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What is the Legacy Campaign?

The Church of St. Mary Legacy Campaign is a capital campaign to raise funds to expand the entire parish campus. Because this is such a large undertaking a comprehensive Long-Range Master Plan has been broken down into four phases. Phase 1 will expand the school classrooms as well as update facilities. Phase 2 will continue the school expansion along with a gym. Phase 3 as well as Phase 4 will focus on the church expansion.

The legacy of St. Mary's began in 1862 with the building of the first church during the Civil War. Today the campus consists of several very old buildings and time has taken its toll on the physical structures. The time has come to do something about it. Please help us preserve our parish campus, ensuring that it continues to thrive as the center of Catholicism in Sycamore. Please join us in supporting the Legacy Campaign!

Phase 1 of the Faith Formation Center

Phase 1, currently underway, is about the future of Catholic education at St. Mary's. The first phase of the long-range plan became necessary due to the fact that we are losing the use of the Murphy building, which is owned by Vencor Hospital. We currently have school students using that building daily and religious education students using it weekly. Losing that building will displace them, so our first priority in expanding our campus will be to provide for these students.

The last building our community built for educational purposes was completed 48 years ago. Since then thousands of St. Mary parishioners have been educated in our faith using these facilities. Recently we have experienced a major growth in terms of students in our school, in the religious education program and in youth ministry involvement. 

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (Acts 20:35)

Every gift to The Church of St. Mary Legacy Campaign is important to reaching our goal. While your giving is a personal decision, there are options you might consider for your contribution.

CASH: Gifts may be made in the form of cash, check, bank debit and credit card.

PLEDGE: A signed statement of intent, letter of commitment, or pledge card allows you to plan ahead and extend your gift over a period of up to five years. A pledge may be started at any time.

STOCK: Outright gifts of appreciated stock will be gladly accepted.

PROPERTY: Outright gifts of property (land or buildings) will be accepted upon approval by St. Mary’s Finance Council. However, no gift of real property will be approved or accepted until St. Mary’s has obtained a professional environmental audit of the property and legal counsel has reviewed the audit.

LIFE INSURANCE: Outright irrevocable gifts of life insurance policies with a value that can be converted into cash within the five-year pledge period will be accepted upon approval by St. Mary’s Finance Council.

IN-KIND: In-Kind gifts or pro bono services by an independent contractor to complete either a project specifically to be funded in this capital campaign or by providing an outside service to assist with the completion of phase one will be accepted in the Legacy Campaign with the review and approval of the Facilities Task Force.

COMMEMORATE: Gifts in any form to commemorate the life of a family member, a loved one, or a friend will be gratefully accepted.

St. Mary’s Scrip program has written a check to the Legacy Campaign in the amount of $2,007.78for Scrip purchases from September 2, 2015 through March 1, 2016. This donation happens when our parishioners participate in our Scrip program.

Here is how it works. By purchasing gift cards through our St. Mary’s Scrip Program the Legacy campaign receives 20% of the rebate received from the vendor and if you choose Legacy as your preference when ordering, the additional 70% rebate becomes your donation to our Legacy Campaign. What an easy way to contribute to our Legacy Campaign! Just by shopping, you contribute to Legacy!

Scrip is available as cash and carry after some masses and online. To get signed up for online purchases send your request to Beth Conrad at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call St. Mary School at 815-895-5215 and ask for Beth. Once you have signed up, the online purchasing is very simple. There is also payment online via PrestoPay if you choose. To view the website for Scrip go to

Thank you to all the families who purchase Scrip gift cards! Every purchase counts towards our Legacy goal! Please consider ordering Scrip! Louise Fitzgerald, Legacy Campaign Office 815-895-3275 Ext. 6 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please Pray
For all in our parish community who have given so much of themselves to bring us to this day.  And all who will give more in the future.  This is our parish.  A legacy that began in 1862.  We can only imagine all the hands, hearts, and minds that helped build our parish.

Parish Prayer for Our Future
Lord, may our efforts to expand and renovate our parish campus bring others to you.  Give each of us courage in this common purpose to do your work at St. Mary's.  May our worship and our activities bring all of us together in this common purpose to provide for our growth, to provide for th needs of the children, to provide so all who seek you have a place here at St. Mary's.  We are willing to extend ourselves as we listen to others and invite them to dream and grow with us.  Help us to overcome our hesitancy and fear, for you are our strength.  May it be your voice we hear, calling to a deeper discipleship, a deeper conviction in faith, a deeper understanding of sharing your love.  Amen.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me.  Amen.

Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace!  The Lord is with you; blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

 A Disciple's Prayer
Loving God and Father, help us to be people of prayer, committed to the person and message of Jesus your Son.

Help us to grasp the integrity and beauty of the truths of our faith and the transforming power of your grace.

Nourish and strengthen us as people of faith, disciples of Jesus, committed to the mission of the Church and eager to share the gospel without restraint.

Let our hearts burn within us as we catch glimpses of your heart in Jesus, for through him, we know your loving plan for us. 

