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Status of St. Helen Parish Building Project
November 2, 2017

Amount Pledged:  $4,787,383

 

Our architect, Martin A. DeSapio has spent time at the church on Sundays and with the Renovation Committee.  Based on his observations and experience in liturgical design, Martin designed a plan which will meet the needs of St. Helen for the next 50 years! Some of the upgrades and design changes are:

 

  • A new roof
  • Additional 100 seats
  • All new system upgrades including electric, plumbing, heating and air conditioning
  • New pews
  • Indoor gathering space
  • A chapel that will seat 100 and can be used for daily Mass, Children’s Liturgy of the Word, retreats, and Religious Education gatherings
  • New liturgical appointments including altar, baptismal font and ambo
  • New handicap accessible men’s and women’s bathrooms
  • The sanctuary will be handicap accessible
  • Redesigned music area to fit the needs of the program going forward

 

Thank you to the 833 families who contributed to this campaign.  To meet the goal, the parish needs an additional $500,000 pledged.  If 500 families make a gift of $1,000 over 2 years, we will be at goal. We invite you to be a part of this campaign! 

Please complete the pledge card below and return it to the parish office.  Thank you!

Pledge Card Link

Link to the Church Plans ~ Larger Image

 



50th Anniversary Renovation Update

 
December 1, 2016

We are now 6 months into Celebrating 50 Years Capital Campaign and have collected 37% of the amount pledged! Thank you!
At this point the campaign statistics are as follows

Total Number of Pledges 799
Amount Pledged $4,211,806
Amount Paid $1,538,542
Balance $2,896,925
Total Paid In Full 259
Amount Paid in full $646,967

 


October 16, 2016

The parish is currently in the 5th month of pledge redemption and the campaign is g
oing strong:

Total Number of Pledges 789
Amount Pledged $4,187,884
Amount Paid $1,290,956
Balance $2,896,925
Total Paid In Full 244
Amount Paid in full $596,604

Please remember that work on the renovation cannot begin until we have a specific plan in place which  is approved by the Archdiocese and the town of Westfield.  At this point, that does not exist. We simply have a sketch drawing of some initial ideas we used for the fundraising effort.

During the summer months we contracted with a new architect to oversee our project.  We had interviews with three local firms and chose Martin DeSapio. Martin’s firm is located in Flemington, New Jersey. He has worked in church architecture for over 30 years. In early September, the parish Renovation Committee was assembled to meet with Martin and verbally talk to him about what our hopes for the project might be. All of it was simply a review of what we had already talked about since this process began. Then during one weekend in September, Martin visited personally to observe the church in action. He noticed how people approached the church, how communion flows and music operated while it was happening. He is currently in the process of preparing some preliminary concepts for what he sees we could do in our space to meet our goals. The Renovation Committee will then take their time in reviewing and providing feedback about what they see. Eventually, we will get to a more specific plan. It will most likely consume the rest of the academic year, meaning until June of 2017 to complete that process.
 

The other requirement we have to meet is 75% of the pledged financial support must be collected before any work can begin. Please remember that the pledge payoff time is over three years. We are only in the 5th month of that collection time. While we met our goal in pledges, the money still needs to be collected. So far, our progress is excellent.   Thank you to all those who have made the campaign such a success!

Thank you also to the Renovation Committee:

  • Claudia Andreski
  • Patrick Bergin
  • Brian Bonner
  • Mary Cappio
  • Bob Cardiello
  • Debbie Cusimano
  • Maureen Francis
  • Michael Guarnuccio
  • Pat Pastore
  • Maribeth Vaszily
  • Kevin Walsh


May 31, 2016
Thank you!

The formal part of our campaign ended last week. We have received pledges in excess of $4,000,000! Thank you!
Approximately 700 pledges have brought us to our goal.
While the formal part of the campaign is now completed, pledges can still be made by submitting your pledge card to the parish office. We are still hoping for the full participation of our community in this effort.

