Holy Name Renovation Fundraising Campaign

October 7, 2012

For the past few years there has been concern about the repair, remodelling and general upkeep of our church. After 3 years of planning and hard work, we the building committee have made some progress, which we would like to share with you. We think it is a very positive report which shows that our goal is attainable with the help of each and every member of our parish.

The Archdiocese of Toronto is paying for the repair of the bell tower, the front steps and entrance to the church, the repair and painting of all the exterior window frames and also the upper stained glass windows for the church. This comes to over $700,000. They are also willing to loan us half the cost of making the church accessible and remodelling the kitchen and bathroom.

The estimated cost of our renovations (elevator, washrooms, kitchen) is $700,000. We have raised to date $351,933.91. Congratulations! We have made our half way goal. We can now approach the Archdiocese to start the work. We still need to continue taking pledges and donations to reach our $700,000 goal. This amount can be cash and/or pledges. Pledges can be made by direct deposit, post-dated cheques, Canada Helps website and Archdiocese of Toronto website, it can be paid monthly, quarterly, annually or over a period of 3 years.

Now that we have the archdiocese on board, let us work together and prove to

them that we are a caring community who is committed to making our place of worship beautiful, safe and accessible.

Should you have any questions please contact the parish office and we will try and answer them.

Thank you,

Holy Name Renovation Committee


April 28, 2012

Our fundraising campaign is now well under way. This note is to inform you of our progress and to ask all parishioners who can afford it to join in our campaign to make the church more accessible.

We began the “Holy Name – 100 Years” Campaign last October with a target of $700,000. We already had $168,000 on hand, which reduced the total we needed to raise to $532,000. The renovations committee’s request is that every household with an annual income of over $25,000 make a pledge to donate 2% of income every year for three years. I am happy to report that so far we have received $134,831.00 in pledges and donations. We also have raised a total of $28,000 from the recent concert, the fundraising dinner last fall, the last Taste of the Danforth fundraiser and miscellaneous donations.

In all, that means we now have a total of $330,000 on hand or in pledges. This is a very gratifying result. Perhaps the most significant consequence in the short term is that once we reach 50% of our target (that is, $350,000) the Archdiocese would consider a request from us to be allowed to begin the work. So we’re only $20,000 short of that milestone.

Of course, once we get half way to our target, we still need to raise the remaining $350,000. The renovations committee is planning a number of specific parish events and will be looking for a decision from you on which are the most likely to be popular. We hope to raise additional funding from these events over the next year and a half.

But the fact remains that a successful fundraising campaign relies on pledges. So far, many households that we believe could afford to pledge have not done so. We are grateful for the money we have received so far, but we need everyone to contribute. To encourage this contribution, the renovations committee will be planning to visit the homes of parishioners to discuss our plans for the church, your views on these plans and the amount you can afford to give.

The committee is still drawing up its plans for the home visits and we will keep you informed about our progress. In the mean time, if you can look at your household finances in the next couple of weeks and decide on a pledge amount, we would be delighted to hear from you. You can contact Pamela at the parish office to obtain a pledge form or to make your pledge directly.

Thank you very much for your help.

Fr. Andrew Morasse, C.S.C

Paul Connelly 
Renovation Chair                                                                                 



Almost 100 years ago, the people of this Parish started work on their new building. The cornerstone was laid in November 1915. Over the next ten years, despite a world war and the recession that followed, the work was completed.

In the following decades, the entire world, let alone this corner of Danforth Avenue, has faced changes the builders of Holy Name could never have foreseen. One hundred years ago, churches were full several times a day. The Parish and the Parish Hall were at the centre of much of the social life of the neighbourhood. Nowadays, most people – even those who attend Mass regularly – tend to identify with a number of groups, not just the church.

In the past century there has been much questioning about the role of the Church in the modern world. Attendance, not just in the Catholic Church has declined. Most people still are seeking paths towards truth and doing the right thing, but religion isn’t always the first path they follow.

