The Building Our Faith Together, in Unity and with Gratitude Capital Campaign of the St. Nicholas Eparchy began nearly two years ago on May 12, 2019. It was undertaken to sustain the long-term viability of the St. Nicholas Eparchy and to restore the 114-year-old Cathedral in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village, particularly the cupolas and roof. Funds from the Campaign were also designated to seed an endowment fund to better support all parishes and missions within the Eparchy, and to further develop Eparchial resources, particularly in the areas of administration and the continuing education of priests, deacons and laity. We are pleased to announce that considerable progress has been made in our fundraising. Campaign donations have surpassed $2,400,000. Furthermore, considerable progress has also been made in the restoration of the Cathedral and in our pursuit of the other Campaign goals.
Given the magnitude of the Cathedral restoration, the project has been divided into several stages. We recently completed the first stage of the project, which addressed the urgent issues in the roof and copula above the sanctuary. We have now initiated work on the second phase, which will address the entrance and front end of the Cathedral. Kudos to the Renovation Committee and to our clergy for their leadership and efforts.
Stage 1 of the project also provided disappointing news and clearer insight into the extent of the damage that has taken place over more than a century. We now know that the total cost of the restoration will considerably exceed the initial estimate of $2,650,000 and will total more than $5,000,000. In light of this, the Capital Campaign will continue beyond the initial three-year time horizon and will be expanded to include new grants and other new fundraising channels of support. Also, a Phase 4 will be added to the Campaign and will encompass geography beyond the Midwestern and Western United States.
Addressing All Campaign Goals
Bishop Benedict and the Capital Campaign leadership are committed to achieving all three goals of the Campaign, namely: completing the Cathedral restoration, supporting all parishes, particularly those with the greatest financial needs, and developing administrative and educational Eparchial resources.
So far, we have appreciably moved forward with the renovation, and have made limited but not inconsiderable progress on the other two goals. Specifically, we have allocated $100,000 from the Campaign to seed and endowment fund to support our parishes, raised $20,000 to support John the Baptizer Parish in San Diego in their campaign to build a new church, and raised nearly $12,000 for the Solidarity Fund through our Christmas campaign. The Stewardship and Development Office also has resumed its Share Program that supports Eparchial Administration and has raised over $54,000.