NEW PROJECT: Parish Activities Center and Capital Campaign. See Sharing tab on the menu or click here.
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Building the Future TOGETHER

Combined Campaign

Our parish is partnering with our diocese.

We want to build a parish activities center for St Clare of Assisi Parish and to support Bishop Olmsted's campaign for evangelization and discipleship in all the parishes and missions throughout The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. We hope you will read to the bottom of this page.

Pledges are essential for us because we plan our budget based on what people intend to give. They help us measure the giving potential of our parishioners. This allows us to be more confident in establshing a budget and designing a project within that budget.

If you have questions, contact:
      Christine Spiehs, parish business manager 623-546-3444
      Fr. Hans Ruygt, pastor,  623-546-3444
      To contact the diocesan office regarding your campaign records, go here

The Pledge Card

The pledge card is "the driver" for your donations. You tell us what you want to give over a five year period (or sooner) and when and how much you wish to give.  It is not a contract. If your financial or health situation changes you can give less or more. The pledge card gives us your contact information so we can set up your donation correctly and assist you during the campaign.

If you have a pledge card, fill it out and write whatever instructions you wish on the front and use the back if necessary.
Put it in an envelope addressed to:
   Rev. Hans Ruygt
   St. Clare of Assisi Church
   Together Let Us Go Forth
   17111 W Bell Rd
   Surprise, AZ 85374

Drop it off or mail it to the parish office.
The Diocese of Phoenix Office of Mission Advancement will take care of getting the information into the donation database they use. They will contact you if they need any more info and will use a secured phone line. If you make out a check, make it payable to the "Together Campaign."

If you do not have a pledge card, you can contact Christine Spiehs or Fr. Hans Ruygt (see above) to get you one, or wait until the weekend when we do the in-pew process at Mass, or you can go on-line to set up your pledge and payments.


You can go to the TOGETHER website and use their online donor system if you prefer. The website is available in English and in Spanish.  This online giving portal is completely separate from our parish online giving portal. The funds will be handles separately.

Click "Donate"  below to go directly to the TOGETHER/JUNTOS website.


Clic "Donar" abajo para el sitio del obispo y llenar la forma.

Use Your Retirement Account

RMD     Required Minimum Distribution

If you are 70½ or older you are required to withdraw money from your IRA before December 31st.  You can send your IRA distributions directly to the TOGETHER campaign instead of having it sent to you. This helps you with your taxes and you avoid penalties. We have dedicated another page to tell you more.  

Read more on our RMD page.

Case Statement


[1] Parish Facilities 
The First Component of our fundraising objectives is for additional facilities
   Building the Future TOGETHER
      Parish Activities Center 
Wish List Below 
            $4,938,242  estimated cost 

[2] Diocese of Phoenix
The Second Component of our study concerns the diocese-wide evangelization and discipleship campaign.
  This will strengthen the Catholic community, parishes, schools and vocations.
   TOGETHER LET US GO FORTH ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante    English | Español
  Bishop Olmsted asks St Clare Parishioners to contribute sacrificially:
            $1,561,758 collected over five years
             35% of this goal will be returned to our parish in quarterly payments starting March 2020
​​​​​​            (35% of $1,561,758 = $546,615.30)
            We will get back 100% of money we raise above the diocesan goal of $1,561,758.

$6.5M   Combined Campaign Goal

What this means for our building plans
      546,615  our share of diocesan goal
+ 4,938,242  we get 100% above goal
$  5,484,857 Total budget to build 

09/13/19 11:11:40 AM


Building the Future


Parish campaign combined with Diocese of Phoenix campaign



FAITH FORMATION: One Example of why we need a new building can be seen on Monday afternoon and evening when we divide the hall into classrooms using rolling "walls" which provide a visual barrier but do nothing to reduce the distractions of sounds from the other children throughout the building. It makes it hard to keep the attention of the children and teach them about God and the Catholic doctrines.

OUR OFFICES are also very crowded and we have no place to grow. Staff have to float from desk to desk to accomplish tasks and will often use an "empty" office when a staff member is away from the desk, so that they can meet privately with a family or individual to plan a funeral or wedding preparation or something else that requires confidentiality.  We even have some meetings crammed into the office or even a confessional or sacristy.

Watch the slideshow below....

Divider walls don't block sound of classrooms

Campaign Process

There are several phases in rolling out this combined capital campaign to all of our parishioners.

Personal Presentations to Certain Parishioners
Father Hans Ruygt and our Campaign Cabinet members have been asked to make pledges before going out to ask other parishioners to do the same. Father Hans personally pledged $10,000 of his own money over five years and has paid $2,000 to date.  

