December 6, 2010
Ron Coulombe

Ron Coulombe

RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON — The Cornerstone Campaign to fund the construction of St. Joseph Seminary and Newman Theological College is struggling to meet its $15-million goal as the appeal nears its end.

As of Nov. 29, $11.7 million had been raised but a lot more money is still expected to come in, says campaign director Ron Coulombe.

“It’s going slower as we reach the end of the campaign but it’s going well,” he said. “We have commitments for $11.7 million.”

That figure is 15 days old, as Coulombe has not received his weekly report from the foundation office for the past two weeks.

In addition to the $11.7 million, “our committee has been out asking for gifts and we estimate that people have agreed to give an additional $2 million,” Coulombe said. But those are verbal commitments and will not be counted in the final figure until they are made in writing.

“Once we have that (the $2 million) we will be at $13.7 million. We are also wrapping up the parish campaign. We had a goal of $2 million in the parish campaign and we’ve secured $1.7 million of the $2 million now.

“But we anticipate receiving the $300,000 (from the parish campaign), if not by the end of the year, definitely in the following year.”

That would bring the final total to $14 million which would mean there would be a shortfall of $1 million.

“At this point we are not sure where the final million will come from,” Coulombe said.

“We will need to meet before the end of the year or early next year with the campaign leaders and Archbishop Smith, and we will have to make some recommendations on going forward if there is a shortfall.”

Coulombe said campaign officials are now focused on reaching the goal and have not discussed what might happen if there is a shortfall.

Campaign co-chair Randy Yatscoff said the campaign has been tough because of the financial situation facing the country but he is pleased with the results.

VERY PLEASED

“It’s been a very tough time but we are very pleased in what we have been able to raise,” he said Nov. 29.

“I think all in all the campaign has been a success and I think people will continue to give so eventually all the money will come in. I’m not looking at or focusing on us being short of dollars.

“I think it’s a work in progress. People will continue to give on a long-term basis but the official campaign is ending and we’ve achieved almost 90 per cent of our goal and to me that’s very good success.”

The $15 million are needed to pay for the construction of the seminary and college, which cost about $57 million. The archdiocese received $42 million from the province for the sale of the old seminary/college near St. Albert.