Frequently Asked Questions

Is this Campaign mandated by the Chancery?

No. This is a parish based campaign. The needs for repair here are great. Fr. Sebastian, following the lead of Fr. Shawn, has formed a council of parish leadership for the restoration of the church, and they have hired Fulmer Associates, an Engineering firm to oversee that the repairs are done properly and will last. The parish had to request permission from Bishop Libasci to conduct a campaign, due to its size and cost. The Chancery’s involvement is to ensure that the proportional amount of funds is raised, (not an overabundance for future spending), that they are spent wisely and that the stated work for the campaign gets done, to the best of the ability given the fluctuations in overall construction costs throughout the projects, in short that we are good stewards of the funds that are entrusted to us for a specific purpose.

Why are we in such a rush to raise these funds?

Our steeple at St. Mary’s is in grave disrepair. In the Engineer Survey Report it was deemed a Priority One Life Safety Issue and, therefore, in need of immediate attention to avoid any future life-threatening incidents.  According to our engineer Bob Fulmer, it is very unlikely to remain intact for another winter. The timeline to repair the steeple is urgent. The remaining restoration of St. Mary Church will be done in stages after all life safety issues have been addressed.

Will our Parish Campaign be assessed?

No, none of the funds raised from our campaign will be assessed by the Chancery.

How will the campaign affect our parish offertory?

Offertory giving should remain consistent. Parish leadership and Council will make sure to communicate to parishioners to consider a greater sacrifice and commitment above and beyond their regular offertory giving and should not lower their offertory giving to their parish in order to make a gift to this effort.

How will this campaign affect the New Hampshire Catholic Appeal?

The New Hampshire Catholic Appeal is a consolidation of many of the second collections we would see throughout the year that benefit important ministries. These ministries support important services affecting every parish that make up our diocese providing for the faith to continue. This campaign is completely separate from the NHCA.

Are pledges legally binding?

Pledges are not legally binding. If the donor’s financial situation changes such that a pledge cannot be satisfied, simply communicate with the Parish Office and inform them of the changes so they can adjust or cancel the pledge.  

Will any of these funds be used for items other than the established case elements?

No. The Parish is legally obligated to restrict these funds for the stated case elements. The funds raised for the campaign will be used exclusively for the named case elements and expenses.

How will my parish benefit from this campaign?

Like all Capital Campaigns in the Catholic Church, this is about Christ and the continuation of His Church. We, each and every one of us, are the people that make up the parish of St Mary, in His One Body. So many before us have stood strong and supported our Church for two thousand years now, and in Claremont, kept her in decent working condition for two hundred years! It is simply our turn. St. Mary Parish will benefit by receiving a newly renovated face (steeple and entryway), and we will address the much-needed masonry projects around our church as well. As part of the parish, we should all be committed to maintaining a solid physical place of worship in Claremont that will sustain and grow the ministries and spirituality of the faithful both now and in the future. This is our mission, our legacy that we will leave for the next generation.

Who handles the redemption of the pledges?

The Administration Office at St. Mary’s will be responsible for the redemption of the pledges. They will track pledges and gifts and handle the mailing of payment reminders over the 3-year pledge period.

Do I have to pledge for three years?

No. Gifts can be one time given now or at any time during the campaign; pledged over one, two, three, or if need be up to four or even five years. We are hoping that the majority of funds for this campaign come in during the three years so we can take care of all of our needs sooner. The longer we wait, the more in disrepair the facilities become, and the more expensive it will be in the long run to address, especially with rates rising the way they are.

Can I designate my gift to a specific case item?

Yes. Our hope is a donor would support the campaign as a whole, but if a donor wishes to specify a portion or all of their gift, he/she must clearly specify on the pledge card how the gift should be designated to one of the case elements stated on page 4 of the God’s House, Our Home Campaign Brochure.

How much should I give to the campaign?

Parishioners are asked to prayerfully consider a specific gift plan in accordance with their own means, circumstances and sacrificial levels. Because of the cost of these projects that are imminent, we are asking for a sacrificial gift that is far beyond the normal support. We are asking the same of everyone, yet we know that everyone’s circumstances are different and gifts that are truly a sacrifice for all will be given in all sizes. If we are to see this project through, we will all have to stretch significantly. We are a small parish of about 150 actively supporting parishioners. This will not be easy. Consider, if you will, what you would pay for a similar 3-5 year obligation – a car loan. This is also usually a stretch, but it is done before you know it, and the reward for this will last hopefully another 200 years, not 5-10.

How are pledges payable to the campaign?

Pledges are payable in weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual installments over a 3-year period (4-5 yrs. if absolutely desired/necessary). This is meant to be as convenient to the donor as possible. They can be paid by check, online via automatic debit or credit card payments through our online system, cashiers/bank checks, or cash.

Why are pledges encouraged, instead of one-time donations?

Pledges provide parishioners with the opportunity to make a more significant gift to the mission of the Church. A contribution is easier to pay off over a period of time rather than a one-time gift out of pocket (again, think car loan).  In addition, pledges allow us to better budget and plan for the different stages/projects encompassed in this campaign.

Is cash the only way I can donate to the campaign?                                  

No. There are other ways to donate for sure! Gifts from a Trust, Bequests, Gifts of Stock, Parcels of Land, Jewelry, Real Estate, Automobiles, any real property of significant value can be donated with the intent that property will be sold and the proceeds will go directly to St. Mary’s for the gifts of the God’s House, Our Home Capital Campaign.

Are IRA rollover gifts an option for giving to this campaign?

If you are 70½ or older, the IRA rollover is a great way for you to make a gift to support the God’s House, Our Home Campaign.  IRA rollover gifts can make a huge difference. These gifts will help sustain us in our important work to strengthen our community. For more information on making an IRA Rollover gift to the campaign, contact Bevin Kennedy, Cabinet Secretary for Development and Communications at (603) 663-0136.

IRA rollover is now permanent, and its key provisions are:

·       The IRA rollover allows donors 70½ or older to transfer up to $100,000 directly from their IRA on an annual basis.

·       An IRA rollover gift is a tax-exempt distribution. Qualifying individuals can make charitable gifts using pre-tax IRA assets rather than taking a distribution, paying income taxes and using after tax assets to make a charitable gift

·      An IRA rollover gift can be used to meet all or part of an IRA’s annual required minimum distribution (RMD).  The age for the required minimum distribution is now 72 years old.

How soon should I turn in my pledge?

Please take some time to prayerfully consider your pledge, and what you may be able to offer over the three (up to 5) years. Once you have decided, please turn your pledge in as soon as possible by dropping it in the offertory at Mass or bringing it into the office.

Do I have to fill out a pledge card?

Yes. Regardless of how you participate, or even if you participate, we need to receive a pledge card from everyone in the parish, so we are certain that everyone had the same opportunity to understand the basis of the campaign and to participate.