 2020. Once again, Sacred Heart parishioners generously pledged and contributed as we started paying off our $6.8 million debt.  As of August 1, 2020, we have raised over $2.3 million and paid an extra $752,400.00 against the principal.

Living by Faith Rooted in Hope will run from January 1, 2021—December 31, 2023 and is the second campaign aimed at debt reduction.  Our goal is $1.9 million.

Q. How much principal does Sacred Heart still owe on the loan?

A. The amount of principal left on the loan is reduced every month.  The display in the Narthex provides the most current figures.  As of September 1, 2020, Sacred Heart has paid over $1.4 million in principal payments and the remaining principal balance is $5,323,695.61.

Q. Besides raising $1.9 million, what is the goal of the Living by Faith Rooted in Hope campaign?

A. Beyond making our monthly mortgage payments, our goal is to pay off the $2.3 million variable rate portion of the loan over the next three years and take steps to be ready to pay off a substantial portion of the loan at the mandatory 10 year refinancing.

Q. Why do we need to pay off the loan early?

A. The loan was wisely designed to allow for repayment at an accelerated schedule based on Sacred Heart’s history of paying off debt early.  As of August 1, 2020, we have paid over $750,000 in additional principal payments.  If payments continue at the current rate, we will shave off almost 15 years of the variable rate portion of the loan payment schedule.  A mandatory refinancing will occur 10 years into the loan, in year 2027.  In 2027, our primary goal will be to refinance the lowest principal amount possible.  This approach saves the church significantly.

Q.    When this debt is paid off, will another construction project start?

A. The construction of the new church, school and social hall were the final portion of a long range plan developed almost 20 years ago.  No construction requiring a bank loan is planned at this time.

Q. Does that mean no other projects can be done until our loan is paid off?

A. Sacred Heart will focus on paying against our debt and continuing to make additional payments against the principal with the hope of retiring the debt early.  We know that needs will arise but we do not plan to incur any more debt until our $6.8 million loan is paid off. You will see ongoing projects that are funded through other means or self-funded. Those projects include greatly needed improved audio & visual in the church, soccer fields, and the columbarium. We know it is important to support the school as enrollment continues to grow.  As a result, we demolished the old school to create a location for future athletic fields. 

Q. Why are we having another campaign now?

A. The previous campaign, Forward in Faith, ends on December 31, 2020. 

Q. I plan to give, why do I need to pledge?

A. By pledging, you are giving us information that we can use in planning how to pay off our loan.

Q. Why are we asked to pledge for 3 years?

A. Research has found that those who pledge are more committed to giving and three years is the preferred time.  A pledge of 3 years allows the parish to budget responsibly.

Q. What if I pledge and then cannot fulfill my pledge?

A. The pledge is your estimate of what you can give; it is not a legally binding document.  We understand that situations may change.  If your financial situation changes, please let us know and we will modify your information in our records. Please notify the Bookkeeper, Sandra Schliekelman at or 478-923-0124 ext. 1009, if your financial situation changes and you are no longer able to give at the level of your pledge.

Q. I am already giving to the Building Fund, what do I need to do to have the money go against Living by Faith Rooted in Hope?

A. A new Fund is setup, Building Fund – Living by Faith.  Starting January 1, 2021, the Building Fund – Forward in Faith will be retired. At that time, any gifts given to the Building Fund will go against our current campaign. In summary, starting January 1, 2021:

  • Envelopes - If you donate using envelopes, the envelopes will be updated starting in January 2021 and anything given using a Building Fund envelope will go to the Building Fund – Living by Faith fund.
  • Automatic Payments from your bank – If you have specified that the donation is for the Building Fund, it will be applied to the current campaign fund, Building Fund – Living by Faith.
  • Online Giving – If you have recurring payments setup through Online Giving, you can modify the Fund.  Although, if you do not modify the fund, the church office will modify the fund starting with any payments occurring after December 31, 2020.

Q. What can I expect when I pledge?

A. Besides the yearly tax letter, you can expect the following:

  • You will receive a thank you card from Fr. Stephen.
  • You will be mailed a confirmation letter from the office this November or early December.Please confirm that what is listed in the letter as your pledge amount and the payment frequency are correct.
  • Once a year, in the July or August time frame, you will receive a letter with your giving information according to our records.

If any information in the mailings does not align with your records, please call the office and speak to the Bookkeeper. 

Q. Are there designated giving opportunities?

A. Yes. There are rooms that are still available to give in honor or memory of a loved one. Please discuss that with Dara West, or 478-923-0124 ext 1006.

Q.  I work for a corporation that may match funding for nonprofit organizations, what should I do?

A. Matching corporate programs are a great opportunity to double your donation and support your corporation’s corporate social responsibility goals.  To find out if the corporation you work for matches donations, search on the Web for “double the donation and your company name.”   If your corporation matches funding for K-12 education institutions, Sacred Heart School can be authorized in the matching system.  Sacred Heart School is already setup for GEICO, PepsiCo, Delta and Boeing. Please contact Dara West, or 478-923-0124, for more information.

Q. How can I setup recurring giving?

A. You can easily setup recurring giving using either of the following methods. Someone at the office is also available to setup your recurring giving. Please call Dara West, 478-923-0124 ext. 1006 or Sandra Schliekelman ext. 1009, for assistance.

  1. Setup automatic payment through your bank. Indicate that the reoccurring payment is designated to the Building Fund.
  2. Utilize our Online Giving solution. From the website or from the QR link, go to our Online Giving. The system will allow you to pay using credit card or a bank account. Please consider including the transaction fee of 2% when you set this up to help us cover the costs for this system. Please make sure you designate the Building Fund – Living by Faith Rooted in Hope as the fund.

Q. Do I need to do anything special if I give by envelopes?

A.  If you put your donation in a Building Fund envelope, it will go against your pledge to the Building Fund.  Please always write Building Fund in the memo line.

Q. Are we meeting our current loan payments?

A. Yes, not only have we met our loan payments, but as of August 1, 2020, we have been able to pay off over $750,000 in additional principal payments.

Q. How will I know where I am against my pledge?

A. In addition to your yearly tax statement, you will receive a statement in the June/July timeframe with information about your pledge amount and amount given. You can always call the office and speak to the Bookkeeper anytime you need information about your giving, 478-923-0124.

Q. What efforts are being taken to engage the business community at large and solicit them for donations, support, etc.?

A.  Our parish and school community is the focus of this campaign.  Some local businesses will be contacted and we are looking for volunteers to make these contacts.