Thank You, Clergy & Cabinet Members!

Ground Breaking Edited-Cabinet


Groundbreaking Day!

JUNE 1, 2017

Groundbreaking day began with a very special Mass celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Teacher in the Spirit with student participants from Mrs. Meddaugh’s 3rd grade class.

A box of campaign blessings, sacrifices and prayers was brought to the Mass then carried by students  to the groundbreaking site.

Bishop Steven Raica performed the Order of Blessing, and sprinkled the site of our new school with holy water.

The Bishop along with pastors representing our supporting parishes turned the first shovel of dirt, and many others joined in this celebratory moment.

A “dirt cup” dessert was served!

Ground Breaking Slated For June 1

June 1, 2017 will mark a major milestone in Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools’ campaign to construct a new elementary school at Immaculate Conception in Traverse City: At approximately 9:30 am, Bishop Steven J. Raica will join with pastors of the five supporting parishes for a shovel ceremony on the site of the new building. The groundbreaking will be preceded by Mass at Immaculate Conception Church presided over by the Bishop, at 8:15 am. All Are Invited!

Thank you to everyone who has helped us arrive at this historic moment!

New Food Pantry Part of Campus Renovation

March 22 – Work should begin soon on a new food pantry / maintenance building at Immaculate Conception – part of the campus renovation plan that also includes construction of a new elementary school. The current facility has “seen better days,” and is featured in a Record-Eagle article today. The food pantry should be able to continue its service to neighbors in-need without interruption.

Double the Good Challenge

Exciting news! Capital campaign supporters have assembled $225,000 to be used as matching funds for any gift of $5,000 or more.

The Double The Gift challenge is in effect until March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation – one of the most important days in our Church’s calendar. How fitting that this day has been chosen as the culmination of this challenge, the day that marks Mary’s decision to say “yes” to God’s plan for her life.

By building a new elementary school at Immaculate Conception, we are ensuring that future generations will continue to grow in their faith, and will be encouraged to listen for God’s voice.

This matching fund honors Rick Deneweth, a campaign cabinet member who passed away in November 2016. This matching fund was also inspired by the support of our Bishop and our pastors, who have given generously to the campaign. The “double the gift” offer will help propel us toward our Phase I goal of $12 million to build a new elementary school at Immaculate Conception. Will you join us and be part of this historic effort?

To make a gift to be doubled, or to learn more about this opportunity, contact Wayne Mueller at (231) 995-8428 or

2016: A Year To Remember

Among the highlights of our year was the September 9 All School Outdoor Mass and the kick off the Our Faith, Our Future, Our Time campaign. It was then that we announced that $9 million had already been pledged toward our new elementary school at Immaculate Conception.

Since then, there have been many inspirational stories of giving, including:

  • A family of local business owners who donated shares of stock valued at $1 million plus
  • A gentleman who gave his lifelong penny collection to the campaign – more than $600 worth
  • 150-plus donations given in memory of Rick Deneweth totaling more than $30,000
  • The Fr. Anthony $5K challenge at Immaculate Conception which inspired gifts in excess of $250,000

Now, at year end, we are pleased to announce that the campaign has surpassed the $10.5 million mark, and the momentum is gaining.

A special thank you to everyone who has already made a pledge or donation. Your gift has propelled us beyond the $10 1/2 million mark, and we are so grateful for your support.

What’s Next

On December 19, the City Commission voted unanimously to approve our final site plan at Immaculate Conception, giving us the green light to move forward with obtaining permits and bids. If fundraising goals are met, we should be able to break ground on the new school this spring.

The $12 million new elementary school is part of a 10-year, $22 million capital improvement plan that calls for significant renovations at our St. Francis High School campus – much-needed enhancements to safety/security, specialty classrooms such as music and STEM (science/technology/engineering/math), plus athletics and performing arts facilities.

A year-end gift will allow us to secure timelines for a fall 2018 opening of our new elementary and to continue to develop plans for a significant remodel at the high school level.

Again, we want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. It has been a year to remember at our Catholic schools, and we are grateful.