We ask this through Jesus the Christ who lives with you and the Holy Spirit in one loving Trinity.


  • What does Phase I include and how much will be raised?

    Phase 1 is the construction of three classrooms, Religious Education and School offices, additional restrooms for the entire school and an unfinished second floor. We have the Murphy Building on a year by year basis until Kindred decides to no longer renew.

    Phase I of the Faith Formation Center was decided upon as our first capital project of the Master Plan for two important reasons. 1)Phase 1 lays the groundwork for future phases of the Master Plan. 2)Phase 1 represents an urgent need. It replaces the space we are losing in the Murphy Building since the current lease with Ventas is for only one year at a time.

    As with all construction projects, details of the project design could be modified for a variety of reasons including site preparation test results.

    The Legacy Campaign seeks to raise $2.2 million to fund building of Phase 1 of the Faith Formation Center.

  • Why is the Faith Formation Center the first of the Master Plan priorities?

    Phase 1 of the Faith Formation Center was decided upon as our first capital project of the Master Plan for two important reasons. It replaces the space we are losing in the Murphy Building and lays the groundwork for classes in the 1920's building to be moved to the second floor of the new build.

  • What are the other projects of the Master Plan?

    The other capital projects of the Master Plan include:

    • Faith Formation Center build - Phase I
    • Completion of second floor in new building.
    • Demolition of 1920's school.
    • New Gymnasium, as well as multi-purpose space, Cafeteria, Music/Choir Room.
    • New Parking Lot
    • Church Link to Faith Formation Center, Rest rooms for Church, new Sacristy.
    • Church Expansion including construction of new chapel for daily use.
    • New Rectory

  • How were the Master Plan priorities determined?

    • In 2005-2006 St. Mary’s learned that we would likely lose our lease for the Murphy Building in the near future. Efforts were then started in the fall of 2006 to review all parish needs.
    • After careful review by the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC), a town hall meeting was held to present the LRPC initial recommendation and findings.
    • Surveys and interviews were done to gather parishioner and staff input regarding short and long-term needs of the parish as presented by LRPC.
    • Overwhelming support was given to the LRPC from the parish to proceed with making replacement of lost space in Murphy Center a priority.
    • After a feasibility study was completed, the first phase was finalized based on need and afford ability.

  • When will the gym be built?

    The gym is a priority, but due to the loss of space in the Murphy Building, replacing the classrooms must be done first. The gym will be built in Phase 2. There needs to be enough parishioner financial support to finish classrooms on the new second floor because the second floor classrooms will replace others that will be lost when the 1920 portion of the school is demolished to make room for the gym.

  • Where will the computer room be?

    We plan to go to wireless computers in the future or will combine the computer room and library.

  • Do we have the Murphy Building space until the new build is completed?

    We have a lease for the Murphy Building until August 2011. They could serve notice and ask us to leave sooner as in any lease agreement, but we feel confident that we will have that space until the end of the agreed to time. The Education Commission is working on a contingency plan.

  • When will building of Phase 1 begin?

    As soon as $2.2 million in pledges is raised and we have Diocese approval.

  • How will the funds be raised? How will the campaign be run and for how long?

    • Every parish family will be contacted to be a part of the Legacy Campaign.
    • A pledge card will be completed and turned in to the Parish Office.
    • The campaign pledges can be paid over a five-year period.
    • Pledges may be paid in one installment or several installments over five years or less.
    • Pledges may be paid by cash, check, EFT or credit card.

  • Can I give through my estate plan?

    Yes, and we encourage you to remember St. Mary parish in your other bequests for our future just as you keep St. Mary in your thoughts today with your annual support and capital gifts. Please talk to your lawyer, accountant or other certified financial advisor about the documents required for us to count and value your bequest or other revocable gift toward the Legacy Campaign.

  • What if I want to give to one of the other Master Plan projects?

    We will gladly accept gifts and pledges for our other capital projects, but other phases will not be started until Phase 1 is paid for and any debt acquired to fund Phase 1 is retired. We will earmark your gifts for the specific project you have in mind and use it for the project when the time comes. In addition to the project you want to help fund in the future, we hope you will kindly consider a gift of some amount for Phase 1 today so the parish can expediently move forward to the next phase.

  • What if the campaign raises less than $2.2 million?

    The parish is in a good financial position to consider other funding in order to make up for a shortfall, but that would be a loan from other parish funds. Building will start when we can provide a financial plan to the Diocese for the build.

  • Does the Diocese of Rockford approve of this plan?

    The Rockford Diocese recognizes the critical need of Phase I. They have approved a two-story build. Construction begins after completion of the Legacy Campaign and final approval from the diocese regarding financial arrangements to repay the loan. A bridge loan will be necessary to cover construction costs during the period that pledges are being collected. The parish is in good financial position to consider other funding in order to make up for a possible shortfall. We will continue to communicate and meet with the Diocese to ensure our plans move forward.

  • How will the parish be informed about campaign progress?

    Informational meetings and other events will be held during the campaign to keep information available to all parishioners. Information will also be posted on the website as well as provided in church bulletins and announcements at masses.

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