Through all of that, there has been a Parish life at Holy Name. Even though numbers dwindled, our Parish has had a presence on the street and in our neighbourhood. Nowadays, the parish hall is used almost every evening and we have rented out space to a number of community groups over the years.

Recently, Parish membership has grown and attendance at regular Sunday Mass has been increasing. However, our church building has been suffering because the necessary money has not been consistently been put into maintenance and upkeep. This is very understandable. It is natural to be more excited about building a new thing, so there was a lot of support for the initial construction. But it is hard to get enthusiastic about maintenance. If there are choices about what to do with the money on hand, then keeping the building in top condition tends to be a low priority. And if money is tight, as it has been for most of the last 50 or 60 years, then maintenance drops even lower on the list of things to pay for.

So now the building needs a lot of work. Several defects in the building have become too serious to ignore. Over the past summer, the bell tower, the front entrance and stairs all needed structural repairs and the exterior window frames had to be repaired and painted. And there is more work to be done. Some of the plaster inside the sanctuary is crumbling and is starting to fall. We need to make the building more accessible for elderly people and parishioners who have difficulty managing stairs. We need to replace our current sub-standard washrooms and kitchen and make the hallway a more useable space, for parish events, as a venue for fundraisers, and also to improve the potential for rental income.

Fortunately, we are not alone. The Archdiocese of Toronto is helping us directly by paying for the entire cost of the bell tower, the entrance, the front steps and the painting of the window frames. That comes to a total of more than $500,000 worth of work we don’t have to pay for.

But the rest of the job is up to us. We believe the time is right for a new fundraising campaign, which we are calling “Holy Name – 100 Years.” The name was chosen as a celebration of the hard work of the original members of the parish who built the church in the first place, and a reminder of our duty to prepare for the next century in the life of the parish.

The estimated cost of the work on the elevator, washrooms, kitchen and interior of this worship space is $700,000. We have raised $168,000 so far. This means our target for the “Holy Name – 100 Years” campaign is $532,000. We are planning to raise this over the next three years and we need everyone to help out.

The Renovations Committee is calling on people whose income is more than $25,000 a year to pledge a donation of 2% of their annual income for each of the next three years. We know this is a lot of money. We also know that Catholics don’t have a strong tradition of giving such a high percentage of their income to the Church. But at the same time, it is quite low by other standards. For example, the norm of the Jewish people in Jesus’s time was to tithe.

Our fundraising letter contains a table showing how much money we would like you to give, depending on how much money you earn. (It also shows how much of a tax credit you will get.) You don’t have to give all of this at once, of course. If you wish, you can make three annual gifts, or promise to give four times a year, or even donate monthly.

If you’d like to make a pledge, call the office (416) 466-8281 and we’ll send you the information. If you’d like to contribute right now, you can go to the website of Canada Helps. This option allows you to choose a number of ways of paying, including a choice of credit cards and the number and frequency of your gifts.

Committing to give regularly is a very useful and important way to give. A pledge to commit some money every month means we can be sure the funds will arrive within the three-year period of the campaign while allowing you to manage your household’s monthly budget more easily.

Your pledge will also help us start the work earlier. Once we have received a combination of cash in hand plus pledges that totals half of the project budget, the diocese will allow us to sign a contract with a builder and lend us the money we need to finish the job. Then, as your monthly contribution actually arrives, it will reduce the amount we’ll need to borrow from the diocese and so help keep our interest costs down.

As the fundraising campaign progresses, we will keep you up to date. Check back with the parish website for the latest news.

If we receive all the pledges we need, we intend to finalize our selection of a builder very soon and start the work as soon as possible in the new year. Beginning the work in 2012 will mean we can celebrate Holy Name’s first 100 years in a newly renovated building. We can include in that celebration many elderly or disabled people who right now are cut off from our community because they literally can’t get into the building. And we can move into the second century knowing we have paid our respects to the legacy given to us by the Catholics who went before us and that we are handing on a gift to those who are still to come.