Sunday, 10 November 2019 10:21

Diocesan planning study under way

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Parishioners encouraged to attend Focus Group meetings and/or participate in online survey

11 10 2019 Seminarians at St. Meinrad recite prayersThe Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has launched a planning study to determine the level of support for a diocesan-wide capital campaign.

Representatives from the Steier Group, a Catholic development and fundraising firm, will be conducting interviews in the diocese until mid-November. They are seeking feedback on support for seminarian education throughout the diocese.

“Bishop Paprocki wants to hear from as many people as possible, so we can gauge their interest in addressing these urgent needs,” said Shaun Riedell, director of Development for the diocese.

During the currently underway 12-week study, parishioners will have a variety of ways to give their opinions. While some will be personally interviewed, others will have the option to mail a survey, go online to answer questions or attend a focus group meeting at a regional parish location.

“Embarking on a major fundraising effort in our diocese would be a significant undertaking, and I want to hear from my brother priests, lay leaders and parishioners before making a decision of this magnitude,” Bishop Thomas John Paprocki said. “I am very pleased with the participation we have received, but pray that even more will share their thoughts with me.”

In November, the diocese will be conducting four Focus Group meetings, which are open to all to learn more about the proposed diocesan-wide campaign, ask questions and complete a survey.

Here is a list of the dates and locations for the Focus Group meetings:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m., Blessed Sacrament Church, 1119 S. Seventh St., Quincy, IL 62301
  • Monday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m., St. Boniface Church, 110 N. Buchanan St., Edwardsville, IL 62025
  • Monday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m., Christ the King Church, 1930 Barberry Dr., Springfield, IL 62704
  • Wednesday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m., Christ the King Church, 1930 Barberry Dr., Springfield, IL 62704

For those who want to complete an online survey, it is available at or to learn more and provide comments. The password is study.

The results of the planning interviews and surveys will be used to recommend how the diocese should proceed if it moves into a major fundraising campaign.

“We are very excited about the study and hope people will take the time to give us their opinions,” Riedell said. “We are one Catholic family and need to make this decision together.”

The Steier Group, based in Omaha, Neb., has directed a number of successful efforts including a $51 million campaign in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and a $53 million campaign for Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska.