Frequently asked questions

Will deferring the capital campaign delay construction of our new church?

    Yes and No. As reported in previous editions of the TBC Times, the Coordinating Committee believes it is essential that we develop a solid financial plan in order to obtain the diocese's approval of the necessary construction loan. To do this, we need to demonstrate that we are able to meet our current financial responsibilities. This is the reason for our emphasis on improving the plate collection through better financial stewardship, which will take time to bear fruit.

    In addition, our financial plan includes using funds raised from the sale of surplus land at the parish-owned St. Joseph Cemetery on Mission Boulevard (this is not the small cemetery next to the Mission). A previous offer of approximately $6 million to buy this property fell through, which is a primary reason why construction of our new church did not begin at the conclusion of the second phase of our capital campaign three years ago. We do not want this to happen again.

    For this reason, the Coordinating Committee is hiring an experienced consultant to work with the city and county to secure the approvals needed to subdivide the property for housing development. This will significantly increase the value of the land to potential buyers and allow the property to be sold without contingencies. Because this effort is expected to take 18 to 24 months, deferring the next phase of the capital campaign will not further delay the project. During this time, we are hopeful that the real estate market will also improve, further increasing the value of the property.

Why not build the multipurpose building instead?

    The Coordinating Committee is following the priorities established in the parish master plan: (1) construction of the new church, (2) renovation of the existing church building for additional meeting space, and (3) construction of the multipurpose building. To ensure that we can ultimately realize all three goals, we have already purchased the land for the multipurpose purpose building.

    Because the multipurpose building is the third phase of the parish master plan, we have not done any engineering and architectural design or begun the environmental studies and other work required to gain city approval of the multipurpose building. Based upon our experience securing the approval for the new church, this process will take many years to complete. Finally, the estimated cost of design, permits, site preparation, archeological mitigation and construction of the multipurpose building

What happened to the money already raised by our capital campaigns?

    We have used these funds to purchase the property for the future multipurpose building; relocate the rectory from the new church site; complete the architectural design, environmental studies and archeological mitigation and obtain city approvals for the new church; relocate burial plots to prepare the surplus cemetery land for sale; restore the stained glass windows which are in storage for use in the Eucharistic chapel of the new church; make repairs to the Ministry House 1 and 2 buildings that we acquired when we purchased the land for the multipurpose building; and pay capital campaign expenses. We have $1.2 million remaining on deposit with the diocese and expect to receive an additional $600,000 as current campaign pledges are paid.

How will we raise the rest of the money we need to construct our new church?

    We have already raised or identified over half of the funds needed to complete the first two phases of the master plan (the new church and hall renovation) as well as purchasing the land for phase 3 (the multi-purpose building). We still need to raise about $9.5 million. Thatís a lot of money, but this parish, like many other parishes (and the St. Joseph parishioners who preceded us and built the school and current church), has sufficient financial ability to fund the remaining cost of the new church.

    There are many families that have not yet made a pledge, and new families join the parish every year. Many of those who have already made and paid their pledges will be asked to consider making an additional pledge. And as mentioned in last monthís TBC Times, if every family contributed one hourís wages each week to the plate collection, we wouldnít even need another capital campaign! The diocese has said it will lend us the remaining money to construct the new church if we can show with our financial plan how we will be able to pay back the loan. The cemetery land sale, pledges and improved plate collections will all be part of how we accomplish this.

During our first campaign, the projected cost of the Phase 1 projects was $10,200,000. Now the projected cost is $16,400,000. Why did the cost go up?

    There are a number of factors that contributed to the increase in the projected cost of the Phase 1 projects. These include escalation in construction, labor, and material costs between our first campaign and now. Additionally, the current design includes more square footage for our growing ministry needs and additional furnishings. Other refinements to the Phase 1 planning and design now incorporate more work in Phase 1 such as the renovations to the current church building and parish hall as well as the relocation of the Rectory building .

    Additionally, new City and Utility Agency requirements as well as the designation of landmark status of 300 trees on the campus required alterations in the scope and design of the project.

    Finally, in the 80 page environmental report required by the City and State, there are 28 mitigation measures covering several different environmental categories that are being imposed on our project due to potential impact on these elements. The majority of these mitigation measures involve additional cost to implement in addition to the costly studies and reports developed to identify them.  These environmental categories include archaeological/cultural, historical, biological, traffic, geological, hydrological, and transportation.

If the Phase 1 projections are $16,400,000 and the campaign goal is only $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 how will the parish pay for the entire project?

    The overall projected cost of the Phase 1 projects is $16,400,000 and the moneys raised in the current campaign will provide a significant source of funding for the Phase 1 projects. In addition to the money raised in the 'Building a People of Faith' Campaign, the parish will be securing a loan from the Diocese of Oakland. Furthermore, the sale of Excess Cemetery Land and the sale of Ash Niches in a Memorial Wall (subject to diocesan approval), as well as possible grant awards and additional parish contributions will provide other sources of funding for the projects.

Why incur the cost of moving the rectory?

    The committee investigated the difference in cost between moving the rectory as opposed to the idea of tearing it down and building a new rectory. It was determined that moving the rectory would be more cost effective. This decision would be cooperating with the recommendation from both the City's HARB and the Oakland Diocese.

When will we actually see the church completed?

    Construction of the church building will take approximately eighteen (18) months to complete. Several things will need to take place before construction can begin. These include acquiring a grading permit, the construction of Monticello Terrace Road, and the rectory relocation. Once that happens and funds are adequate, church construction can begin. Much depends on our continual success with the City of  Fremont as well as the success of our Capital Campaign.

So what are you asking me and my fellow parishioners to do to support this campaign and the Phase 1 project?

    Fr. Manny and the Campaign/Building Committee are asking every parishioner to get informed about this project. This includes asking any and all questions you may have. Attending a campaign reception is a great way to do this. In addition members of the Campaign/Building Committee are willing to discuss any questions or concerns a parishioner may have. The only question we cannot answer is the one that is not asked!

    Every parish family is also asked to support this project with their prayer and by giving some of their time to work on the campaign. Finally every parishioner is asked to consider a financial gift to the Building a People of Faith Campaign in the form of a pledge over the next five (5) years. Not every one can make the same sized gift, but everyone can make the same sized sacrifice.

How much money was raised from the first capital campaign?

    The Celebrating Our Past, Our Gift to the Future Campaign raised approximately $4,100,000. You can also find out more information here.

What was that money used for and how much of it is still available?

    Since the year 2000, our parish has been actively working on the continued development of the Master Plan. The money raised in the Celebrating Our Past, Our Gift to the Future Campaign was used in part for the following items:

  • In order for the parish to obtain the approval of the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB), the Planning commission and the City Council, various technical studies and reviews were required. This included, but was not limited to, locating buried artifacts and remains of the Ohlone Indians, analysis of the potential impact construction would have on the environment, various code and easement requirements, and accounting for various historical landmarks. The members of the Coordinating Team are willing and available to discuss these issues in more detail with any parishioner(s). 
  • Some funds from the first campaign were used to purchase approximately two (2) acres of land from the Dominican Sisters, which was integral to completing the overall master plan. This purchase secured this land for future Phase 2 programming. Moreover, the buildings currently located on the two (2) acres, were renovated and are being used by the parish for Faith Formation/Youth Ministry offices, and as meeting and storage space for other parish ministry groups. This is allowing the parish to save money that had previously been used to rent other facilities. The purchase of these two (2) acres was for the most part offset by the sale of another lot the parish owned.
  • Additionally, the parish secured the services of Steinberg Architects, as well as a variety of consultants integral to the architectural development and design of the new church building, including an acoustical engineer, landscaping professionals, and civil engineers, to name a few.

Will the current campaign benefit the school in any way?

    While the primary focus of the Building a People of Faith Campaign is to provide funding for the construction of the new church building, the construction of Monticello Terrace will improve the flow of traffic around the school, particularly during morning drop off and afternoon pick up. In addition, once the new church building is finished, the current church building will be renovated to provide activity/sports/drama/assembly space not currently available elsewhere in the parish. This area will be available for scheduling among the various ministries of the parish and school. However, with dedicated space, not shared space with liturgical services, as it is today, all will appreciate the better utilization of this space.  Later, Phase 2 of the Master Plan will include the construction of a larger Multi purpose building and ball field.

I made a gift to the first campaign. Why should I make another pledge to another campaign?

    The decision to make a pledge is an individual decision that every parishioner is asked to consider. Each parishioner must evaluate their ability to support this project with either a new pledge or an additional gift to the campaign.  While it is recognized that the cost of the project is greater than originally projected in 2000, a tremendous amount of work has been accomplished and a number of challenges have been overcome that put our parish in a position to begin the actual construction process in the very near future. This, in itself, is a historic milestone. The parish would not be in this positive position without the success of the Celebrating Our Past, Our Gift to the Future Campaign, which allowed the master planning process to begin and get us where we are today!

    With that said, there is a substantial amount of work that remains to be done. Every parishioner is being asked to provide the support necessary to keep this building project on track and moving forward. The success of the Building a People of Faith Campaign is a crucial part of the success of our Master Plan for Building and Development at St. Joseph Catholic Community, Old Mission San Jose. The continued support, to the best of their ability, of the families of our parish is a necessary part of this project.

Will there be another campaign after this current one?

    The Coordinating Team has worked very hard to develop a financial construction cash flow plan to fund the Phase 1 projects that will not require a third campaign and will also enable the parish to repay the loan from the Diocese of Oakland over five to six years. However, the degree of success of the Building a People of Faith Campaign will influence how much the parish must rely on additional sources of funding to complete the construction of the new church building and other Phase 1 projects.

    When the parish begins Phase 2 of the Master Plan, which includes the construction of a Multipurpose building and ball field, further analysis of sources of funding will be needed. At this time there is no proposed date for beginning the Phase 2 projects.

I understand that the parish will be getting a loan from the Diocese of Oakland to help pay for this project. How much will the loan be? What is the interest rate? How long will it take to pay the loan off?

    Currently the parish is planning on securing a loan from the Diocese for $3,500,000. This will be a 'bridge loan' which will provide the cash needed to move forward with the site work and construction while the campaign pledges are being paid. The interest rate used in our projections is 6.5%. This is based on the rates that were provided to the Coordinating Team at the time that the Construction Cash flow analysis was done, and is subject to market rate variations. The plan is to pay back the loan as pledges are paid in to the parish. Our cash projections, which were presented to the Diocese, anticipate repaying the loan in five to six years.

If the Diocese of Oakland owns the parish property and buildings, then why are they not helping to pay for the new church? Why does the parish have to take out a loan and repay it with interest?

    Every parish in the Diocese of Oakland holds a savings account with the Diocese. Interest is paid on parish savings deposited with the Diocese. It is from this accumulated savings that the Diocese also lends money to parishes for various building and renovation projects. In essence, when a parish secures a loan from the Diocese, they in fact are securing a loan from the other parishes in the Diocese. As the parish repays this loan, the other parishes are being repaid.

The weekly bulletin reports that the parish needs $17,000 per week to support our various ministries. However, it appears that most weeks the parish collects less that that amount. Is the parish currently operating at a deficit?

    The weekly need of $17,000 as presented in the bulletin represents the total amount needed to support the parish ministries over a year's time and divided by the number of weeks in the year. However the amount collected only reflects the weekly plate collection and does not factor in other sources of income for the parish, such as Facilities fees, stipends, and other unspecified donations. It was the goal of the Parish Finance Committee, in showing the $17,000, to challenge the parish to contribute weekly to support all ministries and needs without relying on unpredictable and additional sources of income.

    The 'Stewardship of Treasure' section of the weekly bulletin advises parishioners of the delta between the plate collection receipts and all parish budgeted needs. Like most Catholic parishes throughout the United States, St. Joseph's Catholic Community often relies on a minority of our parish families to provide for the needs of the entire parish. If all of our parish families responded in a Spirit of Stewardship, there would be no limit to what our parish could achieve.

I would like to make a gift to the campaign with stock. What is the procedure to do this?

    For tax purposes, the donor should transfer the stock rather than selling it.

    All donations of stock are processed through the Diocese of Oakland, specifically the diocesan Finance Office. The appropriate 'Security Donation Form' is available through the Campaign Office. In short the donor must: 1) fill out the 'Security Donation Form', 2) send a copy to their broker, 3) fax a copy of the form to the diocesan Finance Office, 4) contact Jeff Jackson at the Diocese prior to the transfer of stock. Mr. Jackson can be reached at (510) 446-7429.

    While completing the 'Security Donation Form' it is very important that the section of the back page concerning the 'Donation for the benefit of:' is completed. This section should read for the benefit of 'St. Joseph Church in FREMONT, for Capital Campaign'.

    In addition, the donor should fill out the campaign pledge card, indicating their intended pledge amount and the anticipated value of the stock. The pledge card should then be returned to the campaign office, with a copy of the completed 'Security Donation Form'.

Did you know?

  • The 1965 church/hall facility was built to be a temporary facility.
  • The successful completion of the Phase 1 projects will add significant parking to the parish grounds.
  • In 1965 the parish had approximately 1,000 registered families. Since that time the parish has tripled the number of registered families without adding any significant new space.
  • The parish will gain approximately 35,000 square feet of storage and meeting space from the successful completion of this project?
  • The parish CYO program will potentially save approximately thousands of dollars per year in CYO gym fees from the successful renovation of the parish hall/gym?
  • The use of the buildings which accompanies the acquisition of the land from the Dominican sisters is saving the parish $2,000 per month which was previously paid as rent for other ministry locations?
  • No seat in the new Church building will be more than 60 feet from the altar as opposed to the approximate 115 feet currently experienced from the back row of chairs when the wall is fully extended.

I made a gift to the first campaign. Why am I being asked to make another gift?

