ROGERS — St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers officially kicked off its capital campaign of “Continuing our Mission, Building our Future” the weekend following Easter.
The campaign endeavors to finance the construction of a new $5.8-million multipurpose building and add additional parking to the church and elementary school campus. Space would benefit youth ministry programs, adult faith formation and other parish ministries, as well as add urgently needed parking to accommodate the growing parish.
An expanded courtyard and a covered drop-off area will also provide a space for gatherings and social events and make for easier access into the worship space.
Two larger multipurpose spaces would be created for retreats, wedding receptions, funeral dinners and conferences. Two smaller meeting rooms are also in the plans to provide space for private counseling or spiritual direction. A commercial kitchen, music room and gift shop/bookstore would also maximize space and lend support to parish life activities.
Another advantage afforded by the new space, according to Deacon Ronnie Hoyt, parish manager at St. Vincent de Paul, would be gaining the use of the current daily Mass chapel.
“Since 2003, the daily Mass chapel, has been providing accommodations for administrative offices,” Hoyt said, who has managed the parish for the last seven years. “This additional space would allow the chapel to be used for its originally intended purpose.”
Another welcome addition, added Hoyt, will be around 100 new parking spaces that would alleviate the shortage of parking spaces on campus.
As the second largest parish in the Diocese of Little Rock, St. Vincent de Paul has grown in the past 15 years to serve more than 5,200 families and 19,000 Catholics. With this growth in mind, members of a two-year committee began gathering feedback from the community and assessing the needs of the parish back in 2015.
“The project doesn’t fall on the shoulders of one family or a few,” said pastor Msgr. David LeSieur when speaking to parishioners at the launch of the campaign at all Masses April 8. “It is the responsibility of everyone at St. Vincent de Paul to hear God’s call and to continue to grow his ministry.”
But no one understands the need for space at the parish like Hoyt. He has often visited the campus during different days of the week and peeked into spaces and rooms.
“I just wanted to see what is going on in every room and see what people are doing to bring Jesus to others,” he said.
What he found was that every available space was being used at the church and school and the need for more space was a necessity.
“We have had to turn groups away. Some meet in homes or other offered space in the area to continue their ministry,” Hoyt said.
Hoyt said the parish’s ongoing stewardship paid off the previous loan six years early with the final debt payment being completed by June 1, 2018.
“Paying off the debt was the No. 1 initiative so we could go forward with the building expansion to support the ministries,” Hoyt said.
Back in 2000, construction plans for the new church included an enclosure of the north outside plaza for meeting rooms, offices and facilities to support the burgeoning number of ministries at the parish. But funds fell short, and some of these planned spaces were relocated or postponed for the future.
Now, 15 years later, a planning study has established three different tiered goals for the campaign in hopes parishioners will find the goals attainable. A $4 million goal will provide the multipurpose space and expanded parking. The challenge goal of $5 million will cover 86 percent of the building cost pledged and minimize the need for debt. The final, or victory, goal of $5.8 million will cover the entire cost of the project.
General chairs for the Hispanic community, Jose and Ariana Rueda, also believe the project has merit.
“We believe faithfully that this will be a blessing for our children and future generations of parishioners who will help and that everything will be used as an instrument of God and to be a blessing for everybody,” said the couple in a statement.
Diaconate candidate Rob Brothers, who with his wife Becky, serves as a general chair couple for the campaign, said, “We are excited and honored to help lead this important project so that St. Vincent de Paul can continue to grow and be a vibrant church home to the next generation of northwest Arkansas Catholics.”
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