The Diocese of Rapid City in collaboration with the Rapid City Catholic School System (RCCSS) is beginning a new campaign. The planning process for this campaign began months ago when Bishop Robert Gruss gathered representatives from the diocese and the Catholic schools to create a facility master plan for both the diocese and the school system. The call for this planning process came out of the Diocesan Priority Plan.

There were three priorities in the vision that came from the Diocesan Priority Plan: Reconciliation, Forming Disciples and Funding the Mission. Goals were created for each priority. One of the goals for “Funding the Mission” was the development of a Diocesan Facility Master Plan. The second goal involved a plan for funding diocesan offices, ministries and facilities. In this process Bishop Gruss often said that in order for us to fund the mission, we have to ask ourselves, what is our mission? What are the current and future needs of the diocese?

The master planning process surfaced facility needs for the diocese and the school that were deemed necessary to help us continue to live our mission. The plan included current needs as well as needs stretching for fifteen to twenty years into the future. Some facility needs were more pressing than others. However, in addition to identified facility needs, other concerns for the diocese and RCCSS surfaced. Beyond building projects, there are other financial needs that will assist the diocese and RCCSS in not only carrying out but advancing their missions.

Upon the completion of the initial planning process, Community Counseling Services (CCS), a fundraising firm from Chicago, was hired to conduct a feasibility study. The purpose of the feasibility study was to test the case elements that flowed from the planning process, helping to determine which elements were most important in the minds of the people interviewed and to determine how much money could be raised to support those case elements.

The study revealed that the priests and people of the diocese were willing to support Bishop Gruss in his vision and to join the effort of a new campaign. The feasibility study narrowed the list of pressing needs to five and determined a $12 million goal for a new campaign.

Want to know more about the Diocesan Priority Plan as explained in “Through Him, With Him, and In Him?” Bishop Gruss reads each chapter followed by panel discussion on what each chapter means to the diocese and to them.