Dear Cathedral Parish Family:
I am truly humbled by the generosity and support of our parish. Without you, our beautiful Cathedral which we now call home, would not have been possible. Without you, we would not be able to worship, teach and serve according to our mission. I want to update you on where we stand financially after completing a transformational building project on our campus and share our next steps with you.
When the vision of the Cathedral project was first discussed with the parish, we presented a church without the transepts and dome in order to put forward a starting point for our new worship space. As we moved further into the design process, we soon realized that it was essential to include the transepts and dome in the first phase of our construction project both for functionality and in order to maximize our savings on these aspects of the design. It would have been much more expensive to add these elements later on. We deferred the addition of the bell tower to save money, but made the decision to build the base of the bell tower so that future construction would be possible. While these additions added to the original, estimated cost of construction, we believe that the beauty and functionality that they have brought to our experience of worship is priceless.
In addition to the cost of the Cathedral, there were other costs associated with the overall project. These included the renovation of the school, the building of a new parish rectory, repurposing the old sanctuary into the Cathedral Hall, installing a pipe organ, completing the artistic painting of our dome, building a new maintenance facility, adding a preschool playground, and acquiring additional land necessary for access and parking during and after construction. What we were able to accomplish has transformed our campus into a place of beauty, transcendence, and welcome. We have so much to celebrate. While our Home Campaign for the construction of the Cathedral was very successful, our original goal was based on the estimated cost of construction without the transepts, dome or additional benefits.
Immediately following construction, the Diocese allowed us to remain in an interest only status to complete our Home Campaign and move into our new Cathedral before beginning principal and interest payments on our remaining debt. It is now time for us to take on the challenge of retiring the difference between the initial estimate and our remaining obligation for all of the amazing work we have accomplished together. Our goal over the next three years is to raise $5 million dollars to retire our debt and free the parish to focus on our vital ministries. I realize that since the Home Campaign many new families have joined our parish community. You may not have had the opportunity to support the initial construction of the Cathedral, and I want to invite you to join us to participate in committing to the campaign that will allow our Cathedral parish to be free from debt and free to engage more actively in the vital ministries that are essential to our mission.
I am personally going to extend my pledge for the Home Campaign for 3 years as part of my commitment to this goal, and I invite you and your family to consider how you might participate in helping us reach our goal. Please find enclosed a pledge card that you may return to the parish office or you may go online to www.shcathedral.org. I am asking that you prayerfully consider committing to a debt reduction campaign in addition to your regular offertory giving.
Again, thank you for all you do for Christ and His Church. May God continue to bless you and your family.
Very Rev. David A. Boettner, V.G.
Vicar General –Diocese of Knoxville
Rector – Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus