29 October 2012

Building for the future...



The Atonement Academy is the single most important apostolate of our parish. Together, we support pro-life efforts because we teach the sanctity of human life in our classrooms. Together, we support the dignity of the human person and the truth about Christ by teaching children the Catholic faith in its entirety. Together, we are changing the future of the Church and world through our children.

From its small beginning in 1994, The Atonement Academy has grown to be a regional attraction for students, drawing them from over 25 zip codes and six counties surrounding Bexar. We’ve developed a positive reputation even beyond our borders, too. Six percent of our population is carefully-selected international students from Mexico, South Korea, Italy, Peru and the Philippines who bring a charm all their own, and uniquely contribute to our strong Catholic and classical culture. We are a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and twice the recipient of the Cardinal Newman Society’s Honor Roll of Top 50 Catholic High Schools in the nation.

This attraction, though, has put a strain on our existing classrooms. At 577 students this academic year, (a 5% increase from last year), The Atonement Academy is at capacity in the current building, so the need to expand is a necessary one. After much study and the design of a Master Plan, our parish school will ultimately grow to a planned population of 750 students.

We are excited that the time has arrived to begin earnest preparations for “Phase 1 and 2” of the expansion plan. Phase 1 and 2 involves the construction of 19 new classrooms and four science labs, plus a dining hall, two practice gymnasiums, more offices and site preparations which include additional parking. We’ve revised our site plan and goal since the short 2010 Capital Campaign, making the design more cost-effective without sacrificing the needed classroom space. We’ve also now included “Phase 2” – the athletics expansion, because we are nearing the level of being able to pay for Phase 1 in cash.

Although we are doing well in our financial goal, your participation is vital to the success of this short campaign, and unlike many other Capital Campaigns which seem to endlessly drag on for years, ours has begun on October 28, 2012, and it will definitely end on May 26, 2013. That’s because we can’t wait too long for this expansion. The students need it as soon as possible. Our expectation is to begin construction in 2013 and to have it completed in 2015.

Here’s where we are and here’s how we’re going to do it…

Our current financial position is healthy for both the church and school. The church, originally built in 1983-85, and expanded in 2003-05, is totally debt free. The St. Joseph Parish House is debt free. The St. Anthony Hall, built in 1997, is debt free. The only debt we service is the school expansion (completed in 2005). Those payments are approximately $24,000 per month, and we owe about $1.9 million on the remaining note, at a 4.12% interest rate, to be completed in 2016.

Due in part to a rise in student enrollment over last two years and good fiscal stewardship, The Atonement Academy is self-sustaining without a parish subsidy and will contribute $350,000 towards the Capital Campaign this academic year, its second year in a row to do so.

How can you help?


As the history of this parish shows, God provides. He provides, but we pray! Every parishioner, young or mature, should consider making this Campaign his or her prayerful intention over the next nine months. Prayer moves mountains. It moves people to stop and reassess their lives, and it moves people to be generous.

In addition to prayer, we need each member of the parish, and even beyond our community, to contribute financially. The gifts of each and every person are vital to the success of this Capital Campaign.

Reflect on how greatly God has blessed us as individuals and as a parish family, and give thanks to God for these blessings by prayerfully considering what you can do to help.

-- How to Pledge Support --

• PLEDGES OF CASH GIFTS • GIFTS OF STOCK. You may call our financial representative at USAA and he will assist you making a transfer from your portfolio to ours. Contact Mr. Vincent Knodell directly at 210-456-7012. • TITHING. If every parishioner with an income gave 10% - a biblical tithe to the Lord – we would put all that money into the building fund above basic operating costs for the parish.


A message from the Pastor…

Our Lady of the Atonement is a remarkable parish, and it occupies a unique place, not only in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, but far beyond our diocesan boundaries. Our parish has a leading role in the return of Anglicans to the unity of the Catholic Church, and it has distinguished itself in the areas of liturgy, music, and Catholic education.

God has given a vision for this parish, and over the years we have done all we can to remain faithful to that vision. Each of us can recount stories of how God’s grace has worked in our lives through this parish, and some of the greatest evidence of God’s love and care is seen in our parish school. Every day, children’s lives are affected in wonderful ways. Their love for God is increased; their souls are formed according to the mind of Christ; their minds are opened to the knowledge and mystery of God’s universe. A new generation of Catholics is being formed, and we have a responsibility to take part in that formation.

We have a most wonderful problem. Because of the overwhelming demand for what our school offers, we’re running out of room. I have no doubt whatsoever that God wants us to expand our facilities, and for that reason I do not hesitate in asking for your support. Please – give as generously as you possibly can, and you can be assured that it’s probably the best investment you’ll ever make.


This project has been placed under the spiritual patronage of St. Anthony of Padua. Please pray for God's blessing upon it, through his intercession:

O God, who didst endow thy servant St. Anthony of Padua with clarity of faith and holiness of life: Grant us, we beseech thee, to keep with steadfast minds the faith which he taught, and by his intercession, to bring this good work to fruition; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.