Saint Thomas Aquinas

Case for Support Breakdown Campaign Goal: $5,000,000

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Why an Expanded, Renovated Church and Why Now?

Our church building not only brings us together as a parish community; it serves as a “House of God,” where we go to worship the triune God in both public liturgies and private devotions.

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Our current church was constructed with prudent use of resources, and various building components are now aging. Examples include chronic leak issues with the roof, baptismal font and window framing, inefficient lighting, and an underperforming sound system. The parish has spent nearly 10% of offertory collections over the past two years fixing leaks and mechanical failures as they occur and been told by structural and mechanical engineers that we can expect more of the same going forward. Estimated replacement or repair costs for known serious problems exceed $850,000. The expanded, renovated church would be built with modern materials and systems to last 50-100 years.

While the current church has served us well, it no longer meets the capacity needs of our growing, vibrant parish. The number of registered-member households has increased more than three-fold to nearly 3,000 since our church was built; unregistered students and guests number many hundreds more. We frequently overflow from the church into St. Thomas Hall. Expanding the church would increase comfortable-seating capacity from 675 currently to 1,115, a 65% increase.

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By extending the church behind the sanctuary and on the two flanks of the worship space, we would create a cruciform church. The interior of the church would, through a complement of church architecture, liturgical adornments and works of sacred art, enrich our worship experience, inspiring us to lift our hearts to the Lord.

Parish Share Goal: $4,325,000


The projected cost of expanding and renovating the church is $6.3 million. The goal of a campaign combining Living our Mission and the church project would be $5 million, including $675,000 for the Diocese share of Living Our Mission and $4,325,000 for the church. Long-term financing would be available, if needed, to fund the remainder of the $6.3 million for the church. Many of our sister parishes, such as St. Bede in Williamsburg, St.Olaf in Norge, and St. Andrew in Roanoke, have partnered with the Diocese of Richmond in this way to address their facilities and other needs through the Living Our Mission campaign. In completing the foundational work begun by our fellow parishioners nearly a quarter-century ago, we would have a renewed church befitting the largest Catholic parish in central Virginia and one faithful to the legacy of our 1963 founders.

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The Living Our Mission campaign will help us to build upon the foundations of the past, to expand and renovate our church, and to continue to be faithful to our mission as a university parish which is open to all. The Dominican Friars are committed to the ministry of preaching God’s mercy for the salvation of souls here at St. Thomas Aquinas parish. Your contribution will help us in our ministry, and will provide for the needs of our vibrant parish for generations to come.

Very Rev. Joseph Barranger, O.P., pastor and prior

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