Debbie DiCarlo, Office of Mission Advancement executive director, has been moved by the impact of the Together Let Us Go Forth, Juntos Sigamos Adelante campaign, “Our community stretched and gave in faith and still continues to give.” She encourages the diocese to finish strong as the campaign winds down.

In 2019, then-Office of Mission Advancement Executive Director Cande de Leon described the relationship of the campaign donors to the projects their dollars would one day help complete. De Leon said it’s “one of the hardest levels of sacrifice” to give without knowing who the recipient is but doing so in faith.

Four years later, the fruits of those faithfully sown financial seeds are all around.

From the planning for a larger, beautiful worship space to match the vibrant enthusiasm of young Catholics on the campus of Northern Arizona University, to the loving care that lets the aging and disabled to exercise their minds and bodies — and gives their caregivers a rest — to allowing the Diocese’s future priests to be transformed into shepherds while staying close to their families, the Mission Advancement staff’s tireless labor and the faithful’s open hearts and wallets have strengthened the future of one of the nation’s most diverse and growing dioceses.

“I believe the LORD opened the door for all of us to learn how to discern God’s will and where He is calling us to fully participate,” wrote Christina Gavin, the office’s director of donor services, in an email.

Hired in 2017, Gavin began as coordinator of campaign activities and special events and has been with the office throughout the entire effort.

“It has and continues to strengthen our faith journey by each person engaging more with their parish, knowing they have a place at the table,” she wrote.

The projects and initiatives supported are as varied as those whom they’ll serve.

For example, the award to the Holy Trinity Newman Center at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff will enable Director Fr. Matt Lowry and his staff to plan for a new building, including a new church. The project will replace a 50-year-old structure with a beautiful new worship space while upgrading the amenities — such as a kitchen and meeting and activity areas — that make Newman a Catholic “home away from home.” where students not only practice their faith but feel the Holy Spirit’s presence and support of their college brethren as they navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of young adulthood.

“Ninety percent of people who walk away from their faith do so by the time they’re 23 — or out of college. Maybe, this is the last important chance to keep them within the Church, help them know Jesus and come alive with his love in their eyes.”

Fr. Lowry said many gave to the fund specifically because of the Newman Center component.

“Several major donors made significant gifts they would not have (contributed) otherwise had the Diocese not gotten involved. (They) believe in what’s happening here.”

Many projects simply would not come to pass without the campaign.

“We count on those,” said Foundation for Senior Living President and CEO Tami Bohannon, whose agency in 2021 opened a new 9,925-square-foot, state-of-the-art adult day health facility at 67th Avenue and Paradise Lane in Glendale.

The new structure nearly doubled the space of its predecessor, adding space for exercise and other activities, such as crafts, meeting areas for family and clients, a large media room and handicapped-accessible bathrooms.

The activities and services, which also include personal care and bathing help from FSL’s team, enables loved ones to stay at home by giving them a place to spend their days, and provides caregivers a break.

“That’s the intangible,” Bohannon explained. “Someone gets to go home and lay their head on their pillow at night.”

Not every contributor saw a direct return but is the unseen aspect of giving in faith.

St. Rose the Philippine Duchesne in Anthem decided to give without seeing any dollars coming back even though the parish is raising its own money to build a new church after 20 years in an outgrown multipurpose building without room for religious education.

Last summer, parish Building Committee Chair and Capital Committee Co-Chair Paul Novak hosted a meeting where Bishop John Dolan shared his vision of funds’ use, including growing the Diocese’s historic new mental-health ministry.

“It was an easy sell for us. These are all things our parish believes in,” Novak said.

Mental-health has become a signature initiative of Bishop Dolan’s young episcopacy.

His vision will take shape with the aid of campaign funds in one of the diocese’s expanding West Valley parishes.

St. John Vianney in Goodyear, which primarily serves that city and neighboring Avondale – growing areas with a heavily Latino population – will use its funds to support a bilingual, Catholic-based mental-health professional, said Pastor, Fr. David Halm.

“I really believe this will make a huge difference in the life of our parishioners, bringing them into a deeper relationship with LORD in ways that really matter, helping some people who may be only a paycheck from the streets,” he said.

Such is potential path to transformative faith.

Gavin herself has been strengthened through the campaign.

She has seen the miraculous ways in which God has provided, even during the lean days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I recall one day taking two calls from donors; one to stop their pledge as they had lost their job. I reassured this donor we were so grateful for their participation and thanked them for the gift they are to their parish and our Diocese. Not long after, another donor called and shared they felt as though God was calling them to increase their pledge, as they knew others would have to stop because of the pandemic,” Gavin wrote.

“As we are moving to the end of our time with the Together Campaign, people are still excited about what has taken place because of it. I believe the campaign opened the doors and has helped build strong relationships.”