Father Hans has been calling a selection of parishioners to make personal appeals for their support aiming to reach about 50 families or more.  Members of the Campaign Cabinet have also made similar calls and presentations to invite parishioners to consider participating by making a pledge.  These results are currently being collected to give us a good start on the campaign. These personal invitations also encourage parishioners to attend one or more of the informal presentations.

Presentation to Parish Groups
Father Hans has personally attended parish organizations to make general presentations to the Women's Guild, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Men's Fellowship, St Vincent de Paul and others to ask them to support the capital campaign and explain our goals.

Informal Receptions and Presentations in the Parish Hall
We invited parishioners to five campaign presentations in our parish hall:
   Wednesday, October 16, evening
   Friday, October 25, evening
   Wednesday, October 30, evening
   Saturday, November 2, after 4pm Mass
   Sunday, November 3, after 11am Mass
The average attendance at each of the above presentations was about 40-50 people.

Back to Top   Case Sttement

We Need Your Help

Saint Joseph, pray for our construction project.

We are asking 100% of our parish families or single persons to do four things.
Equal Sacrifice
(not equal donations)

[1] Prayer - This is essential to the success of all of our efforts. We ask each of you to pray daily for our combined campaign, Building the Future TOGETHER ~ TOGETHER Let Us Go Forth ~ JUNTOS Sigamos Adelante.  A suggested prayer, A Prayer for Evangelization and Discipleship, can be found at the right of your screen (on desktops, or at the bottom when viewed on mobile devices).

[2] Plate Collection - the ordinary plate weekly plate collection pays for regular parish expenses which are comparable to the family budget.

[3] Loan Repayment - this monthly collection pays the mortgate on our prior construction of the church building and parking lots. These funds are completely separate from the plate collection and new campaign. We expect this loan repayment to be completely paid off before we take on the new construction loan. We do not anticipate carrying two mortgages at the same time. 
Our current payments are $32,038.80 per month
Our balance on 10/25/2019 was $1,467,734.78
Our pay-off date is now expected 01/15/2024
if we only make monthly payments and do not make any additional pre-payments of the principal. Fortunately, we have a history of being able to regularly make additional pre-payments which saves us a huge amount of interest and shortens the life of the loan. We hope to have the loan completely paid off before having to start a new loan for new construction.

[4] New Campaign: Building the Future TOGETHER 
We ask 100 percent of our parishioners to contribute something. Everyone is capable of making a sacrificial gift towards our goal. We are asking for equal sacrifice, not equal amounts. No donation is too small.  Most people will probably prefer to make a five year pledge to spread out their donation. Some might want to pay it off sooner. Some might make a pledge now but not want to start payments until the end of this year. You just need to tell us how much and when to start. The pledge card has the options and you can always write other notes on the front or back of the pledge card when you get it. 
For your gift to the campaign, you can choose monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annual payments to fulfill your pledge.

Father Hans has made a personal pledge of $10,000. Bishop Olmsted asked all of his pastors to pledge a minimum of $6,000 to the diocesan campaign, but since ours is a "combined campaign" for the diocese and parish, Fr Hans has decided to make his pledge $10,000. He has already paid $2,000 and he will continue to donate to the plate collection, loan repayment collection and special collections and now additionally to his pledge over the next five years. He emphasized that he cannot ask parishioners to make a sacrifice if he doesn't join them in making his own sacrifice out of his salary.
We are in this TOGETHER. Join him with a generous sacrificial gift that expresses your gratitude to God for all the blessings God has given you.

FOUR THINGS:  We need you to participate in all of the above.
(1) Prayer is always first and frequent.
(2) Continue to give to the regular Sunday Plate
(3) Give to the Loan Repayment Collection on the first Sunday of the month, until it is paid off.
(4) Pledge to the New Campaign and make payments over the next five years.

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Activities Center

Master Plan
CCBG architects of Phoenix, AZ developed a site plan for us in 2007 and we have begun revisions based on recent in-parish discussions and estimated costs.

The site plan (at top of page and below) gives a rough idea of our plans for continuing to serve Christ far into the future.  We dream big and then take incremental steps to fulfill our mission as faithful disciples. 


The Original Master Plan
   1) Church
   2) Activities Center
   3) Parking
   4) Elementary School

A new parish Activities Center will be attached to the church, extending out from the end of the restroom corridor towards Bell Road. 
Parking to be expanded at two water run-off retention basins. These two areas will be covered with added parking and run-off water will be contained underground in two areas. Some additional parking may be added along current parking areas.
Elementary School. This will be built where c​​​urrent modular buildings are located. (Date Unknown. This is not part of our current fundraising objectives).

