Local Catholics raise $34 million for Archdiocese, part of $135 million campaign

By Niraj Warikoo

Detroit Free Press

(MCT)

March 16--Catholics in metro Detroit have raised more than $34 million so far for the Archdiocese of Detroit as part of a fund-raising campaign, church officials said today.

About 23,000 Catholic households have pledged the money as part of what's considered the largest capital campaign in the history of the 300-year-old Archdiocese of Detroit, which has 1.3 million Catholics.

The Archdiocese hopes to raise eventually raise $135 million from its 267 parishes in metro Detroit.

"People have been very, very generous," said Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron.

Sixty of the 267 parishes in the Archdiocese have largely completed their campaigns, raising more than $34 million in pledges. The other parishes are now starting their part of the fund-raising campaign.

Vigneron said the money raised will be largely used on the individual parishes that raised the money.

"At least 70 percent of what each parish raises stays in the parish," Vigneron said. In a statement, the Archdiocese said: "The other thirty percent of campaign proceeds will increase funds available for Catholic school tuition assistance, priestly formation and lay leadership training, and support Church ministries in the city of Detroit."

The fund raising comes as the Catholic Church in metro Detroit downsizes. The Archdiocese announced last month there could be about 45 fewer parishes in coming years.

Contact Niraj Warikoo: nwarikoo@freepress.com or 313-223-4792