St. Gabriel The Archangel Catholic Church is ramping up its attempts to raise enough money for a church building this past Friday.
On Friday, June 07, 2013, Rev. John Nemanic hosted a dinner fundraising gala to raise awareness for the Angels On High mountain climb on August 26, 2013, as well as funds for the church. The congregation currently holds mass in the gym of St. Gabriel The Archangel K-12 school.
The hope of both Rev. Nemanic and the entire church congregation is to raise enough money one day to afford to build their own church building. The goal to raise for the evening was $25,000. The goal to raise for the climb up Mount Temple is $50,000.
The Vatican and the Diocese of Calgary will not supply the full amount. The money all must be raised locally by the parish. The estimate on how much the church building itself will cost is between 10 and 15 million dollars. The church as so far raised $120,000.
Rev. Nemanic had some important things to say in his blessing over the evening regarding the church and its real need for a building,
“Inspired by the sacred heart (of Jesus), our church building should help relieve the suffering and alienations of people through our worship, our witness, and our service. Essentially, the church building gives people a home, by drawing others to the depths of Jesus’s heart.”
The fundraising event kicked off at 5:30 in the evening, and welcomed the Keister Family Fiddlers as pre-dinner entertainment.
The Keister Family Fiddlers are a group of four sisters, Quinn, Claire, and twins Faith and Paige, have been playing together for the last six years. They all play fiddle, and are sometimes accompanied by their mother on acoustic guitar.
In addition to the music, guests of the event also were able to bid on a wide variety of silent auction items.
Some of the items were donated by an auction house, but many of the items were donated to the event by the parishioners themselves.
Some of the items that had been up for bids were a Stampeder’s gift basket, a ‘night at the movies’ gift set, signed Adele sheet music, a plaque detailing all the albums The Beatles ever produced, as well as their signatures, a camping gift set, hockey sticks autographed by LA kings players, signed Charlie Simmer NHL merchandise, as signed number 9 Lanny McDonald Calgary Flames jersey, and a signed number 12 Jarome Iginla Pittsburgh Penguins jersey.
The prizes went to the highest bidder at the end of the night, and all the proceeds of the silent auction went to the church building fund.
There was also a live auction, after dinner, to raise funds for the church building. Some of those prizes included a dinner for four with Bishop Fredrick Henry, and a trip for four to Puerto Vallarta.
Before dinner, a delicious spread that was provided by Spolumbo’s, was served, the Master Of Ceremonies for the night, ex-NHL player Charlie Simmer, got up on stage to say a few words about the event.
Simmer came to be a part of the St. Gabriel community thought a good friend of his who’s gone to the church for years. When he heard about how the church was trying to raise enough money to build a real church building, he was eager to help out.
“It’s a very fulfilling part of a job of an athlete to help out in any way that we can,” Simmer said in his welcoming speech.
Simmer also encouraged all the guests to sponsor a climber. A group of 13 people, including four Catholic presets, are going to ‘make the climb’ up Mount Temple, the second highest peak in Banff National park. The money the climbers raise all goes towards the building fund for the church.
The entire event was held to bring awareness to the climb, to support the church and its building fund.
Some of the more ‘famous’ guests of the evening included Wildrose MLA Bruce McAllister, council member Heather Davies, and Senator Nick Taylor.