Any further campaign questions or inquiries should be submitted to the parish business manager:
Carolyn Colonna at 908-873-1981 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Campaign General Co-Chairpersons

Debbie and Gerard Abbattista
Deirdre and David Gelinne



Leadership Gifts
Claude Fusco
Jack Sheehan

Receptions
Lucia and Peter McGovern
Ellen and Phil Murphy

Phone Call/Mailing
Nancy and Bill Baton
Maribeth and Joe Vaszily

March 28, 2016

All parishioners will be receiving an invitation to one of our Campaign Receptions! We encourage every parish family to attend.  We ask that you please return you RSVP card as soon as you can.  At these receptions you will have a chance to hear a brief presentation and have all of your questions about the campaign answered.  We look forward to seeing you there!  



March 3, 2016

Campaign Receptions
We will be hosting a series of receptions to share with you our plans to renovate our church. This is also your opportunity to learn firsthand about the campaign, ask questions, receive your campaign materials and meet with your fellow parishioners.
These receptions are intended to be informational and social, providing a wonderful opportunity to gather with
your fellow parishioners to talk about the future of our parish.
Every family in The Parish Community of Saint Helen will be mailed an invitation over the next few weeks to attend a 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign Reception. Receptions will take place during the months of February and March. Kindly, RSVP as soon as possible, so we can plan for your attendance. We hope to see you there!

Campaign Prayer
Almighty and loving God
we, The Parish Community of Saint Helen,
turn to you with grateful hearts and praise for the abundant gifts
You have bestowed upon us through the years.
With great anticipation, we are beginning a new chapter
in our history as we cross the threshold
of renovation for our beloved church.
We are ready to respond to Your plea and place our
trust in You as we joyfully and intentionally continue our mission to
Worship You, Serve Others and Make Disciples
and make our church one where seekers may
personally encounter Your Son, Jesus.
May a spirit of cooperation and generous hearts and minds
ever fulfill our vision as we face the challenges ahead
to accomplish our goals for our 50th Anniversary Campaign.
Bless our efforts with Your grace to open our hearts
to give freely and with true generosity.
Guide us as we continue to be a community of believers.
Help us realize that our response of generous hearts for our
50th Anniversary Campaign is not only for
our present parish community but for
future generations of believers.
We ask this and praise You through
Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Amen


February 26, 2016

EVERY PARISHIONER WILL BE INVITED TO A CAMPAIGN RECEPTION!

Over the course of the next few weeks, all parishioners of St. Helen will receive an invitation to attend one of a series of campaign receptions.  At these receptions, Fr. Michael and members of the Campaign Committee will be on hand to discuss the various needs of our parish and how we, as a parish community, will address these needs. This is your opportunity to learn firsthand about the campaign, ask questions, receive your campaign materials and meet with fellow parishioners.

 Because this is an important time in the life of our parish community, we ask that all parishioners take the time to attend a reception.  Invitations will continue to be mailed over the coming weeks.  Please RSVP as soon as possible so that we can plan for your attendance.  See you there!  

IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO VOLUNTEER!
Last week, all parishioners of The Parish Community of Saint Helen were asked to volunteer their time and talents for our 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign. As outlined by Fr. Michael it will be necessary to personally contact as many members of our parish community as possible in order to make this campaign a success.  If you can volunteer 5-10 hours of your time over the next few months, please fill out the form below and drop it in the weekend collection or return it to the Parish Office.

CLICK HERE FOR THE VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP CARD


 

February 22, 2,016

Our 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign – Begins Today! This weekend is the official kickoff of our 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign to restore and renovate our church. I will be asking you to help us make the campaign a successful endeavor. I’ll be inviting people to assist us with various parts of the campaign. Don’t worry. You will not be asked to approach people about money. While we have the assistance of Guidance in Giving, a Catholic fundraising company to assist us to guide our campaign, this is all about us and our sacred gathering space…our Church. Every household in the parish has begun to be invited to a parish reception to learn more about the project, ask questions and to find out how you can financially support the project. But in addition to that, I’m going to use the time to get to know still more of you better. So whether you intend on supporting the project with a gift, which I hope you will seriously consider, or you just want to come to the receptions to learn more, please feel free to come.

