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Announcing: “Opening Our Doors to the Future” Match Campaign

Date: November 2, 2020
Time: Ongoing

Opening Our Doors to the Future: Enriching Our Faith through Technology

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges to Our Lady of the Wayside, not the least of which was communicating with, and meeting the spiritual needs of, our parishioners. When the State mandated that our Church’s doors close, we responded by video-streaming Masses, School Masses, First Communions, Confirmations and Funerals to the living rooms of our faithful.  When our bulletin’s print distribution ceased, we countered with digital distribution and a vastly enhanced online and social media presence to communicate with parishioners. Ministries transitioned from in-person to ZOOM meetings and our School instituted online learning. Many parishioners adopted online giving to make weekly contributions.

Technology played a crucial role in meeting the needs of our parish community in very challenging times.

While the initial COVID-19 restrictions may have eased, we remain in a much-restricted, “new normal” world. In-person Mass attendance is limited to a mere 20% of our Church’s capacity (with Christmas quickly approaching). Ministry gatherings are reduced in size and scope. E-Learning continues to play an important role in our school. Moreover, the possibility of increased restrictions or closings looms as COVID-19 spikes across our state.  We are far from the finish line of this pandemic and we must be prepared to overcome any future challenges it presents.

Beyond countering COVID-19 challenges, we must also look to the future of Our Lady of the Wayside’s growth and success. How will we most-effectively meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our parish community? How can we deploy video streaming and virtual conferencing technology across our parish campus and ministries? How can we leverage existing and emerging communications channels to inform, evangelize, strengthen and grow our parish?  Technology will play a vital role in ensuring our bright future.

Recognizing the urgent need to upgrade our technology and communications infrastructure, a very generous Our Lady of the Wayside parishioner stepped forward and committed a large sum of money – $50,000 – to the cause.  This donor asked that we initiate a dollar-for-dollar matching campaign to effectively double the donation – providing $100,000 of potential revenue for the project.

And so, we introduce, “Opening Our Doors to the Future: Enriching Our Faith through Technology.” This campaign will fund technology upgrades and acquisitions that include high-resolution robotic cameras, a video streaming system and large video monitors for our church; video gear to cover parish events across and beyond our campus; a video-conferencing suite for important meetings; computer hardware and software upgrades for our parish office; a fiber optic backbone capable of handling our ever-increasing data needs, and more.

With your generosity, this campaign will enhance and expand coverage of in-church services to include weddings, baptisms, missions, and more.  Mass participation will be enriched by prayers, responsorial psalms and liturgical lyrics being projected on video monitors. Parish and Ministry events will be available to a broader audience through streaming and recorded video on our website and through Facebook, YouTube and other social media channels.

Discipleship calls us to proclaim The Good News and our Faith to the world.  The “Opening Our Doors to the Future” matching campaign will provide the necessary tools to make this possible. This is an exciting opportunity for the future of our Parish.

May we count on your support?

Donations can be made:

Electronically:

Through GiveCentral at:  https://bit.ly/34lAY75

By Mail or In Person:

OLW Parish
Attn: Opening Our Doors Fund
434 W. Park Street
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

By contacting:

Sean Reilly
Director of Communications
(224) 518-1777
communications@olwparish.org

Deacon Peter LeTourneau
Director of Parish Liturgy & Evangelization
(224) 518-1779
pletourneau@archchicago.org