“One Faith, One Hope, One Love” Fills Corpus Christi With Vitality, Beauty
By Michelle Dushensky
When “One Faith, One Hope, One Love” kicked off at Corpus Christi Church in the fall of 2015, the parish was tasked with raising $800,000 to support the historic archdiocesan campaign. Thanks to the incredible generosity of its parishioners, Corpus Christi has received pledges above and beyond its goal – and is using rebates from the campaign to make the campus more functional, beautiful and reflective of its diverse parish community.
“We’ve been able to complete a number of projects that have kept our campus in good repair and have added to its beauty and functionality,” said Father Kyle Schnippel, pastor of both Corpus Christi in New Burlington and St. John Neumann Church in Cincinnati. “And we’ve been able to do it without having to make another ask,” he added.
For example, when the church boiler needed replacing in 2017, Corpus Christi already had the necessary funds to replace it, due in part to “One Faith, One Hope, One Love.”
Father Schnippel and the Corpus Christi staff are committed to being good stewards of the treasures parishioners have given to support “One Faith, One Hope, One Love.” Since 2016, rebates from the archdiocese-wide campaign have provided more than just heat for Corpus Christi. The parish has been able to replace air conditioning units and doors in the parish center, upgrade the computer systems and information security, repair the roof and downspout at the south entrance of the church, renovate the parish food pantry, seal and stripe the parking lot and attend to several other maintenance needs.
But what may be more visible to parishioners and visitors – and a better representation of the growth and demographic changes in the parish community – are the four new stained glass windows in the gathering space that were designed by a parishioner and crafted by a stained glass professional.
“Anything that enhances our worship experience – and that is anything that makes our campus more beautiful – is an encounter with Christ,” said Father Schnippel. “We just installed four new stained glass windows to bring some color into our gathering space, making our campus more beautiful. Not only is there more color in the stained-glass windows, but there is more color in our general parishioner population. [The windows] are a good reminder of the universality of the Church. The Church is African, the Church is Hispanic, the Church is Vietnamese and Korean and Filipino, as well as American and European,” he said.
The parish was also able to use funds from the “One Faith, One Hope, One Love” campaign to tear down the old athletic building on the west side of the campus and replace it with native grasses and wildflowers. This was the first step in developing a meditation garden and prayer path on the grounds. While the grasses and flowers have grown since they were planted last spring, the garden won’t be dedicated until the flowers are more established – at least another year.
The functional and aesthetic improvements that have taken place at Corpus Christi since the beginning of the archdiocesan campaign have filled the parish, comprised of 850 families, with a sense of vitality and life. Parishioners are seeing and experiencing the direct impact of their contributions to “One Faith, One Hope, One Love,” and the difference they can make when they all work together to create a more beautiful campus and worship experience, not only for today but also for generations to come.
“We want to keep this image that we’re growing, and we’re doing what we can not only for today but for long-term success as well. That helps inspire parishioners,” Father Schnippel said.