I can’t give any money right now. How else can I be helpful?

Pray for the success of the Terra Sancta Guild Annual Giving Society. There are many ways to serve the church in western South Dakota and you are encouraged to become involved. When the time is right for you, please consider joining the Terra Sancta Guild.

What is the benefit for me if I give to the Guild? What do I get in return?

The biggest benefit is knowing you are supporting the Diocese current special projects and the long term financial health.

The Guild’s Leadership Committee is looking for Sponsor companies and organizations that want to demonstrate their support of the Terra Sancta Guild by offering discounts or special gifts to Terra Sancta Guild members. Check back here or watch the newsletter for Guild Membership Benefits, as they become available.

I want my money to go to the school (or retreat center – or to “fill in the blank”). How can I be sure that is happening?

If this is paramount to you, you should give the money directly to the school, retreat center or fill in the blank. Guild members have a choice of the school, retreat center or area of greatest need.

Please note that 20% of your gift goes directly into the Terra Sancta Guild Endowment and is not designated.

What you are really asking for is for me to give you a gift every year. Isn’t that right?

Yes that was the plan from the beginning of the We Walk By Faith (WWBF) Special Appeal.

Has the school enrollment grown since they opened the school at TS?

Yes. Enrollment in the RCCSS remains strong, with a 4% increase during the 2014 – 15 school year. The Child Development programs at Terra Sancta continue to attract young families. Numbers were at an all-time high with a total of 101 children enrolled in Preschool. For more details, visit the Rapid City Catholic School System for more information and contacts.

Can you tell me what is going on at the retreat center? What are some of the activities that are being held there?

Terra Sancta is quite busy, being full most weekends. The activities are too numerous to mention, but include

  • Confirmation Retreats
  • Priests and Deacon Retreats
  • Heart to Heart: A Weekend Retreat for the Engaged
  • Veritatis Splendor Institute (VSI)
  • Annual Pastoral Ministry Days (PMD)
  • Taize – Experience the Sacred through song, silence and scripture.
  • The Flame – Adoration | Praise and Worship | Inspiring Catholic Stories
  • Weddings
  • Family Reunions
  • Workshops, Meetings, and much more

Visit the Terra Sancta Retreat Center website at terrasancta.org to see all scheduled activities.

I am irritated that I can’t come out and use the retreat center without paying. I thought this was going to the diocese’s retreat center?

We Walk by Faith helped to fund the purchase and renovation of the retreat center. The Retreat Center has ongoing expenses that must be covered by fees. The fees are modest.

Doesn’t the Annual Appeal help pay for Terra Sancta?

Yes, the diocesan appeal supports the Terra Sancta Retreat Center with operational support and it also supports the St. Elizabeth Seton Elementary School through an annual gift to the Rapid City School System. It is based on need.

I thought when I gave to the We Walk by Faith Appeal that was it.

We Walk by Faith was a special appeal to purchase and renovate the Terra Sancta Campus. From the beginning, and listed in all appeal materials, training and included in the West River Catholic, was the intent to continue the Terra Sancta Guild through annual giving. Any donors that did not or were not able to join the Guild are invited to do so on an annual basis. This is entirely voluntary. The Guild Committee lowered the threshold for Guild membership from $1,000 to $500 to invite more parishioners to join.

What will the TS Guild Endowment be used for?

Bishop Gruss and the Terra Sancta Guild Leadership Committee will designate the Guild Endowment earnings for the area of greatest need as designated.

What projects does the Bishop have in mind for the diocese?

Twenty percent of any Guild gift is directed to an endowment to ensure the future of Terra Sancta and special diocesan projects. All remaining funds will be distributed at Bishop Gruss’ discretion and the Terra Sancta Guild Leadership Committee.

As donor stewardship continues, Bishop will share future plans. At the annual Guild dinner Bishop Gruss will provide a recap of funds used, endowment balances and future plans.

Does the money for the Guild benefit the Retreat Center or the School or both?

Each year Bishop Gruss and the Guild Advisory Committee decide on how Guild funds are utilized. The area of greatest need is addressed first. For Guild donors there are three general areas of support:

  1. Terra Sancta Retreat Center/Chancery
  2. St. Elizabeth Seton Grade School at Terra Sancta
  3. Area of Greatest Need

Bishop Gruss prefers gifts to be given to the area of greatest need.

What is the relationship between the TS Guild and the WSDCF and the Annual Diocesan Appeal?

There is a distinct difference between the Guild, the WSDCF and the Annual Diocesan Appeal. The Guild exists as an annual donor society. Gifts to the Guild support the Terra Sancta Campus and special projects as designated by Bishop Gruss. The WSDCF is a separate foundation that is the repository of designated funds, legacy/estate gifts, and parish funds given by donors with directed intent for the gifts. The Annual Diocesan Appeal supports the operating costs of the Diocese of Rapid City. Some of the annual appeal helps to support Terra Sancta Retreat Center at this time – for operations.

What is Bishop Gruss’ vision for the Terra Sancta Guild?

Bishop Gruss values the relationship and generosity of the Terra Sancta Guild donors to the Diocese of Rapid City. Begun by Bishop Cupich through the We Walk by Faith Appeal, (WWBF), the Guild was established to be an annual donor society of major givers to the Diocese of Rapid City. Although the first five years of any WWBF donor’s pledge could be designated to the Retreat Center, St. Elizabeth Seton School, the two Newman Centers in our Diocese or to area of greatest need, ongoing support from Guild members will focus on the Terra Sancta Campus and special projects as designated by Bishop Gruss.

The spirit of generosity and discipleship of the Guild donors have motivated Bishop Gruss to continue the Guild through member renewals and invitations to new members. To continue this vision of generosity, Bishop Gruss has convened a Terra Sancta Guild Leadership Committee (of current Guild members) to assist him in identifying short and long-term goals for the Guild gifts.

His vision includes deepening the relationship between Guild donors and the Diocese, including Terra Sancta and other projects. He would like the Guild to be at the forefront of financial stewardship for all important projects of the Diocese.