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Two Catholic parishes in Moline have launched a $5 million capital campaign to pay for repairs and other projects on their campuses and at Seton Catholic School, also in Moline.

A "silent" phase of fundraising began in August and the "response has been strong," with the exact amount raised so far to be announced during the public kickoff at Masses this Saturday and Sunday, said the Rev. Mark DeSutter, pastor of Sacred Heart Church.

Sacred Heart, 1307 17th Ave., and Christ the King, 3209 60th St., are the two churches involved. Seton's elementary and middle school buildings are on the Sacred Heart campus.

"We're on track to where we want to be, although the proof will be in the pudding with the final (public) phase," DeSutter said.

Volunteers will solicit for donations or pledges through the end of March from members as well as school families, past parents, alumni and community supporters, he said.

The idea of a combined campaign grew out of strategic planning undertaken by Sacred Heart several years ago, DeSutter said. The conclusion was that "we can do more together than separately."

"All three institutions depend on one another. If one is not doing well, it affects the other two. We're tied together for the common mission of the Catholic community in Moline. We all have to be financially healthy or we will be in trouble."

The parishes have a combined membership of about 2,780 families; 1,330 at the historic, 1919 Sacred Heart and 1,450 at Christ the King, built in 1967. Enrollment at the K-8th grade Seton is holding steady at about 500, DeSutter said.

Of the $5 million, Sacred Heart needs about $3 million, Christ the King needs about $1.2 million and Seton needs about $875,000. Following is a closer look at how this breaks down.

Sacred Heart

At present, there is no covered or handicapped accessible entrance to the church. One has to negotiate sometimes inclement weather and steps.

The gathering space will be a roughly 40 feet wide and 103 feet long immediately east of the church, connected by a covered, handicapped accessible entrance.

The gathering space also will provide restrooms, a bride's room, a small kitchen and space to accommodate about 100 people at tables or about 200 seated in rows for presentations.

At present, the rectory sits on this space. It is bigger than necessary and in need of about $300,000 in work if it were to be retained, so it will be demolished, with Sacred Heart either building a new, much smaller residence on property it already owns to the north, or renting, DeSutter said.

New construction is estimated at $1.7 million with demolition and relocation of the rectory an additional $300,000.

The second big item for Sacred Heart is to repair its 38 historic stained glass windows. Taken together, repairs would be about $726,000. The parish has broken down the cost per window so that sponsorships are available, beginning at $3,300 for 14 smaller windows (all spoken for) and $118,000 for the largest, the Resurrection window behind the choir loft (still available). 

Other work will include tuckpointing the church's Bedford limestone exterior, and replacing the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system in the Lee Parish Center, estimated at about $273,000.

Christ the King

 Work will include replacing the church and rectory roofs, replacing worn geothermal pumps for air units, repairing the parking lot plus some new carpet, paint and LED lighting for a total of $900,000. The campaign also seeks to raise $300,000 for a reserve.

Seton 

Work will include tuckpointing the brick elementary building, replacing its 64-year-old boiler, upgrading its electrical service and paying back $100,000 to its endowment fund that was borrowed last year to replace windows that were literally falling out of their openings, DeSutter said.

Additional work will upgrade the campus' overall security system, buy new computers and update classrooms for a total of $875,000.

People contributing may designate which entity they want their money to go to. If one of the entities gets more designated money than it needs, it will keep it in an account for future work. DeSutter said he does not foresee an instance in which one of the entities does not get what it needs.

Also feeding into Seton school are the parishes of St. Mary's, Moline, and St. Maria Goretti, Coal Valley, but they decided against participating in the campaign.

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