Bell Road is shown on the top of the photo (horizontal).
Cotton Lane is shown on the right side of the photo (vertical).

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Wish List


Parish Administration
Reception Lobby, visitor chairs, reception Desk
Office Equipment Core
   Shared High Volumn Printer/Copier, Postage Meter, Cutting Boards,
   Project Table
   Extra desks for volunteers
Individual Offices for Priests and Deacons
   Pastor, Parochial Vicar
   Space for 2-4 deacons
Individual Pastoral Staff Offices
   Business Manager
   Liturgy and Sacred Music Director
   Pastoral Care Coordinator
   Formation Director for children & adults
   Formation Youth Director
   Safe Environment Director
Staff Lunch Room, Coffee and Tea, Microwave, Water Cooler, Refrigerator
   Lunch table
Finance Office, Bookkeeper, Confidential Records, File cabinets
Storage Room for Parishioner Records - sacraments, registrations
Janitorial Room
Staff Restrooms
Storage for Office Supplies, Mail and Shipping Delivery Room
Conference Rooms
   Large conference table for Staff Meetings, for Pastoral and Finance Council Meetings,
Meeting Parlors (2-3) shared by staff as needed for counseling, meetings or interviews
   Small rooms for bereaved families, funeral preparation, private counseling,
   for sacrament of confession 

Perpetual Adoration Chapel
Dignified Eucharistic Shrine for Monstrance
Pews with kneelers and book holders
Safe area with access to restrooms
Prayer Materials Shelves
KeyCode entrance lock for secure access and to cut costs of key/lock changes

Meeting Rooms
Various Size Rooms for:
Faith Formation Classes
Liturgy of the Word for Children
Kindergarten through Fifth Grade
Sixth through Eighth Grade Middle School Program
Ninth through Twelfth Grade High School Program
Infant Baptism Preparation for Parents and Godparents
RCIA Becoming Catholic Program for Children, Teens, Adults
Child Care Area to Support Parents during Faith Formation, Mass, Events
Adult Faith Formation Study Group Spaces
Prayer Group Spaces
Retreat Group Spaces
Spaces for Organizations
Storage for Organizations
Storage for Formation Programs and Events
Parish Lending Library

Events Hall
Entrance Lobby
Large Open Space for Social Events
Commercial Kitchen
Storage for Kitchen Equipment
Table and Chair Storage
Stage moveable to where needed
Sound and Video Projection equipment
Handicapped Accessible Restrooms
Delivery Dock

St Vincent de Paul Society Service Center
Appointment area to meet with clients
Storage for Non-Perishable Food and Hygiene Donations

Area that unifies the hall, offices, meeting areas and church
Secure and well lighted
Covered Space for weekend activities
Shaded area for fundraising and info table and leaders

Parking Additions
The water run-off retention basins on the southeast will be converted to parking with underground water retention.
Some other open space will provide some additional parking

God's home should reflect dignity and beauty and lift the human spirit

When we did the feasibility study in May-June 2019, the people surveyed said that while pews are important, they want the parish activities center first. Pews with kneelers are very important in Catholic worship and very practical. We are accustomed to humbling ourselves before God by kneeling if our knees cooperate. In addition, it is a major hassle to have to pay someone to straighten the rows of chairs every single week of the year, row by row, chair by chair. If our campaign raises enough money, then the pews with kneelers can be added. Meanwhile, the pew donations remain in reserve in a separate fund.

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Our Parish History Time Line

--> --> A longer account of our parish history can be found here

pre-2000  priests celebrated Sunday Masses for several years in neighboord center buildings in the retirement communities at Happy Trails, Arizona Traditions and Sun Village as part of Santa Teresita Parish in El Mirage. This group of founders started raising money for a permanent parish site.
2000 - parish was established July 1, 2000 by The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. Sunday Mass was celebrated in a hall at Kingswood Elementary School. Parishioners did set up and take down every week. 
2001 - The Diocese put two "temporary" modular facilities on our parish campus and a small parking lot was built. For several years we did not have to pay rent on the buildings. When rent started, we bought the buildings to save costs.
          1) Multipurpose Building - used originally as a church and meeting hall
          2) Office Building with two conference rooms, reception, and two staff offices.
2006 - August groundbreaking and blessing of the construction site for the church and parking lot with Bishop Thomas Olmsted officiating
2008 - Our First Mass was celebrated Christmas Eve at 4:00pm. We used the wooden altar furnishings from the parish hall. The floor was bare concrete and the windows were clear glass. There was no marble in the sanctuary
2010 - Sunday of Divine Mercy, the Sunday after Easter, we held the Mass of the Dedication of the Church and Altar by Bishop Olmsted. We finally had a permanent altar, ambo and baptismal font, but the rest of the interior was barren: concrete floor, plain glass windows, chairs.
2010-2019 - Our parish community grew quickly with many ministry and activity groups. Soon, there was a shortage of adequate space. We worked hard to bring down the parish loan debt to the point where we could start thinking about planning for the next phase of construction for a parish activity center to replace the temporary modular buildings and improve services to the parish community.
2019 - New housing construction is underway in many areas of the parish.  Large housing developments are being built along Cotton Lane and the Loop 303; along Sun Valley Parkway in northern Buckeye and in northern Surprise, along both sides of Grand Avenue (Highway 60). Vinstancia in northern Peoria is booming with growth.