This weekend, volunteer cards are being made available for anyone to offer their assistance in three areas. You can help to make some follow-up phone calls to gain RSVP’s for the receptions, assist us with the mailing of information about the campaign and actually helping with the reception preparations.

Please fill out a card today or take one and return it as soon as possible, as everything is ready to proceed. My profound thanks are extended to our parishioners who participated in the feasibility study in the fall, the campaign committee chair people, office staff, Guidance in Giving, and all who have assisted me in getting ready to launch this campaign. I’m reminding everyone that due to the generous bequests that are coming our way, our 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign is ours. All the proceeds donated are only for our Church project! The bequests will be used to satisfy our outstanding loan obligations on the Burke Hall Administrative Building and to satisfy our obligation to the Archdiocese of Newark for the We are Living Stones Campaign. We are so blessed as St. Helen’s prepares to celebrate its past while planning for its bright future!

In God’s Peace and Love,

Fr. Michael


CLICK HERE FOR NEWSLETTER 1


January 27, 2016

Our 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign - There is Exciting News to Tell You!

Starting a fund raising campaign may not count as exciting, but our planned campaign has received an unexpected twist. This  week,  a member of Guidance in Giving, a Catholic fundraising company, have opened their campaign office here at St. Helen’s as we launch our 50th Anniversary campaign to repair and renovate our Church building. That office, which is located in the Administration Building, will be open daily Monday through Friday until Memorial Day weekend. You will be hearing about this very soon.  Our fundraising goal for the campaign is $3,000,000. During the Christmas holidays, we were left two extraordinary bequests. (I’ll disclose the amounts at a later time pending the completion of all the documents and proceedings.) Mr. Joseph Richard Weiss and Ms. Constance Bianco, more than generously left St. Helen Church gifts that will allow us to completely pay off the loan balance for the Administration Building that is still outstanding and has the potential to completely or significantly satisfy our obligation to the Archdiocese of Newark for the We are Living Stones Campaign. The impact of those gifts means that our campaign will almost entirely be our own. We have been truly blessed by these unexpected gifts! 



October 28, 2015

Results of the Parish Feasibility Study

CLICK HERE FOR THE PARISH FEASIBILITY STUDY REPORT SUMMARY


In early September, each family in our parish was invited to participate in a feasibility study.  Thank you to the 527 families that participated! 

The proposed project summary that we mailed had two phases.  The first phase included essential improvements to the church. The second phase included expanding space and eliminating the parish debt. 

Based on the feedback from the study we are proceeding with the Phase I modified concept only. We are requesting permission from the Archdiocese to conduct a campaign in the Winter/Spring 2016 with a goal of raising $3,000,000.  Funds raised through this campaign will be used for the following improvements in the church:

  • Rehabilitation of all roof structures
  • Upgrading mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems
  • New bathrooms
  • Some new liturgical appointments
  • Repairing and refinishing the pews
  • Aesthetic improvements to the church interior

As part of the $3,000,000 goal, $845,000 will support the Archdiocesan We are Living Stones Campaign.  This campaign will provide the foundation on which our Church will continue to build and enhance the future of the over one million Catholics across the Archdiocese of Newark.    It will provide endowments for parish renewal, seminarian support, Catholic school tuition assistance, and retired priest care and medical needs.  It will also support the Works of Mercy efforts throughout the Archdiocese.

If you have any questions please do one of the following:

  • Join Fr. Michael and the Renovation Committee for a Town Hall style meeting on Tuesday, November 10th from 7:30 to 9:00 pm in the church.
  • Continue to check this page.  We will update it as drawings become available and also with any campaign updates
  • E-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.  As the Parish Community of St. Helen approaches its 50th Anniversary, the Renovation Committee and St. Helen's parish staff value the input you have provided as we determine the best way to meet the needs of our growing community.