    Every family in the parish is being asked to continue their support for our building projects. Without the success of the first campaign our parish would not be in the position it is in now, where we are ready to begin construction. However, in order to move forward additional moneys are needed. The current campaign is one of several sources of funding for our projects. The level of success in the current campaign will determine the level of reliance on the additional sources of funding, such as the anticipated loan from the Diocese. Additional discussion of this question can be found in Volume #2 of the Frequently Asked Questions series of handouts. These questions are also posted on the campaign web site at: www.steinbergarchitects.com/build.

I understand a detailed Cash Flow Analysis was presented to the Diocese. Is this available to the families in the parish?

    A Preliminary Projected Construction Cash Flow Analysis was presented to the Diocesan Loan Committee in July of 2006. This document is currently under final review by the Diocese, however the cash flow information is still available for review. The members of the Campaign Leadership/Planning Committee strongly encourage any parishioner who wishes to review this information to contact us in order to schedule a time to examine it.

The -Suggested Pledge Plans- in the campaign brochure are a little intimidating. What if I cannot give that much?

    First, we want to emphasize that the pledge plans are suggested. No family will be told what they must give to the campaign. We are asking everyone to prayerfully reflect on the gifts God has given them and to respond in a Spirit of Stewardship. We are asking not for gifts of equal size, but gifts of equal sacrifice. Ultimately this is a personal decision between the individual or family and God.

    Second, we are not asking for a one-time gift, but rather a commitment over the next five years. We recommend that every family take the time to review the Suggested Pledge Plans, look at a particular pledge amount, break it down, and ask yourself What would this be on: a yearly basis, a monthly basis, a weekly basis, and a daily basis? Then ask yourself, What could I/we sacrifice on a regular basis in order to support this important project? When you break the pledge down into smaller increments it does not seem as large or intimidating. You may also discover that, with a Spirit of Stewardship, you could give a little more than you originally thought.

What if my situation changes in the next couple of years and I cannot continue my pledge. What are my options?

    A pledge is a statement of intent. It is not a legal contract. If your situation changes simply contact Father Manny or the parish office and we can adjust your pledge as needed. Additionally, if your situation changes for the better and you would like to increase your original commitment, please also contact Fr. Manny or the parish office.

I am getting up there in years and I am reluctant to make a long term commitment because I don't know for sure if I will be around to fulfill it and I do not want my family to be responsible for it. What other options do I have?

    As we discussed in the previous question, a pledge is not a legal contract and family members or estates will not be held responsible for fulfilling the pledge of a parishioner who has passed on.  In addition, a pledge period can be structured by the donor to best fit their individual situation and capabilities. Finally, alternatives to a pledge include supporting the building projects through your will, a charitable remainder trust, life insurance, stock, or gifts of property. Contact the campaign office if you are interested in these options.

The company that I work for/retired from has a Corporate Matching Gift Program. Can this benefit our campaign?

    Many employers have a Matching Gifts Program that will potentially match a certain amount of money an employee gives to charity. Each company has their own set of guidelines concerning the types of charities that they support and how to apply for the matching gift. While most companies will NOT support religious institutions such as a Catholic Parish, many will support education. Since the Master Plan for Expansion and Development here at St. Joseph Catholic Community will directly and indirectly benefit St. Joseph's School, the campaign may still qualify for a matching gift program. In some cases the checks will need to be made payable to St. Joseph School. All parishioners, including retired parishioners, are encouraged to check with their employer to see if the employer has a Matching Gift Program. If so, the parishioner should request an application form and a copy of the company's guidelines for Matching Gifts. Also, try to identify if there is a contact person at the company who is available to discuss the program and answer any questions.

    Please note that Matching Gifts are not guaranteed and for this reason, should not be included in the pledge commitment. Rather Matching Gifts should be viewed as a bonus.

Can I make a gift using a credit card or Electronic Funds Transfer?

    Currently the parish is not set up to accept Electronic Funds Transfers. However, parishioners wishing to make a gift using a credit card should submit their pledge via the campaign web site at: www.steinbergarchitects.com/build. Billings to the credit card will be set up by the donor and processed through PayPal. Using a credit card to make a gift to the campaign is a good way to earn frequent flyer miles or other rewards offered by the credit card company while supporting the needs of St. Joseph Catholic Community, Old Mission San Jose.

Will the Blessed Sacrament chapel be opened beyond the scheduled Mass time?

    Yes. The New Blessed Sacrament chapel in our new church is planned to be open beyond the mass schedules...to allow for adoration and quiet reflection and prayer throughout the week and days.

Will our stained glass windows be used in the new church?

    Yes. There are a total of 8 stained glass windows. 2 are currently in church (on either side of the Altar), 5 from storage are being restored right now and 1 that is being re-built. After restoration and rebuilding, 6 will be used in blessed sacrament chapel, 1 will be in reconciliation room (Agony in the garden) and 1 will be in parents room (Jesus with the children).

How can I submit a question to the committee?

St. Joseph Address

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