Major Fundraising Initiative to Meet Needs of Rapidly Growing Community, Advance Mission of Church

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted announced today the launch of a historic $100 million campaign to meet the needs of the faithful of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, one of the fastest growing regions in the United States. Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante is a three-year campaign that will provide for the future of local Catholic churches, schools, charities and the faithful.

“I encourage the entire community to join together on this historic campaign as we seek a deeper, more personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” Bishop Olmsted said. “We will go forth to strengthen our families, our churches and schools, and we will build up our charities in support of the poor and most vulnerable.”

Since its establishment, the number of Catholics in the Diocese of Phoenix has grown by an astounding 464%, from an estimated 200,000 in 1969 to more than 1.1 million Catholics today. As people continue to move to Arizona in record numbers, this campaign will provide the Catholic Church the ability to joyfully welcome them.

Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante officially launched on Sept. 13 in Flagstaff (for the northern members of the Catholic community) and on Sept. 14 in Phoenix (for those who live in the Valley). The vision for the campaign was formed by working closely with leaders throughout the community, and guided by careful prayer and discernment.

Each parish will participate in the campaign over the course of a three-year period. Thirty-five cents of every dollar contributed to the campaign will stay with the donor’s parish, allowing each church community the opportunity to minister to their own unique needs. That amounts to $35 million for the 93 parishes and 24 missions of the Diocese of Phoenix. The remainder of the funds raised will be distributed among the following causes:

Newman Centers: $10 million toward providing opportunities for young adults to go deeper in their faith by strengthening and expanding the Newman Centers at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University.

Francis Mercy Fund: $3 million to develop the first priest retirement home in the Diocese of Phoenix, Regina Cleri; $2 million to partner with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for the expansion of their main campus; $1 million to assist Catholic Charities in developing two additional transitional homes for women leaving incarceration; $1 million to the Foundation for Senior Living to support the purchase of a new West Valley facility to better serve their clients and expand their ministries.

A new Catholic high school: $23 million for building and supporting St. John Paul II High School, where families in the far West Valley will have access to affordable Catholic education to form students academically, physically and spiritually. Opening in August 2018.

Seminarian support: $4 million to support the education, training and formation of new Catholic priests.

Ministry support: $3.8 million to ensure the Diocese of Phoenix can continue to maintain the level of exceptional operational support to 71 ministries and apostolates.

Tuition assistance: $4 million is allocated to providing scholarship to families with financial needs, particularly our working middle-class families who often find themselves having to make the difficult choice between providing a Catholic education for their children and meeting their financial obligations.

Catholic school growth and development: $7 million in seed money for new Catholic schools, for the growth and development of existing schools, and for unanticipated critical needs of our schools.

“The Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante campaign will serve to fund critical needs in our community,” Monica Villalobos, Vice President of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said. “A majority of the fundraising will make an impact by providing desperately-needed K-12 education solutions. Tomorrow’s business leaders will need a strong, transformational world-class education to sustain and grow Arizona’s economy.”

Learn how this historic campaign will transform the Catholic Church in Arizona today and into the future:

More about the Diocese of Phoenix: Charity, Education and Economic Impact

  • Each year, thousands of Catholics throughout the State of Arizona donate and support over 70 community and charitable organizations that serve the poor, elderly and marginalized regardless of faith, race, and socio-economic class.
  • When the Diocese of Phoenix was established on Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI, the Catholic population numbered around 200,000. Today there are more than 1.1 million Catholics living throughout the 44,000 square miles (nearly 300,000 households) that make up the Diocese of Phoenix, including representation from Hispanic, Filipino, Native American, Vietnamese, and African communities.
  • The 93 parishes and 24 missions throughout the state are the primary ministry of the Diocese of Phoenix, and are centers of community, support for families, and catalysts for spiritual growth.
  • Education will always be a major priority for the Diocese of Phoenix, with 28 Catholic elementary schools, six stand-alone preschools and five diocesan high schools, serving more than 13,000 students.
  • An estimated 99 percent of Catholic school students graduate from high school; 97 percent go on to attend college.
  • This past school year, K-8 schools had 8,709 students enrolled. High schools had 4,994 (including Brophy College Preparatory, which is Jesuit-owned).
  • The Diocese of Phoenix employees more than 4,000 people, working in churches, schools, charities, cemeteries and other ministries of the Church.
  • Over the course of the last 10 years (2008-2017), the Diocese of Phoenix has engaged in more than $285 million in construction projects, which includes building/improving churches, schools, offices and other facilities.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was established Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Led by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, more than 1.1 million Catholics make this diverse, vibrant and faith-filled diocese their home.

Media Contact
Robert DeFrancesco
Director of Communications
rdefrancesco [at]
(602) 354-2130