As St. Thomas continues the concluding phase of the most ambitious capital campaign in the school’s 115-year history, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, believes completing the 4500Forever financial initiative and implementing the Joplin Campus expansion is critical not only for the future of St. Thomas but for Catholic education in Houston.
“We obviously want and need Catholic formation to continue to bloom and blossom throughout the community,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “For generations St. Thomas has been at that forefront and this is a significant statement that the school will continue a strong and secure lead position. It’s a promise that more and more St. Thomas students will be saturated in the word made flesh, which is becoming increasingly more important as the world tends to be highly reductionistic.”
4500Forever is anchored by the legacy commitments from Jane and Bill Joplin ’54 and Dona and Al Clay ’61, raising nearly $55 million in securing the adjacent 11-acre property which will provide an essential physical expansion to assure a thriving and vibrant STH future.
The Finish Strong Phase II will generate the final $12 million of the campaign and include necessary monies for building renovations and updates.
Recently St. Thomas was selected among the 2015 honorees by the Houston Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for the ongoing 4500Forever financial effort which received distinction in the category of Outstanding Fundraising Program, More Than $2 Million.
The AFP announcement was part of the 2015 National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon which also recognized the Baylor College of Medicine, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and the Cullen Trust for Health Care, among others.
“Prestigious company without question. Honor of the highest order,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “The recognition speaks volumes to the respect for the monumental effort so far. For decades St. Thomas has maintained a sterling reputation, even among those who are not Catholic or those with little to no faith. There’s a love of knowledge here, a love for the disciplined manner in approaching and acquiring knowledge. That works like a bank in so many fields of endeavor and throughout the marketplace. St. Thomas graduates are proven to be prepared moving forward in their lives, regardless of what direction their calling takes them. The outside distinction is a confirmation of so much what St. Thomas represents.”
Cardinal DiNardo was invited to campus as principal celebrant and homilist for the annual Mother / Son Mass in Reckling Gymnasium on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“As local shepherd I consider these visits very important … to pay heed to our schools … celebrate the Eucharist,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “On this particular day I want these young men to recognize that in a culture where any acceptance of dependence is looked upon as a negative, on some level they will always be dependent on their mothers. That maternal influence is extremely significant, never a reflection of achievement. I find that without acknowledging that presence, without that understanding, many individuals in fact become less a man.”
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