Statistical Notes

164 square miles within the parish boundaries, roughly Festival Ranch in north Buckeye, to Wittmann to Litchfield Road and Waddell Road, but we draw people from much farther south and north and several other parish boundaries. There are many large residential areas popping up within and near our geographical boundaries and many Catholics in these new areas will come to St Clare if we can provide for their needs.
5,000 registered parish homes
11,500 registered parishioners
Many public schools - 11+ from which we draw students and families
Many young families and teens are not being served well, lack of program space
Many retirees are active
Over 90 parish groups compete for very limited meeting space. See our groups and organizations.
30-35% of the parish is out of state or out of area during the summer heat
One hospital and one more under construction (Banner Del Webb, Abrazo)
Many assisted living facilities served by our Communion Visitors, clergy and staff
2 priests, 3 deacons, 12 lay staff crammed into tight office space

We know that many Catholics are not being served well and that we need to evangelize and re-evangelize the area.  Society is becoming increasingly secular and unchurched. We need a stronger parish and stronger ministerial outreach. 

When will construction begin?

We hope to begin construction in late 2020, but it is up to the will and ability of generous donors. 

We hired Ruotolo Associates to professionally assess the ability and willingness of parishioners to take on a large parish project to advance our mission to serve Catholics and visitors well into the future. They conducted personal interviews and focus groups of parishioners in May and June 2019. An in-pew survey will happen the weekedn of June 29 and 30.  A final report about this feasibility study was prepared and shared with the parish leadership. An executive summary of the report was inserted in the parish bulletin. 
Executive Summary of Feasibility Study  

We are working with the Office of Buildings and Properties of the Diocese of Phoenix to help us select an architectural firm and construction management team.

On September 11, 2019 at Letter was sent by the Office of Buildings and Properties to five (5) architectural firms with a Request for Qualifications and Proposal of Fixed Fees.  These firms are expected to return their documents to the Diocese and to St Clare office by 4pm on September 26, 2019. The firms are:
    Adaptive Architects, Mesa, AZ
    Architekton, Tempe, AZ
    CCBG Architects, Phoenix, AZ
    DPA Architects, Scottsdale, AZ
    HDA Architects, Gilbert, AZ

We have received proposals back to us and these will be evaluated. The costs presented vary from $300,00 to $600,000.

CMAR The project delivery method used in our diocese is Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR).

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09/14/19 13:01:35 PM


Registered Homes

Total number of homes registered in our parish database

09/14/19 13:02:21 PM


Registered Members

Total Registered Parish Members


10/28/19 10:11:22 AM


Loan Progress Graph

Progress paying down loan for building church. Interest 4.199000%



11/03/19 08:58:51 AM


Loan Pay-Off Date

The date we can burn the mortgage from the building of the church.


A Prayer
for Evangelization and Discipleship

Eternal Father, we ask you, through your Beloved Son, and the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe to pour forth your Holy Spirit upon the
Building the Future TOGETHER ~ TOGETHER Let Us Go Forth ~ JUNTOS Sigamos Adelante campaign.

May the Holy Spirit renew and transform us into missionary disciples, so we may bear good fruit for the Kingdom of God.

As we go forth to continue the work of Padre Serra and Padre Kino and bring the Good News to the people of the Southwest, transform us and make us your instruments of evangelization, enthusiastic in our faith.

May the light of Christ within each of us shine forth as a beacon of hope that reaches those who are far from you, drawing them back
to You and your Church.

Consecrate us in truth
according to your will,
accomplish your plans in us
to radiate the love
and mercy of Jesus
as exemplified by two great saints who visited our diocese, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Joseph, pray for us
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us
All holy angels and saints, pray for us

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